Canonical recently announced the availability of Ubuntu 13.10 for desktop and smartphone. Ubuntu's first true mobile release delivers the streamlined core OS and mobile user interface that pave the way for full device convergence and create a unique platform for modern computing.
"This is a milestone in Ubuntu's history, the exact same Ubuntu OS runs on ARM phones and modern HP Moonshot ARM servers, and provides exactly the same capability as x86 platforms," said Rick Spencer, who leads Ubuntu's consumer-facing engineering. "Ubuntu 13.10 is a full server-grade OS that offers a mobile experience and is lean enough to support mobile devices, kicking off a new era in mobile security and computing convergence."
Canonical is working with partners to bring Ubuntu smartphone devices to market in 2014. The desktop version of Ubuntu 13.10 reflects much of that progress, with scopes that organise home, apps, music, video content, lower device memory and graphics requirements and substantial improvements in battery and memory efficiency.
Ubuntu 13.10 includes a wide range of mobile core apps created by the Ubuntu developer community, including a browser, calendar, clock, weather, and calculator. The apps highlight distinctive elements of the Ubuntu user experience. This release also introduces the full SDK with a complete set of tools to develop apps for Ubuntu devices. It includes templates and extensions, theming, automatic orientation and easy to use UI tools for rapid application development. The SDK supports both native and HTML5 development, and responsive app design that makes it easy for developers to target phones, tablets and PCs with a single codebase.
"Thanks to our passionate community of early adopters and designers we've built a unique experience for end-users and for developers: one UI framework that scales across all the personal computing form factors" said Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu and Canonical.
The Ubuntu Dash brings content straight to your desktop, searching more than 50 online sources through scopes. Ubuntu 13.10 introduces a Smart Scope on both desktop and phone which combines results from many different scopes automatically and learns individual user preferences so that search results improve for each user over time. In 13.10, the Dash includes many new search scopes including Wikipedia, Amazon, Google News and Flickr, and can be configured for privacy or specific search preferences.
MIR, the new open source graphics stack which supports higher frame-rates in games and mobile applications is enabled by default for smartphones and available as an option for desktops. Mir promises dramatic performance improvements for games, with better access to the latest underlying graphics capabilities of modern devices and a simplified driver model for widespread hardware support.