Ubuntu For Android At Mobile World Congress. I’m Not Sold Quite Yet.

  • Canonical has already announced Ubuntu TV, but today at Mobile World Congress, they are expanding Ubuntu’s reach even farther away from “desktop computing” with Ubuntu for Android.  To put it simply, Ubuntu for Android will allow users to run a full Ubuntu Unity desktop from a docked Android smartphone.  Not only will the full Unity desktop be available, but aspects from Android such as the dialer, apps, contacts, photos, videos, will be accessible from the Unity desktop.

    AndroidCentral’s Phil Nickinson was able to get a preview of Ubuntu for Android at MWC in Barcelona.  Check out the video below.

    While I was initially very intrigued by this new idea, I have grown more and more unoptimistic.  Here are my issues with Ubuntu for Android:

    1. Preinstalled Ubuntu on phone – I thought Ubuntu for Android would be an app you would download to sync with your current Ubuntu desktop.  It turns out, that is not the case.  Ubuntu will need to be installed on your phone by the manufacturer.  This disappoints me because if you want Ubuntu for Android, you will most likely be severely limited when shopping for an Android phone.

    2. App syncing – This kind of relates to #1 where I wanted all my phone’s features accessed (wirelessly) on my current Ubuntu desktop.  I can’t tell you how many times I will be at my desk working and I’ll get a text on my phone.  Then I will realize my phone is on the other side of the room.  It’s not a big deal for you all, but for me, being handicap, I have to decide if I want to go get my phone to see who is trying to reach me.  It would be nice if my texts came to my Ubuntu desktop when it’s NOT plugged in.

    3. Carrier lockdown? – I am curious to see how/if phone carriers will “lockdown” use of the Ubuntu desktop.  Based on the video below showing Ubuntu for Android, it makes me believe a user will be able to use any network. That would be very helpful to overcome carriers’ data limitations.

    For me personally, I have my eyes on the Samsung Galaxy SIII as my next phone.  If it is coming to Verizon, it will be hard to tear me away from that, to get a phone with Ubuntu for Android.  What do you think of Ubuntu for Android?  Yay or nay?  Leave your comments below.

    Find out about Ubuntu for Android here.


    February 27th, 2012 | Joe Steiger | 4 Comments | Tags: , , , , , ,

About The Author

Joe Steiger

The owner and chief editor of JoeSteiger.com. Ubuntu user, android fanatic, tech enthusiast, Baltimore Ravens fan,...

  • They should talk to ASUS about Ubuntu for Padfone

  • Hector Chavez

    Joe, I got a solution for you, I don’t know if you are aware but giving your intellectual abilities, I know you are aware of google voice.  However, it will make it easier for you to receive text messages on your pc running ubuntu or any OSes. I use google voice everyday, sometimes my phone is upstairs and don’t know if I received a text or phone call, but through google voice I receive it and I can respond as well.  So to answer yay or nay for Ubuntu for android, I’d say I’m giving up on that, because by the time they finalize it and make it workable, it’s futile for me to wait. I love Ubuntu and I wish I can have it on all my devices but there to slow moving forward. Having google voice really solves this for me..

  • There are apps I can already install on my Ubuntu machine to receive texts from the android phone.

  • Asus needs to lower the price of the Padfone.