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Canonical announces Ubuntu on tablets

Ubuntu on tablets has been revealed today featuring multitasking capabilities, full disk encryption, built-in sharing and a clutter-free customizable home screen.

Canonical is a UK based company responsible for commercially supporting and providing services for Ubuntu, a free and open-source platform. Ubuntu is not only an increasingly popular desktop and laptop OS, but also offers optimized OS versions for Android and smart TVs.

Though Canonical announced Ubuntu on tablets today, the official unveiling will take place in Barcelona at MWC 2013. The Touch Developer Preview of Ubuntu will be available for developers on February 21st, while retail tablets are planned for a late 2013 release.

The highlights from today’s “Ubuntu on tablets” announcement, according to Canonical are:

  • Real multitasking: Ubuntu’s side stage allows a phone app on the screen at the same time as a tablet app to enable efficient multitasking and improve the usability of phone apps on tablets.
  • Secure multi-user: Multiple accounts on one tablet with full encryption for personal data, combined with the trusted Ubuntu security model makes it ideal for work and family use.
  • Voice controlled HUD productivity: The Heads-Up Display makes it fast and easy to do complex things on touch devices and transforms touch interfaces for rich applications, bringing all the power of the PC to your tablet.
  • Edge magic for cleaner apps: All four screen edges are used for navigation between apps, settings and controls, which means less clutter, more content, and sleeker hardware. No physical or soft buttons are required.
  • Content focus: Media is neatly presented on the customisable home screen, which can search hundreds of sources.

Ubuntu on tablets will also support screen sizes from 6” all the way up to 20”, as well as resolutions ranging from 100 to 450 pixels per inch (PPI). The tablet interface is the last in a series of OS releases - which include phone, TV and PC – that will eventually be unified into a single platform at some point in 2014.


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Alex Storey, 2013-02-19 (Update: 2021-05-18)