Ubuntu for phones to arrive next week on Nexus 4

Ubuntu phone

Touch Develop Preview of Ubuntu for phones to arrive on 21 February for Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4

A developer preview of Ubuntu for phones will be made available for download next week for Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4 smartphones, Canonical has said.

The open-source firm said the Touch Develop Preview for the phone version of Ubuntu will arrive 21 February, allowing developers to download an image of the OS.

Canonical said the build is being released to give developers time to create apps for the Ubuntu phone platform, set to arrive in October, and also for "enthusiasts" eager to get a look at the early builds.

Pat McGowan, who leads the integration on the project, said Canonical plans to add support for additional devices. "Our platform supports a wide range of screen sizes and resolutions," McGowan added. "Developers who have experience bringing up phone environments will find it relatively easy to port Ubuntu to current handsets."

The preview features a tool to make it easy for users to update their version of the OS as it progresses through development.

Canonical's plan for the new version of Ubuntu is that it will work across any device, be it mobile, desktop or TV. "Developers will not need to cross-compile or package applications differently for phone, tablet, PC and TV," Canonical said. "One platform serves all four, a single application binary can do the same."

Canonical confirmed the schedule for the phone code to be included in the OS, saying Ubuntu 13.10, due for release in October, will "include a complete entry-level smartphone experience". Canonical's founder Mark Shuttleworth said last week that Ubuntu phones would be released in October.

The Touch Developer Preview of Ubuntu for phones will be available here next week.

Canonical will be at Mobile World Congress at the end of the month, and will help anyone with either handset to flip over to the new Ubuntu OS.

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