David Planella: Ubuntu - A Powerful, New Force in Mobile

Published 08 Nov 2013

I am very excited about the new Ubuntu Mobile platform, despite not being a Linux or Ubuntu guy.

As Ubuntu was launched for mobile devices a short while back, a new mobile force was born, according to David Planella. Unlike other mobile operative systems, no names said, Ubuntu Mobile is designed to run on less powerful devices, while still focusing on providing a fast and responsive user experience. It comes packed with core apps and can be extended with third party developer apps.

Sorry if this sounds like a sales pitch, I’m merely passing along what David said.

Something I find very promising with Ubuntu Mobile, is that the Ubuntu SDK comes with full native and HTML 5 support. This is a path I think other mobile operating systems should have adapted as well, instead of leaving us with a flora of native platforms to master, besides the responsive mobile web experience we also have to support when our systems are experienced through a web browser.

It’s rather interesting that the first iPhone (launched before the App Store even existed) was presented to developers with a big, dramatic “no SDK needed” callout. The iPhone came with the world’s greatest mobile web browser, perfectly capable of running HTML5 apps. Why would anyone need or want anything else?

Then, Apple realized they could make money on app revenue…and here we are.

So, what about the user experience? Ubuntu Mobile’s main design themes include content focus, fast and natural interactions and sophisticated style. And I have to say…it looks very slick. It uses Unity and screen features like edge swipes to interact with the main areas of the phone. Right edge swipes move to the next app, left edge swipes show the launcher etc. It looks really neat, although when I tried it out, I noticed that it needs some more work on the responsiveness and smoothness, especially when scrolling.

But, then again, so does Android.

David went into detail on how you interact with Ubuntu and core platform features like notifications, a cool looking HUD, scopes etc. He also talked about how to build apps, which SDKs to use and how developers can benefit from Ubuntu Mobile. A really thorough and very interesting talk.

I am really impressed, so do check out the video and tell me what you think. Could this be a glimpse of the future?