Are you someone like me who deals with the burden of carrying a laptop and a phone? Have you ever wanted to send an email to someone on your laptop only to discover that the person’s email address wasn’t stored on your laptop but on your phone? Have you ever wanted an effortless synchronization of your phone’s calendar with your laptop’s calendar? Do you wish you could synchronize your phone’s browser bookmark with your laptop’s browser bookmark? If anyone of these is true for you, then you should be excited about the recent announcement from Canonical about the release of the new Ubuntu for Andriod.
According to a TechCrunch article “This is not an Ubuntu app running atop Android. Nor is it an all-Ubuntu device running an Android emulator. Rather, Ubuntu for Android it the full Ubuntu desktop running side-by-side with Android on a shared kernel that provides context appropriate access to all your content. When out and about, the phone operates as any other Android-powered phone; but when you slip the device into a dock connected to a monitor, keyboard and mouse you get the familiar Ubuntu desktop experience.”
Do you understand the idea now? This is a hybrid robust Ubuntu and Andriod marriage. This technology provides a full desktop experience, including office software, email, web browsing and media applications with the mobility and ease of mobile phones. Now that is genius! It embraces the genius of combination (“and”) as opposed to selection (“or”). It also makes the transition between these two different environments seamless. The effort put in from the makers of this technology to make those transitions seamless should make non-techies (who are usually intimated by the seemingly complex world of Linux) embrace this solution.
This is however not all that is to this new technology. It also enables the user to connect their phones (running on this OS) to a television via HDMI to get the Ubuntu TV interface (not the Ubuntu desktop interface). You can browse media on your phone or access online content as you would with any Ubuntu TV appliance. This would come in handy when you need to show your family and friends the recent photo gallery of your trips.
Canonical have claimed to be targeting the enterprise thin client market and also emerging-market first PC markets with this new technology. This is a really sound strategic move in my opinion. Ubuntu is becoming a popular replacement for Windows in a lot of companies all over the world. Also most enterprise companies give out a PC or a laptop plus a phone to their staffs as official ones. With this new device, instead of companies giving out a PC and a phone, they could give just one device – one that functions as both. This will also make it easier for enterprise IT departments to manage their companies’ devices since they only have to manage one device per user now. For emerging-market first PC markets, this could be disruptor to this market. People in these emerging markets could prefer to get this all-in-one device than to buy a PC and a phone.
In conclusion, this new technology is a challenger to both the PC market and smartphone market. If it becomes a mainstream success, then we might as well see other marriages of operating systems and computing environments. What if we could have three or four operating systems running on the same mobile device? It will be interesting to see how events unfold. Only time could tell if this will be a successful commercial technology or not. I will be keep my fingers crossed or what do you think?