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Ubuntu Operating System for Smartphones – First Look

Ubuntu is the newest OS for smartphones. It is Linux-powered OS, and as we all know Linux is a great OS that suits a range of devices including the smartphones, tablets and personal computers. Though it’s compatible with multiple platforms, it’s only the smartphone and tablet that has explored the full array of benefits of the OS. The Ubuntu OS was rolled out at the CES 2013 event in Las Vegas last month. We kicked started with a hands-on review of the Ubuntu OS for smartphones.

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Here are some of our observations:

Interface

The first look is impressive. May be, the manufacturers would have missed out to incorporate the Apple promotion manual for smartphones, but have for sure come out with an all-new OS which gives a delightful surfing experience to smartphone users. The icons are good on the eyes and the overall theme is pretty attractive.

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Image by Ben Woods

The intuitive lock-screen was the obvious point of focus to us. It integrates engaging designs and inforgraphics that let you view your preferences in lucid styles. We were able to read our emails and key data without any difficulty. The color contrast was good; it was good enough to complement the attractive design and background theme. We liked it when there was an instant alert for our unread emails in the form of a glowing light, indicating that there are emails in the waiting.

Let’s review the home screen. We were more curious this time around to see of Mark Shuttleworth, the founder’s words “edge magic” were appropriate to the home screen. We stripped the icons from left to right and got to see a list of icons on the screen. The home screen kind of retains the manufacturer’s desktop version’s looks, but is good on the eyes. The common icons like the volume control, messaging, and Wi-Fi are seen at the top of the screen. So you can multi-task at your own pace and convenience without having to swap between screens to perform your tasks. In a nut shell, we didn’t have any problem in identifying the icons for our preferred tasks. That’s great for new users!

Performance

Users must keep in mind that this is only a test version of a more advanced OS which we are going to see in the coming days. As of now, we realize that the OS is supported by a non-customizable hardware. The manufacturers are confident that the device will exhibit greater speed and give a considerable battery life for the smartphone.

We did a quick performance on different handsets – only to discover that the performance was somewhat crappy. The menus didn’t stay on the screen for long, they failed to show up for a second or two in some instances – and that was kind of annoying for us. If the OS has to deliver clean, smart and quick performance then the manufacturers have a lot of ground to cover.

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Apps

Apps

Basically, Ubuntu intends to support two types of applications:

  • Native apps
  • HTML5-based apps

The manufacturers are confident that users should go for the Ubuntu OS for some imperative reasons: one is that, majority of the Android developers are already incorporating the Ubuntu OS in their latest models. So this is a great positive sign for buyers. However, if you are a techie, then you might feel that there is always a line of difference between the writing codes for a mobile app and developing codes for a web app. We are waiting to see if the manufacturers will bring in the native OS or the HTML5 based web apps for smartphones. Both have different advantages and disadvantages. But incorporating the HTML codes would only serve as a inferior experience to users than the native codes.

The verdict

Ubuntu does well on the user-interface front, but lacks in performance and speed. With its competitors like Microsoft and Google sweating it out on designing advanced OS for their smartphone models, we feel that Ubuntu will find it difficult to see the light in the initial stages. May be, a few changes might help grab the attention of smartphone users in the future. Right now, we put the OS down. However, we would like to conclude saying that the Ubuntu TV Operating System for smartphones could be one to watch out for in the future.

This is a guest post by Roy Fernandez of www.acquiweb.com, a site that offers savings and current information on comcast cable and internet, as well as other Comcast.com services.

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