Theme Thursday: Ubuntu HD for GO Launcher

Theme Thursday: Ubuntu HD for GO Launcher

Aug 30, 2012

Many people have not heard about Ubuntu or even have the slightest idea as to what Linux is. As a Linux user for over a few years I have come to enjoy the simple and attractive styling of Linux’s most popular distro. While surfing the Google Play store looking for a clean and new theme for my phone I figured why not try to emulate the operating system that I was currently using. There are a myriad of Ubuntu options on the Play store but the one I am going to look at this week will be Ubuntu HD by developer Shivmanas.

Fortunately for Ubunutu HD it lives up to its HD suffix by delivering great, high quality icons that really reflect the nature of Ubuntu’s core styling. There are a large selection of icons and because the change is subtle, non-custom icons do not look out of place. This makes for a very seamless and well constructed theme because there is not that abrupt of a difference between the theme icons and the loners that plagues most other themes. A nice touch that is somewhat controversial is the change of the home button to a Ubuntu logo. I was wary of this at first because I felt that it may have been taking the theme too far, but it truly ties the whole thing together nicely. Besides, it can always be changed in GO Launcher.

However, my favorite part of this app has to be the amazing wallpapers that are pretty much ripped right from Ubuntu. I love the wallpapers that cycle through the Linux distro and I am elated that the developer chose to include those in this theme. The whole theme wraps up nicely and looks great as a sum of its parts. For anyone who is a Ubuntu fan or is just looking for a bright, mature, and clean theme I would strongly recommend taking a look at Ubuntu HD for GO Launcher.

Ubuntu for Android Will Unify the Android Phone and Ubuntu Desktop Experience in One Device

Ubuntu for Android Will Unify the Android Phone and Ubuntu Desktop Experience in One Device

Feb 22, 2012

Android may be a Linux-based OS, and a very powerful mobile operating system that can perform a lot of computer tasks, but it’s still a secondary device to a computer. Canonical, developers of the Ubuntu Linux distribution, want to bring Ubuntu to Android smartphones, and have announced Ubuntu for Android to help get this done.

The requirements for an Ubuntu for Android device will include many phones released in the past year: 1 GHz dual-core processor, 512 MB of RAM, 2 GB of memory, along with HDMI output and a USB port. The idea appears to be to have it be something that will be a hybrid of both Android and Ubuntu, so users could simply dock their phone or plug in the required hardware and then boom, instant Ubuntu on a monitor. This is possible because Ubuntu for Android will use the same kernel as the Android build running on the device, making it possible for both experiences to exist side-by-side. So, when users use their phone, it will be a typical Android experience, but this will enable phone users to use their phones as a desktop when necessary. It will also integrate phone functions into the desktop OS, enabling users to read and write SMS messages and talk on the phone from the desktop.

This is a bold strategy, and one that will dramatically alter the phone experience, if not unify disparate experiences in one device. This could be extremely useful for tablets, as they are the typical victims of the gap between a mobile OS and a desktop OS – the mobile experience and feature set can occasionally be limiting to what a desktop or laptop OS can do. Hypothetically, an Ubuntu for Android tablet could be used to type up reports while on the go in a coffee shop from an app like Documents to Go, then set up in the dekstop mode at the office to polish and finish it off using desktop Ubuntu apps.

The concern for modern phones potentially using Ubuntu for Android will be that there aren’t a lot of apps built for the ARM processors that currently power many Android devices. Intel x86 architecture is coming to Android, but is still something that is “in the future.” Still, this could be the niche that these devices could actually launch with – the idea of a phone that is also seamlessly a desktop, and could run many Ubuntu applications on the desktop easily.

While this whole project is something that is just now getting off the ground, it appears as if Canonical wants to push this to phone manufacturers and carriers as well as the end user, becuase adoption of Ubuntu for Android will come more easily when it is something that the average user could go out and buy, instead of having to hack their phone to support.