Ubuntu joins Windows 10 and OS X El Capitan with cross-device support
Canonical, maker of Linux-based operating system Ubuntu, has launched its first “fully converged” device, claiming to offer a hybrid smartphone-PC experience.
The Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition tablet, produced in partnership with European technology company BQ, features the latest Ubuntu software and an adaptive user experience, which the company says is capable of “providing both a true tablet experience and the full Ubuntu desktop experience”.
The tablet represents the first in a new series of devices fulfilling Canonical’s long-running project to develop converged devices, which are devices capable of running the same platform and libraries, making it straightforward for users to access the same applications across all their Ubuntu devices.
“Ubuntu is now the only platform that runs both a mobile-based full touch interface and a true PC experience from a single smart device,” the company claimed in a statement introducing the Aquaris M10 on itscorporate blog.
Jane Silber, CEO of Canonical, said: “We’re bringing you everything you’ve come to expect from your Ubuntu PC, now on the tablet with BQ, soon on smartphones.
“This isn’t a phone interface stretched to desktop size – it’s the right user experience and interaction model for the given situation. Also, in terms of applications, we have something no other OS can provide: a single, visual framework and set of tools for applications to run on any type of Ubuntu smart device.”
Beside convergence, headline features of Ubuntu’s latest tablet include: access hundreds of apps from the Ubuntu App Store, fluid multitasking and window management, a broad range of desktop apps and thin client support for mobility and productivity, access the underlying OS if desired, mobile messaging on desktop, and security and reliability updates.
The Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition tablet has a 10.1in multi-tactile FHD screen with Dragontrail Asahi protection, is powered by a MediaTek quad-core MT8163A 1.5 GHz processor and includes a 7280 mAh LiPo battery. It is 8.2mm thick and weights 470g.
Convergence is not unique to the Ubuntu OS though. Both Apple and Microsoft have sought to bring their mobile, tablet and desktop OSes closer together in the last 12 months. Windows 10 was built with cross-device support specifically in mind, while Apple’s continuity feature, which debuted on iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 Yosemite, enables users to open the same documents on their iPhone and Mac.
Today’s announcement therefore brings Ubuntu in line with such competitors.
Canonical believes the convergence present its new Ubuntu OS and tablet make it ideal for enterprise use, because it offers enterprise-grade, system-based security.
Built on the open-source Linux OS, and continuing the principle of openness, Ubuntu has been adopted by public sector departments and hobbyists. Its total number of users can only be estimated, but Canonical said in 2015 that it has over 40 million desktop users.