Ubuntu has gotten a lot of attention lately as it moves into the mobile computing [read: post-pc] space. They announced Ubuntu for Android in December, a full-fledge Ubuntu smartphone OS in January and just this week announced Ubuntu for Tablets. The ultimate goal: to converge all your devices – desktop, laptop, tablet, phone, television – into one familiar, synced interface.
Why should you care? Quite simply: this is the future of computing. Put aside your preferences and biases for (or against) Mac and PC, or iPhone and Android, and think about what all those platforms seek to accomplish: unified, converged computing. It’s why your iPhone works better when synced with a Mac. The current landscape of hardware and software as we know it force you into a single ecosystem, while attempting to meet all your needs. But it doesn’t always work.
The beauty of what Ubuntu is doing: it actually brings all your devices together, without building a walled garden ecosystem that restricts what software and services you use. If you rely on Microsoft Office, that’s great: it runs as a thin client on Ubuntu, just as if you were in front of a Windows PC. If you use web apps for productivity or entertainment, that’s fine too: they run in the browser just as you’d expect. Need a specific Android app that hasn’t been written for Ubuntu? No problem: it’ll run on Ubuntu phones and tablets.
That’s all great, but let’s talk about real world use. You know, what really matters if you’re considering Ubuntu for all your devices. Let’s say you download a movie to your Ubuntu tablet and watch part of it on the train while you commute home from work. Once you get home, you don’t want to watch that movie on your puny 7-inch screen; you want to enjoy it on your 50-inch TV with surround sound, right? That’s as easy as pointing your remote.
Another example: you’re working on a presentation for school with a group of classmates. You build a rough draft in class, but then when you get home and need more horsepower, you sit down at your desk (with a keyboard, mouse and actual monitor) and pick up right where you left off. There’s no syncing, emailing, downloading, or file transferring required.
One last example: you’re lounging around on the couch in the evening, reading a book on your Ubuntu tablet. Your sister starts a video chat, which comes through to your Ubuntu phone. Instead of carrying on that conversation on your phone, you pick it up from your Ubuntu tablet and use the split-screen mode to keep your book open at the same time. When you’re finished, the video chat disappears and you continue reading, having never lost your place.
Check out the video I included below for more examples of how Ubuntu aims to be the multi-tasker’s best friend. I think you’ll be intrigued.
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