We’ve seen phones try to replace your desktop already – with the Motorola Atrix Webtop system – but never before have we seen a fully fledged desktop environment crammed into a smartphone running simultaneously alongside the phone’s own Android OS – but Canonical’s Ubuntu for Android is about to change all that.
Canonical has announced Ubuntu for Android, which is considers a concept device at the moment, but hopes that smartphones due to launch later in the year will be able to support the dual-OS system.
The company believes that this solution will save companies and businesses a lot of money as it believes that a smartphone running Ubuntu for Android will be a single device to replace your desktop PC and smartphone.
When using the phone, the user will have a typical Android experience but once the phone is docked, and connected to a monitor and keyboard, it will give you access to a fully-fledged desktop version of Ubuntu, complete with full desktop applications and interface.
In terms of the dock, we have been in touch with Canonical to establish who will be manufacturing this and how much it will cost and will let you know as soon as we do. Obviously the experience will be dependent on the power of your smartphone, and you will also need to add an external hard drive or rely on cloud storage for your needs.
To use the system, you will need to have a fairly high-end smartphone using multiple cores and with support for HDMI and USB, with Canonical saying phones due for release in late 2012 will be compatible with the system.
As well as giving you access to the full Ubuntu desktop environment, a device running Ubuntu for Android will enable users to access and manage their mobile data, contacts and apps as usual on a mobile device running the Android OS.
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Canonical will be showing off Ubuntu for Android at Mobile World Congress next week and we’ll be hoping to get some hands-on time with the system and bring you our first impressions.
For now, let us know in the comments if you think this system would work for you or if you still want a separate desktop PC and smartphone.