Today a major milestone in the history of Ubuntu and the mobile industry has been reached: we’re extremely proud to celebrate the release of Ubuntu 13.10, the free, open source operating system for smartphones, desktop and server.
A release for mobile developers
As of today, Ubuntu is available on the desktop, on servers and on smartphones. Ubuntu’s first ever mobile edition provides an operating system with all applications phone users need for their day-to-day, in addition to a thriving app ecosystem and a platform application authors can target.
This is the first leap on the road to convergence and having an OS to rule all devices and form factors.
Native or web: your choice
The Ubuntu SDK enables developers to easily create applications that make use of the full capabilities of the platform and integrate naturally with the OS. It contains Qt Creator, a full-fledged IDE with code-editing, debugging and device deployment features; the UI toolkit, with a set of widgets and components to be used as building blocks for Ubuntu apps; and detailed developer documentation, including API docs and tutorials.
For those writing or porting HTML5 applications, the SDK features various levels of support to cover all web developer needs:
- HTML5 apps – use web technologies to write apps
- HTML5 Cordova apps – use web technologies to access native device functions such as camera and sensors
- Webapps – integrate a website with Ubuntu and launch it as an app
The SDK also uses the full capabilities of OpenGL ES graphics acceleration, providing high-quality 3D rendering for the most demanding games.
From concept to millions of users
With the Ubuntu Software Store Beta, the final big piece of infrastructure that completes the development workflow is now in place. Ubuntu now assists developers throughout the whole app lifecycle: from idea to implementation to publishing and to updates.
Community-driven core apps
As a testament to the stunning result that can be achieved combining a vibrant community of developers, a team of designers and the Ubuntu SDK, we’re also thrilled to announce the availability of the 12 core apps for the phone. Core applications have been designed from the ground up to provide the basic functionality a user needs for their every day, and more. They include:
- Daily apps: Music, Clock, Weather, Calendar, RSS reader, Calculator
- Games: Sudoku, Dropping Letters
- Developer tools: Terminal, File Manager
These apps complement the offer of pre-installed software on the phone, including Dialer, Messaging, Browser, Camera, Gallery, Notes, Contacts and a set of webapps such as Twitter and Facebook.
Core apps have been entirely created by teams of community contributors and Canonical designers. Volunteer contributions have ranged from development, design, QA to bug reporting and support.
We’d like to thank all developers and any contributors who have in any way made the core apps happen. The work you’ve done in the last few months and the commitment you’ve shown to the project is just unbelievable, you rock!
Industry-ready: differentiation without fragmentation
Ubuntu is built for the phone industry. Equally suited for entry-level or high-end smartphones, it provides a powerful, yet lightweight platform with a clear and consistent user experience that can be easily customized for different operators.
At the core of Ubuntu’s design vision, scopes provide dedicated views to find, organize and show a variety of content types. Be it your contacts, your messages, pictures or online videos, dedicated scopes work for you transparently to bring you the best results when you do a search on your device.
Operators can customize the default experience by:
- Prioritising which results are displayed first
- Using the Apps scope to return results from multiple stores
- Customising the home screen for their service, including integrated online payment support
- Highlighting their own content on the default scopes
Coinciding with the release of the OS, a fully redesigned developer site has been unveiled. The Ubuntu developer site now provides a hub to all resources and information needed to develop and publish different types content for the Ubuntu platform, including:
- Apps – how to create applications for Ubuntu
- Scopes – how to create scopes to customize the content shown to users
- Cloud – how to create charms for Juju cloud deployments
- Web – how to create webapps to integrate websites into Ubuntu
Each development area has been expanded to add technology overviews, tutorials, development recipes and extensive API documentation to make the development experience easier – and fun!
Today it’s time to celebrate our first mobile release, enjoy the amazing work that has been done in the past six months and start looking at the next steps to bring Ubuntu to the masses. And while talking about celebration, which better way than actually creating an app for Ubuntu?