Canonical has officially unveiled the tablet version of its Ubuntu Linux-based interface, complete with split-screen multitasking.
Ubuntu for smartphones was launched in January, with handsets wielding the interface set to appear by October, but now that smartphone small screen experience has been enhanced for tablets.
"Multi-tasking productivity meets elegance and rigorous security in our tablet experience," said Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu and Canonical. "Our family of interfaces now scales across all screens, so your phone can provide tablet, PC and TV experiences when you dock it. That's unique to Ubuntu and it's the future of personal computing."
The key feature of the Ubuntu Linux-based interface is its multitasking capabilities, allowing a phone app and a tablet app to run on-screen simultaneously. The Ubuntu side screen function is said to improve the aesthetics and usability of phone apps on tablet screens.
According to Ubuntu, a voice controlled HUD makes it easier for users to navigate their tablet and perform complex tasks like you would on a desktop within the tablet environment. Voice controls and HUDs aside, the Edge magic feature negates any need for physical buttons, instead making use of the screen edges for navigation between apps, settings and controls within the Ubuntu interface.
Useful for tablets shared by an entire family, the Ubuntu experience also offers multiple accounts on one tablet, securely storing all personal and business data.
Designed to create a unified phone, computer, TV and tablet operating system, the Ubuntu interface OS and code is mirrored across all platforms in an attempt to create what Ubuntu calls “true device convergence”.
Ubuntu Release Date
Ubuntu tablets aren’t set to be released until sometime in 2014, with the smartphones due to appear on the market pre-October this year. This is due to the fact that Ubuntu has yet to secure any deals with device manufacturers or carriers, although it has enlisted an unnamed silicon company to optimize its chips for the OS.
Ubuntu will be available on screen sizes from 6-inches to 20-inches and for resolutions ranging from 100 to 450ppi. Touch Developer Preview codes for Ubuntu will be published on February 21 with installation instructions for the Google Nexus 7, Google Nexus 10 and Google Nexus 4.
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