Monday, July 22, 2013

Ubuntu Edge: Convergence in the palm of your hand

Several years ago I was having a conversation with a bunch of colleagues of mine, most of whom would not be described as linux or ubuntu advocates. Seeing the launch of the tablet era with the iPad I lamented on having a truly portable pc in my pocket. We talked at length about the idea of a converged device. Within a few years we've seen android tablets ship (I was truly thrilled to see the transformer series come out) and phones like the atrix supporting webtop mode with ubuntu.

Still, even with a new android phone in my hand I want something a bit more. I don't enjoy carrying around heavy laptops, so a few years ago, I stopped when given the opportunity. I finally got rid of my old CRT from 1997 (yes, you read that right, RIP old friend) and got a nice widescreen display to replace it. But I'm still running the same tired old desktop, with my phone sitting next to it on the desk. It's certainly powerful enough to do everything I need, and if not, I've got a cloud server for long running computational tasks. So, why have the tower?

Why not carry my phone with me as my pc? Throw it on my desk and I can use my big screen, mouse and keyboard. At the train station I can use it with it's built in screen, but still have local and remote access to everything I need. Then perhaps while seated on the train I use it in something more akin to a traditional laptop since I have the room.

Well, this idea of a convergent device is here, and it's called ubuntu edge. A device that looks like a traditional phone but has pc-like specifications. It runs the same applications and OS as a computer. And it supports multiple form factors for interacting and using the applications. This idea of convergence is the biggest story for me.

So, Check out the campaign page on indiegogo. Watch the video that shows off the beautiful OS and applications we're building to go with the amazing hardware. That's right, "we" the community are building the applications. Now it's our chance as a community to help build an amazing piece of hardware and run them.


  1. The problem with Ubuntu Edge that makes it a non-starter for me: you can't use it as a computer when you're not at your desk. It's all well and good that I can carry around a full Ubuntu desktop in my pocket, but I can only use it as a full Ubuntu desktop when I'm sitting at my desk, which kinda ruins the whole thing. I like to go work at the coffee shop, but I'm not going to carry around a monitor and keyboard. If there were a mobile docking station that included a keyboard and display, it would be worth it to me. Right now it's just a phone and a not-very-mobile computer.

    1. @A Nonymous kind of like you want what's on the other side of the pond but don't want to get wet.

    2. A nonymous, something like this?

  2. Hello from Russia!
    There ARM or x86?
    How into the account of Wi-fi of the standard of 802.11 ac?
    Parameters all interesting, it would be desirable to take in hands :) I hope, in the future there will be more scale batch of similar phones!

  3. Also could add booting in CyanogenMod, considering that they by development of Ubuntu Touch use their components.

  4. Tablets like these one will cause share of PCs in market to decline even further. Share of the PCs in market is already decreasing because even offices are now beginning to use laptops instead. The main advantage of using laptops is that they can be easily moved to different desks if needed. Laptop companies are coming up with greater storage space and RAM to facilitate office work.