Yesterday, Ubuntu.com displayed a time counter for an announcement reading “Tic Toc Tablet Time” that ended being about Ubuntu on Tablets, and not an HTC Tablet running Ubuntu as some blogs speculated, as both companies had a timer counter set to expire at the same time for separate, and unrelated, announcements.
The interface looks very much like Ubuntu for Phones with a similar “Welcome Screen”, except multiple users are supported, no icons (except for apps), and you can swipe around the 4 edges to access the dash, opened applications, notifications, and more. Canonical highlights 5 key features for Ubuntu on Tablets:
- Real multitasking – Run mobile and tablet apps at the same time on the same screen
- Secure multi-user
- Voice controlled HUD productivity
- Edge magic for cleaner apps – As I said previously no buttons, you control eveything from the edges.
- Content focus – Messages and media are easily accessible from the Welcome screen.
Canonical also disclosed the hardware requirements for potential partners, and the company clearly redefines what low-end tablet means…
|Entry level consumer Ubuntu tablet||High-end Ubuntu enterprise tablet|
|Processor architecture||Dual-core Cortex A15||Quad-core A15 or Intel x86|
|Memory||2GB preferred||4GB preferred|
|Flash storage||8GB minimum||8GB minimum|
|Screen size||7-10 inch||10-12 inch|
|Multi-touch||4 fingers||4-10 fingers|
|Full desktop convergence|
This is not completely unexpected, but still disappointing, as that means that most tablets sold today may not be able to run Ubuntu on Tablets optimally, or maybe even not run at all. If you want desktop convergence, it’s simple, there’s currently no existing ARM hardware that supports Ubuntu for Tablet requirements, except possibly some (undisclosed) Exynos 5 Octa development boards.
Marc Shuttleworth gave a short 6 minutes introduction to Ubuntu on Tablets, and as for the phone version, I really like the user interface Canonical came up with.