Ubuntu 13.10, the latest version of Canonical’s Linux-based operating system, has arrived. It features the first ‘true’ release of Ubuntu Touch for mobile devices, which is supported by a number of Android smartphones including the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4.
Although developers and Ubuntu enthusiasts will be keen to get their hands on the latest build, Canonical says the release is aimed at manufacturers, carriers and silicon vendors who are looking to release new handsets running the platform next year.
The release comes with a selection of basic mobile apps including a browser, clock, weather indicator and calculator that have been created by members of the Ubuntu community. Ubuntu 13.10 also includes the full SDK and some resources, covering templates and extensions, theming and automatic orientation, to help developers create new Ubuntu Touch apps.
“Thanks to our passionate community of early adopters and designers we’ve built a unique experience for end-users and for developers: one UI framework that scales across all the personal computing form factors,” Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu and Canonical said.
The company faces stiff competition from other platform holders that want to claim third place in the global leaderboard of mobile operating systems. Microsoft is making some progress with Windows Phone 8 and Firefox OS continues to expand internationally. With Sailfish OS and Tizen on the horizon, Canonical will need to ensure that Ubuntu Touch remains a superior proposition for consumers, developers and OEMs alike.
The failed Indiegogo campaign for the Ubuntu Edge, a dedicated smartphone that Canonical envisioned for Ubuntu Touch, is still fresh in the memory. The handset was unique in that it offered 128GB of internal storage, as well as dual-LTE receivers and the ability to dual-boot both Android and Ubuntu OS. It smashed crowdfunding records along the way, but ultimately fell short of its $32 million goal.
(Note: Canonical says there isn’t an official download link for Ubuntu Touch. Just follow the installation process in the link below and you’ll have access to the latest version on your chosen Android device.)