Update at 18:05 PM CET: Both Ubuntu’s and HTC’s countdowns have ended, and there was no relationship between the two. Ubuntu, however, managed a clever publicity this way. What Ubuntu is promising now – touch enhanced experience from a single binary through tablets to desktop and TV. It would be even possible to use your Ubuntu smartphone and dock it to a larger touchscreen and Ubuntu presents a tablet interface, add to the tablet a keyboard and mouse and your tablet becomes a desktop PC on which even Microsoft Windows application can be run via one of the thin client solutions, even the presentation may go to your TV screen.
This is what I observed today at 12:05 AM CET on ubuntu.com and htc.com:
What is going on? Here is the explanation from HTC HOSTING SPECIAL EVENT IN NYC & LONDON ON FEB 19, HINTS AT NEW M7FLAGSHIP [UnleashThePhones.com, Jan 30, 2013] with the invitation:
Meanwhile on HTC’s social site yesterday appeared a table with a number of devices covered by cloth, and one of them has a tablet like shape:
(via Instagram). Interesting coincidence with the Ubuntu home page declaring:
Tick, tock, tablet time!
as seen on my lockstep screenshot above.
What is this Ubuntu thing anyway?
Ubuntu comes to the phone, with a beautifully distilled interface and a unique full PC capability when docked [Canonical press release, Jan 2, 2013]
- Leading open PC platform with huge global following announces mobile version for network operators, OEMs and silicon vendors
- Fast, beautiful interface for entry level smartphones
- Unique PC experience on superphones when docked with a monitor, keyboard and mouse
- Ubuntu raises the bar for mobile UI design, for richer and more immersive apps
- A single OS for phone, PC and TV
Canonical today announced a distinctive smartphone interface for its popular operating system, Ubuntu, using all four edges of the screen for a more immersive experience. Ubuntu uniquely gives handset OEMs and mobile operators the ability to converge phone, PC and thin client into a single enterprise superphone.
“We expect Ubuntu to be popular in the enterprise market, enabling customers to provision a single secure device for all PC, thin client and phone functions. Ubuntu is already the most widely used Linux enterprise desktop, with customers in a wide range of sectors focused on security, cost and manageability” said Jane Silber, CEO of Canonical. “We also see an opportunity in basic smartphones that are used for the phone, SMS, web and email, where Ubuntu outperforms thanks to its native core apps and stylish presentation.”
Ubuntu is aimed at two core mobile segments: the high-end superphone, and the entry-level basic smartphone, helping operators grow the use of data amongst consumers who typically use only the phone and messaging but who might embrace the use of web and email on their phone. Ubuntu also appeals to aspirational prosumers who want a fresh experience with faster, richer performance on a lower bill-of-materials device.
The handset interface for Ubuntu introduces distinctive new user experiences to the mobile market, including:
- Edge magic: thumb gestures from all four edges of the screen enable users to find content and switch between apps faster than other phones.
- Deep content immersion – controls appear only when the user wants them.
- A beautiful global search for apps, content and products.
- Voice and text commands in any application for faster access to rich capabilities.
- Both native and web or HTML5 apps.
- Evolving personalised art on the welcome screen.
Ubuntu offers compelling customisation options for partner apps, content and services. Operators and OEMs can easily add their own branded offerings. Canonical’s personal cloud service, Ubuntu One, provides storage and media services, file sharing and a secure transaction service which enables partners to integrate their own service offerings easily.
Canonical makes it easy to build phones with Ubuntu. The company provides engineering services to offload the complexity of maintaining multiple code bases which has proven to be a common issue for smartphone manufacturers, freeing the manufacturer to focus on hardware design and integration. For silicon vendors, Ubuntu is compatible with a typical Android Board Support Package (BSP). This means Ubuntu is ready to run on the most cost-efficient chipset designs.
In bringing Ubuntu to the phone, Canonical is uniquely placed with a single operating system for client, server and cloud, and a unified family of interfaces for the phone, the PC and the TV. “We are defining a new era of convergence in technology, with one unified operating system that underpins cloud computing, data centers, PCs and consumer electronics” says Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu and VP Products at Canonical.
Canonical currently serves the leading PC OEMs: ASUS, Dell, HP, and Lenovo all certify the majority of their PCs on Ubuntu and pre-install it in global markets. Over 20 million desktop PCs run the OS today, and Canonical estimates that close to 10% of the world’s new desktops and laptops will ship with Ubuntu in 2014. Ubuntu is also wildly popular as a server platform, the number one server OS on the key major public clouds and the leading host OS for OpenStack, the open source IAAS.
So this is the Ubuntu thing, most probably today to be expanded into the tablets as well.
Will add that information as released in a couple of hours or so!
Ubuntu unveils tablet experience with multi-tasking [Canonical press release, Feb 19, 2013]
- Unique ‘side stage’ multi-tasking puts phone and tablet apps on a single tablet screen
- Secure enterprise tablets with full disk encryption, multiple secure user accounts and standard management tool that covers Ubuntu server, PC and touch
- Unique convergence across all four form factors: a phone can provide tablet, TV and PC interfaces when docked to the appropriate screen / keyboard / remote
Canonical today presented Ubuntu’s tablet interface – the next step towards one unified family of experiences for personal computing on phones, tablets, PCs and TVs.
“Multi-tasking productivity meets elegance and rigorous security in our tablet experience,” said Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu and Canonical. “Our family of interfaces now scales across all screens, so your phone can provide tablet, PC and TV experiences when you dock it. That’s unique to Ubuntu and it’s the future of personal computing.”
“Fashion industry friends say the Ubuntu phone and tablet are the most beautiful interfaces they’ve seen for touch,” said Ivo Weevers, who leads the Canonical design team. “We’re inspired by the twin goals of style and usability, and working with developers who are motivated to create the best possible experience for friends, family and industry.”
The new tablet design doesn’t just raise the bar for elegant presentation, it breaks new ground in design and engineering, featuring:
- Real multitasking: Uniquely, Ubuntu allows a phone app on the screen at the same time as a tablet app. The Ubuntu side stage was invented both to enable efficient multitasking and to improve the usability of phone apps on tablets.
- Secure multi-user: Multiple accounts on one tablet with full encryption for personal data, combined with the trusted Ubuntu security model that is widely used in banks, governments and sensitive environments, making it ideal for work and family use.
- Voice controlled HUD productivity: The Heads-Up Display, unique to Ubuntu, makes it fast and easy to do complex things on touch devices, and transforms touch interfaces for rich applications, bringing all the power of the PC to your tablet.
- Edge magic for cleaner apps: Screen edges are used for navigation between apps, settings and controls. That makes for less clutter, more content, and sleeker hardware. No physical or soft buttons are required. It’s pure touch elegance.
- Content focus: Media is neatly presented on the customisable home screen, which can search hundreds of sources. Perfect for carriers and content owners that want to highlight their own content, while still providing access to a global catalogue.
- Full convergence: The tablet interface is presented by exactly the same OS and code that provides the phone, PC and TV interfaces, enabling true device convergence. Ubuntu is uniquely designed to scale smoothly across all form factors.
The Ubuntu tablet interface supports screen sizes from 6″ to 20″ and resolutions from 100 to 450 PPI. “The tablet fits perfectly between phone and PC in the Ubuntu family,” says Oren Horev, lead designer for the Ubuntu tablet experience. “Not only do we integrate phone apps in a distinctive way, we shift from tablet to PC very smoothly in convergence devices.”
On high end silicon, Ubuntu offers a full PC experience when the tablet is docked to a keyboard, with access to remote Windows applications over standard protocols from Microsoft, Citrix, VMware and Wyse. “An Ubuntu tablet is a secure thin client that can be managed with the same tools as any Ubuntu server or desktop,” said Stephane Verdy, who leads enterprise desktop and thin client products at Canonical. “We are delighted to support partners on touch and mobile thin clients for the enterprise market.”
Even without chipset-specific optimisation, Ubuntu performs beautifully on entry level hardware. “Our four-year engagement with ARM has shaped Ubuntu for mobile” said Rick Spencer, VP Ubuntu Engineering at Canonical. “We benefit from the huge number of contributing developers who run Ubuntu every day, many of whom are moving to touch devices as their primary development environment.”
For silicon vendors, Ubuntu is compatible with any Linux-oriented Board Support Package (BSP). This means Ubuntu is easy to enable on most chipset designs that are currently running Android. Ubuntu and Android are the two platforms enabled by Linaro members.
The Touch Developer Preview of Ubuntu will be published on the 21st February 2013 with installation instructions for the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablet devices as well as smartphones such as the Nexus 4 and Galaxy Nexus. Installable images and source code will be available from developer.ubuntu.com.
The Preview SDK, which currently supports phone app development, will now be updated to support tablet apps as well. Uniquely, on Ubuntu, developers can create a single application that works on the phone, tablet, PC and TV because it is the same system and all services work across all form factors.
Visit us at Mobile World Congress: Booth Number: 81D30, App Planet Hall 8.1. The Canonical team will be available to install Ubuntu on your phones and tablets at Mobile World Congress. Note: Ubuntu Touch Developer Preview is a developer build and not a consumer-ready release.
Touch Developer Preview of Ubuntu to be published on 21 February 2013 [Canonical press release, Feb 15, 2013]
- Touch Developer Preview of Ubuntu for Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4 will be available
- Daily update mechanism to follow progress in Ubuntu
- Canonical will flash phones at MWC for industry, developers and enthusiasts
- Preview SDK and App Design Guides already available for developers building touch apps for Ubuntu
Images and open source code for the Touch Developer Preview of Ubuntu will be published on Thursday 21st February, supporting the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4 smartphones.
They are intended for enthusiasts and developers, to familiarise themselves with Ubuntu’™s smartphone experience and develop applications on spare handsets. Tools that manage the flashing of the phone will be available on the same day in the Ubuntu archives, making it easy to keep a device up to date with the latest version of the Touch Developer Preview.
Attendees of Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, 25th – 28th February can have their phones flashed to Ubuntu by Canonical team members at the Ubuntu stand, booth number 81D30, App Planet Hall 8.1, where Ubuntu will be shown on a range of devices.
The code release is a milestone in the development program for Ubuntu’™s phone experience, and enables developers to port the platform to other devices. “Our platform supports a wide range of screen sizes and resolutions. Developers who have experience bringing up phone environments will find it relatively easy to port Ubuntu to current handsets” said Pat McGowan, who leads the integration effort that produced the images being released. “We look forward to adding support for additional devices for everyday testing and experimentation.”
The install process and supported device list are maintained at wiki.ubuntu.com/TouchInstallProcess and will be updated as new devices are added.
The release also marks the start of a new era for Ubuntu, with true convergence between devices. When complete, the same Ubuntu code will deliver a mobile, tablet, desktop or TV experiences depending on the device it is installed on, or where it is docked. Ubuntu 13.10 (due in October) will include a complete entry-level smartphone experience.
Canonical has published a Preview SDK and App Design Guides to allow developers to create applications for the full range of Ubuntu platforms. The toolkit provides a range of documented templates to enable native applications to be created quickly and easily. The App Design Guides explain how these templates can be used to design and build beautiful and usable apps. Blackberry Touch developers will be familiar with the Qt/QML environment, which supports rich native touch apps. Developers will not need to cross-compile or package applications differently for phone, tablet, PC and TV. One platform serves all four, a single application binary can do the same.
On Ubuntu, native and web or HTML5 applications sit as equal citizens and so those developers already developing HTML5 applications will easily gain support for Ubuntu.
“This release marks the threshold of wider engagement – both with industry and community.” says Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu. “For developers, contributors and partners, there is now a coherent experience that warrants attention. The cleanest, most stylish mobile interface around.”
Go to wiki.ubuntu.com/TouchInstallProcess to download Touch Developer Preview of Ubuntu from Thursday 21st February.
Go to developer.ubuntu.com to download the SDK to develop applications for Ubuntu.
Go to http://design.ubuntu.com/apps to read the Apps Design Guide giving advice about designing and building beautiful and usable apps for Ubuntu on the phone.
Visit Canonical at Mobile World Congress: Booth Number: 81D30, App Planet Hall 8.1.
Introducing the New HTC One [HTC YouTube channel, Feb 19, 2013]
- HTC One gets official – metal chassis, 1080p display, ‘Ultrapixel’ camera [AndroidCentral.com, Feb 19, 2013]
- HTC One: Your guide to the 2013 Android reboot [AndroidCentral.com, Feb 19, 2013]
- Official HTC One specs [AndroidCentral.com, Feb 19, 2013]
- New HTC One – First Look [HTC YouTube channel, Feb 19, 2013]
- Introducing The New HTC One®, A New Perspective On Smartphones [HTC press release, Feb 19, 2013]
HTC BlinkFeedTM, HTC ZoeTM and HTC BoomSoundTM Deliver HTC One’s Unprecedented New Smartphone Experience
HTC, a global leader in mobile innovation and design, today announced its new flagship smartphone, the new HTC One. Crafted with a distinct zero-gap aluminium unibody, the new HTC One introduces HTC BlinkFeedTM, HTC ZoeTM and HTC BoomSoundTM, key new HTC Sense® innovations that reinvent the mobile experience and set a new standard for smartphones.
“People today immerse themselves in a constant stream of updates, news and information. Although smartphones are one of the main ways we stay in touch with the people and information we care about, conventional designs have failed to keep pace with how people are actually using them,” said Peter Chou, CEO of HTC Corporation. “A new, exciting approach to the smartphone is needed and with the new HTC One, we have re-imagined the mobile experience from the ground up to reflect this new reality.”
HTC BlinkFeed: A personal live stream right on the home screen
At the centre of the new HTC One experience is HTC BlinkFeed. HTC BlinkFeed is a bold new experience that transforms the home screen into a single live stream of personally relevant information such as social updates, entertainment and lifestyle updates, news and photos with immersive images so that people no longer need to go to separate applications to find out what’s happening. HTC BlinkFeed aggregates the freshest content from the most relevant and interesting sources, giving it to people at a glance, all in one place, without the need to jump between multiple applications and web sites.
To enable this new dynamic approach to the smartphone, HTC will provide both local and global content from more than 1,400 media sources with more than 10,000 articles per day from some of the most innovative media companies, such as the AOL family of media properties, ESPN, MTV, Vice Media, CoolHunting, Reuters and many others. For more information on HTC BlinkFeed’s content partners, visit the HTC Blog.
HTC UltraPixel Camera with HTC Zoe
The breakthrough HTC UltraPixel Camera redefines how people capture, relive and share their most precious moments. HTC Zoe gives people the ability to shoot high-res photos that come to life in three-second snippets. These Zoes, photos and videos are then displayed in a unique way that brings the gallery to life and transforms the traditional photo gallery of still images into a motion gallery of memories. It also automatically creates integrated highlight films from each event comprised of Zoes, photos and videos set to music with professionally designed cuts, transitions and effects. These highlight videos can be remixed or set to different themes, and can be easily shared on social networks, email and other services.
To enable this innovative camera experience, HTC developed a custom camera that includes a best-in-class f/2.0 aperture lens and a breakthrough sensor with UltraPixels that gather 300 percent more light than traditional smartphone camera sensors. This new approach also delivers astounding low-light performance and a variety of other improvements to photos and videos. In addition, the perfect self-portrait or video is just a tap away with an ultra-wide angle front-facing camera which supports 1080p video capture. Multi-axis optical image stabilisation for both the front and rear cameras also helps ensure video footage smoother whether stationary or on the move. HTC UltraPixel camera adds many other features and effects such as enhanced 360′ panorama, time sequencing and object removal.
The new HTC One offers the best audio experience of any mobile phone available today. HTC BoomSound introduces for the first time on a phone, front-facing stereo speakers with a dedicated amplifier and an amazing full HD display that immerses people in music, videos, games and the YouTubeTM clips they love. BeatsTM Audio integration is enabled across the entire experience for rich, authentic sound whether you’re listening to your favorite music, watching a YouTube video or playing a game.
HDR recording uses advanced dual microphones and audio processing to capture clean, rich sound that is worthy of high-definition video footage. Phone calls sound great on HTC One thanks to the addition of HTC Sense VoiceTM, which boosts the call volume and quality in noisy environments so that conversations come through loud and clear.
HTC Sense TV
HTC Sense TV transforms the new HTC One into an interactive program guide and remote control for most TVs, set-top boxes and receivers. Tapping the power of the cloud, Sense TV makes it simple and intuitive to see what’s on and find that favourite show.
Metal Unibody Design
Wrapped in a zero-gap aluminum unibody and sporting a brilliant 4.7”, Full HD (1080p) screen, the new HTC One features the latest Android Jelly Bean operating system and LTE network technology to offer blazingly-fast browsing in a package that combines premium design with breakthrough build quality.
Available in stunning silver and beautiful black, the sleek and crafted aluminum unibody sits comfortably in the hand and showcases HTC’s unique antenna technology, which helps people achieve a crystal clear signal. The display also resists scratches and reduces glare, whilst offering incredible 468ppi resolution and rich, natural colours.
The new HTC One will be available globally through more than 185 mobile operators and major retailers in more than 80 regions and countries beginning in March. For more information and to pre-register for the new HTC One, visit http://www.htc.com.