Can you guess what’s running on the Galaxy Nexus right now? It’s not some crazy flavour of webOS, MeeGo or BB 10 OS, but rather Ubuntu for phones, that was just announced today. The OS is launching in early 2014 and it was unveiled by Canonical just hours ago. The platform uses the same kernel and drivers as Android, but the interface and experience and brand new.
For those of you who are not so tech savvy, Ubuntu is a computer OS based on the Debian Linux distribution, distributed as free and open source software. Ubuntu became last year the most popular Linux distribution across desktops and laptops. Back to the current day, Ubuntu relies heavily on gestures for navigation purposes. This seems to be a trend lately, with Windows 8, MeeGo (RIP) and BlackBerry 10 based on gestures as well. Each of the 4 corners of the display can be used to trigger a gesture.
If you perform a short swipe from the left, you’ll see you favourite apps, while a long swipe takes you to all the apps. Also, a swipe from the right accesses the last used app, while a swipe from the bottom shows menu controls in the app you’re using. If you swipe down from the top you get your notification area/messages. Ubuntu is based on HTML5 web apps and it can’t run Android apps, that are incompatible between the two platforms. Canonical also changed the concept of lockscreen, now allowing you to access all the side gestures from the start, without an intermediate section.
More details in the video below and right now the only device running te OS is Galaxy Nexus, apparently.