After the desktop PC, the television and the smartphone, Ubuntu has finally landed on the last content consumption device out there- the tablet. Canonical has recently teased its Ubuntu for tablet, and it is a marvelous piece of technology. It brings the seamless Ubuntu user experience to a touch interface, which makes the interface much more relevant and fun to use. Some additional features have also been built on top of the conventional Ubuntu interface, which are specific to a tablet interface, giving Ubuntu for tablets a fresh look and feel.
Ubuntu for tablets comes with a Unity like app launcher sidebar, and a side stage that holds social updates and other apps that need your action. This makes optimal use of the screen real estate. You can drag content between apps, and your app launcher sidebar doubles up as an app switcher, making it easier to multitask. However, the best feature of Ubuntu for tablets would undoubtedly be the non-intrusive notification that allows you to stay on your app while watching that video or reading that article, and yet respond to a message or send out a tweet, like Android notifications but enhanced.
This video demonstrates the capabilities of Ubuntu for tablets and also talks about a seamless Ubuntu experience across multiple devices — the smartphone, the tablet, the PC and the television.
Although Canonical is not talking about any hardware partners yet, it has mentioned hardware specs like an A15 processor, a 2 GB RAM and an 8 GB hard disk, which definitely rules out some devices. The first appearance of Ubuntu for tablet is due this Thursday, and it is arriving on the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets as a Developer Preview. Apart from that, it will also be available on the Galaxy Nexus and the Nexus 4 smartphones.
It is clear that Ubuntu for tablets and smartphones is trying to grab Android’s market share, as the partner page says things like,
Without the overhead of a Java virtual machine, Ubuntu runs core software at native speeds giving you
fast, fluid transitions and a responsive design – even on low-end devices.
If you already make devices that run Android, the work to adopt Ubuntu
will be minimal.
The response from this Thursday will be a deciding factor for whether Ubuntu for tablets and smartphones will gain momentum.