Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu platform, said that it will this week publish images and open source code for the developer preview of its smartphone OS, “intended for enthusiasts and developers to familiarise themselves with Ubuntu’s smartphone experience and develop applications on spare handsets”.
Announced earlier this year, the differentiator of Ubuntu is that it is intended to enable the same underlying OS to be used “across all the devices which people use, be they PCs, phones or any other device”.
While the company has not yet named any vendors supporting the platform, reports earlier this month hinted that the first devices supporting the platform are likely to launch in October.
Pat McGowan, who is leading the integration effort, said: “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.”
For early adopters, tools that manage the flashing of the phone will also be available this week, “making it easy to keep a device up-to-date with the latest version of the Touch Developer Preview”. The company will also flash devices itself for visitors to its stand at the GSMA Mobile World Congress next week.
The company is currently offering the platform for use with (Samsung) Galaxy Nexus and (LG Electronics) Nexus 4 smartphones.
Canonical has also published a preview SDK and app design guides, to enable developers to create apps for the full range of Ubuntu platforms.
The toolkit is said to provide a range of documented templates to enable native applications to be created “quickly and easily”, and BlackBerry developers (and Nokia refugees) will be familiar with the Qt/QML environment, which supports rich native touch apps.
It also said that “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”.