Ubuntu tablet OS: screenshots and details

20 Feb 2013

Canonical has released the tablet interface for Ubuntu's new touch OS, arriving on Nexus 7 and Nexus 10

Canonical has unveiled the tablet interface for Ubuntu, part of its effort to create a single OS across smartphones, tablets, PCs and TVs.

The Ubuntu tablet interface will be made available on 21 February, alongside the previously announced smartphone UI. Initially it will support the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets, alongside the Nexus and Nexus 4 smartphones.

Click on Gallery above for screenshots of the tablet OS

The entry-level smartphone OS will arrive with Ubuntu 13.10 in October, but will take a few months for mobile operators to test and optimise, so handsets likely won't arrive until the first quarter of 2014, said Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth.

The tablet interface and high-end smartphone version will arrive in Ubuntu 14.04, in April 2014.

According to Canonical, Ubuntu will allow a phone app and a tablet app to work on the same screen at the same time, using a feature called "side stage". For example, a user could be watching a movie on a tablet, and then swipe in a messaging app in a side panel - not unlike Windows 8.

Ubuntu side stage

The developer preview will also feature a voice-controlled version of Ubuntu's Head Up Display as well as Edge navigation, which uses all four sides of the screen for navigating between apps and settings, rather than having home buttons.

Ubuntu tablet HUD voice control

It will support multiple accounts on one tablet, full encryption, and a customisable homescreen – handy for mobile operators that want to personalise the platform.

Shared binary

However, the key aspect of the tablet OS is that it will be essentially the same as the phone and PC version, and is in fact based on the same binary.

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