While many of us are big fans of flashing our smartphones with custom ROMs, whether that’s to remove restrictions, add new features, or check out the latest version of the operating system, the vast majority of us stick to keeping our phones on the same platform. Sure, there are notable exceptions, like the HTC HD2 which has come to support nearly every mobile OS under the sun, but most stay within their families. When we do get to see an effort to bring a novel OS to a smartphone, we’re often dealing with Linux, which has the flexibility to accommodate much smartphone hardware. While such attempts have largely been the work of dedicated enthusiasts thus far, things are about to get much more formal, with Canonical preparing to reveal an official Ubuntu for Android at the Mobile World Congress.
The system Canonical describes sounds very much like how Webtop works on Motorola Androids. Your smartphone will run Android as you carry it around, but plug it into an HDMI display, and the handset will quickly swap-over to Ubuntu, letting you run full-fledged Linux apps.
We’re very curious about the details of this project, like how it will be implemented on supported handsets, and how system resources will be managed between Android and Ubuntu. Considering that Canonical has been in talk with OEMs, it’s sounding possible that Ubuntu for Android will require deep integration with the operating system, rather than easily be available as a download. Canonical’s Mark Shuttleworth mentions that the platform will support communication between the two sides, letting Ubuntu and Android apps talk to each other. Just what sort of hardware will be required to use Ubuntu for Android hasn’t been revealed just yet, short of the need for it to be “high-end”.
Source: Know Your Mobile