A few days ago Canonical presented Ubuntu Phone, its new operating system for mobile devices. While the new platform has not yet come to light, already we have several videos with the first impressions that has left us.

At a conference held in London last week, Canonical released Ubuntu Phone, its new bet regarding mobile OS. This new platform is based on current Android kernel and drivers but does not use a Java Virtual Machine and promises to use “all the power of the phone” to maximize hardware capacity. The company also said that devices with Ubuntu OS will require minimal adaptation so that Android phone makers can run on their devices.

Without doubt this was one of the most important announcements of 2013 so far and finally at CES early demos have appeared in devices that could be tested. While still in its early stages and still several months to be officially released, Ubuntu Phone already is gaining attention and promises to be a very strong contender that could shake the current market leaders such as Android and iOS.

As seen in the videos below, there are several similarities between Ubuntu Phone and the desktop version of the operating system based on Linux. However, the most remarkable and striking is the total absence of buttons, because the platform is designed to be controlled almost entirely by gestures.

First impressions are good though as it is a project in development shows that the applications are not always open as fast as should be and there is generally some sluggishness in the interface. But again, this is completely normal since this is the first version of the software and was executed by a Galaxy Nexus. Among other features there is a great way to change settings and access, all of which is controlled by sliding down from the top of the screen and then you can slide left and right for instant access to different configurations submenus without having to lift your finger from the screen.

Canonical says it is in talks with hardware OEM partners to get devices in which Ubuntu Phone will be launched, but negotiations are still in its early stages to be able to anticipate about what manufacturers are interested.

For now this is all that is known about this new operating system. I will look to keep on top of things and here is a video presentation and two demo videos taken at CES.

Esteban Cejas

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