Canonical has released Ubuntu for Android, an add-on designed to give smartphones the ability to run full desktop computer sessions on computer screens and TV sets. The project gives us a glimpse at the future of computing, it basically enables you to turn your smartphone into a full-sized PC.
"The processors at the heart of smartphones are approaching the power of low-end laptop processors, so we use the horsepower to power a desktop experience," said Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth. "If you link your phone to a computer monitor and keyboard, then the phone can drive a full desktop session."
Canonical is marketing the software to carriers and handset manufacturers, who can then market their devices as alternatives to purchasing desktop PCs. Users would not have to install any software, but rather just connect their phones to a monitor and keyboard when they need a full desktop interface. "The handset manufacturers have had this longstanding view that the desktop of the future is the phone, but they struggled to get the balance right," Shuttleworth said.
To be able to use the Ubuntu add-on, you need a smartphone with Android 2.3 or newer, a dual-core processor, 512MB RAM, at least 2GB of available storage capacity, and a HDMI output. Canonical is also working on a smartphone operating system, but this is a separate project that isn't expected to be ready until 2014.