The mobile ecosystem is dominated by Android and iOS, with several other operating systems fighting for scraps. The battle for third place might already have Microsoft as a winner, but there are plenty of others that could become interesting mobile OS alternatives.
Let’s face it, if you’re going to buy a new smartphone, you’re probably looking at the iPhone and Android first, because almost everyone you know has either one or the other, You may also be inclined to try other things such as Windows Phone and BlackBerry, which may better suit your current smartphone needs. But don’t forget that there are plenty of other mobile operating systems to choose from, although they’re not very popular.
Now, there’s a new smartphone platform on the scene, but the vast majority of smartphone users out there likely won’t pay it much attention. More →
Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth revealed at CeBIT in Germany that the first Ubuntu smartphones coming this year will be quite affordable, and probably cheaper than fans would have expected, The Inquirer reports, especially following the unsuccessful Ubuntu Edge Indiegogo campaign last summer. The high-end Ubuntu Edge smartphone was priced at $830 initially, although the company later dropped it to around $700 while trying to gather the funds needed for the Ubuntu super phone to become reality. More →
In a Town Hall Hangout on Wednesday, Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth revealed that the Ubuntu Edge – a high-end expensive concept smartphone the company failed to fund via Indiegogo last summer – may have inspired devices coming from various players in the mobile business this year, including Apple. Without saying that Apple copied the Ubuntu Edge, Shuttleworth revealed the iPhone maker has big sapphire plans for the future, CNET reports. More →
Canonical on Tuesday announced a new version of its Ubuntu Linux operating system for tablet devices. The operating system supports multiple user accounts from the home screen, including a “guest mode” option, and uses gestures to navigate around the user interface. It also features a notification center, sharing to all major social outlets, extensive multitasking support and is capable of displaying applications designed for both tablets and smartphones simultaneously, similar to the Snap View feature in Windows 8. Canonical plans to offer a developer preview of Ubuntu on February 21st for Google’s (GOOG) Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets, along with the Nexus 4 and Galaxy Nexus smartphones. A video demonstration of Ubuntu follows below. More →
There are already smartphones powered by Android, iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, Bada and Tizen, and soon Ubuntu will be added to that long list. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Mark Shuttleworth, the founder and CEO of Canonical, said that smartphones running the company’s Linux-based Ubuntu operating system will be available to customers starting in October 2013. He also said that application developers will be granted early access to a version of the operating system that has been optimized for the Galaxy Nexus later this month. More →
Canonical announced on Tuesday that the popular open-source Ubuntu operating system will soon be coming to multi-core Android devices. Users will be able use Android on their smartphones and Ubuntu as a desktop once the device is docked with a keyboard and monitor. Both operating systems will run simultaneously on the same device and have the ability to share contacts, messages and other common services. “The phone experience is pure Android – it’s a normal Android phone,” Canonical stated. “When the device is connected to a computer screen, however, it launches a full Ubuntu desktop on the computer display. It’s exactly the same desktop used by millions of enterprise and home users on their Ubuntu PCs, and includes hundreds of certified applications, from office productivity to photography, video and music.” The company plans to give live demonstrations of Ubuntu running on Android devices later this month at the Mobile World Congress trade show. Read on for Canonical’s press release. More →
If you really love Linux, and are a Nexus One owner, nexusonehacks.net has a tutorial for you. The site’s founder has managed to get Ubuntu linux running on top of Android 2.2 on his rooted Nexus One handset. The site provides a video walkthrough of what Ubuntu will look like on the Sexy Nexy as well as a step-by-step guide on how to accomplish this feat. If you are looking to spend some quality time with your N1 whittling away your Thursday, hit up the read link and have at it. More →
A major security flaw has been uncovered in the Apple iPhone 3GS this week after two security experts discovered it was possible to bypass the device’s security and gain nearly full read access using Ubuntu Lucid Lynx. Perhaps even more frightening is the fact that the two believe they’re nearing the ability to write data as well. Said Bernd Marienfeldt, one of the two gentleman responsible for uncovering the flaw:
I uncovered a data protection vulnerability, which I could reproduce on 3 other non jail broken 3GS iPhones (MC 131B, MC132B) with different iPhone OS versions installed (3.1.3-7E18 modem firmware 05.12.01 and version 3.1.2 -7D11, modem 05.11.07), all PIN code protected which means the vulnerability bypasses authentication for various data where people most likely rely on data protection through encryption and do not expect that authentication is not in place. […] This data protection flaw exposes music, photos, videos, podcasts, voice recordings, Google safe browsing database, game contents… by [sic] in my opinion the quickest compromising read/write access discovered so far, without leaving any track record by the attacker. It’s about to imagine how many enterprises (e.g. Fortune 100) actually do rely on the expectation that their iPhone 3GS’s whole content is protected by encryption with an PIN code based authentication in place to unlock it.
Marienfeldt and his partner Jim Herbeck notified Apple of the flaw, and according to then, “Apple could reproduce the described serious issue and believes to understand why this can happen but cannot provide timing or further details on the release of a fix.” Let’s hope the new data protection feature in iPhone OS 4.0 does the trick.
Whoops. While speaking about the future of its netbook platform, Samsung inadvertently detailed a handful of unannounced ARM mobile chipsets that it plans release over the next three. The chipsets start off with the Taurus (S5PV210), a single core Cortex-A8 CPU that clocks in at 1GHz, and culminate with the heavy hitting Aquila which boasts of a quad-core Cortex-A9 running at 1.2-GHz. According to the roadmap, the rest of the eight chipsets include the following:
- Taurus (S5PV210): Single core Cortex-A8 at 1GHz. Due out in Q3 2010.
- Mercury: Single core Cortex-A5 (Sparrow) at 600MHz. To debut late 2010.
- Orion: Dual Core Cortex-A9 Dual Core at 800MHz which offers software compatibility with the Taurus. Expected to enter into production in Q1 2011.
- Pegasus: Single core Cortex-A9 1GHZ. Set for Q4 2011.
- Hercules: Dual core Cortex-A9 at 1GHZ. Scheduled for Q1 2012.
- Venus: Another Cortex-A5 based endeavor which will double the fun of the Mercury by offering a 600-MHz dual-core processor. Expected to hit production in late 2012 or early 2013.
- Draco: A 1.2-GHz Cortex-A9 dual-core expected to enter mass production in late 2012 or early 2013.
- Aquila: Doubles the Draco with its quad-core, 1.2-GHz, Cortex-A9 processor. The Aquila is also slated to enter mass production in late 2012 or early 2013.
Samsung didn’t not pair these mobile powerhouses with any GPUs or mobile operating systems, but we’re assuming we’ll see them alongside Android, Chrome and Ubuntu devices.
Yesterday, Boxee announced that it was taking its XBMC-based media player into the public Alpha phase, opening up the software to any and all that care to give it a run through. Boxee, for those that aren’t aware, is a one-stop media convergence powerhouse, bringing streaming internet video from a variety of popular sources into perfect harmony with your local and network-attached music, video, and photo collections. In addition to the public Alpha, Boxee revealed a new version of the software that places Joost and iPlayer support next to the current stable of streaming sources that include Hulu and Netflix. Sadly, the iPlayer support is U.K. only, so anyone residing outside of the Queen’s territory will have to search elsewhere for their BBC fix. TIn theory, these new additions make a good service even better, though there are a few caveats. First, the the public Alpha is only for Apple and Ubuntu users. Anyone looking to score big with a Windows machine will have to submit their name for a private code. Secondly, while we certainly think that Boxee is an excellent addition to the field, our tests have revealed a product that could still use a bit of work on the stability front, with frequent freezes and crashes hampering an otherwise pleasant and feature-rich user experience. If you decide to jump on the wagon and download the Alpha, let us know what you think!
ARM and Ubuntu announced on today that they are working together to develop a new version of Ubuntu custom made for the ARMv7 architecture, including the new Cortex-A8 and Cortex-A9 processors. The new ARM version of Ubuntu will leverage the low-power consumption and integrated graphics of the ARM chipset with its own user-friendly UI to create a new platform for mobile devices. We’re not talking cell phones here, folks. Think of the new Archos Internet Tablet with Ubuntu instead of the proprietary Archos OS or a netbook that delivers all day usage on a single battery charge. Now you can see the reason why this announcement is so exciting. The Ubuntu ARM distribution is expected to be available starting April 2009 and may finally mark the start of Ubuntu as a competitive mobile platform. Bring it on!
If you own a Dell Inspiron Mini with Ubuntu and paid extra to upgrade your hard drive from the stock 4 GB to an 8 GB or 16 GB SSD drive, you better get sudo fdisk-ing and check your partition sizes. A savvy Inspiron Mini owner noticed his 16 GB SSD was only showing up as a 4 GB inside Ubuntu. A quick check of the bios revealed that the physical drive was indeed 16 GB leaving him to wonder what happened to that extra 12 GB. He was not the only one to notice this discrepancy and bring it to the attention of Dell. It did not take Dell very long to admit there was an error in their manufacturing process. Turns out their technicians were using a disk image for a 4 GB install on each and every one of their Ubuntu machines. In other words, all 8 GB and 16 GB machines were partitioned as 4 GB machines. Oops! As of Friday, Dell announced that each and every new Ubuntu system will be installed with the correct partition size. Yay! Dell has kindly offered a solution to the problem if you are one of the unlucky early adopters: use your system restore disk to repartition your disk and re-install Ubuntu. If you are a Linux junkie, then you can attempt to resize your partition with gParted and skip the whole re-installation hassle process. Whichever method you choose be sure to backup your data first, ok? Wouldn’t want anyone to lose the one and only picture of dear Aunt Ethel at her 100th birthday celebration in the backyard of her beautiful Victorian house on the day before it was unexpectedly destroyed by a hurricane. Priceless.