The Ubuntu project has released a preview version of Ubuntu that enables dual-booting Ubuntu and Android on a single smartphone or tablet.
In October, Canonical’s Ubuntu project released Ubuntu 13.10 the first release of Ubuntu that could be loaded onto Samsung-built Galaxy Nexus and LG-manufactured Nexus 4 Android phones. Now, the project has released a developer preview of a version of Ubuntu that lets you dual-boot Android 4.2 or higher and the Ubuntu Touch UI at the click of an icon.
Canonical has long promised the ability to dual-boot Android and Ubuntu, but the developer release was something of a Christmas surprise. In theory, this should work on any Android 4.2 or higher device, but it has been tested thoroughly only on the Nexus 4, with preliminary tests having been done on the Galaxy Nexus, as well as the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets.
Installing and using the Ubuntu/Android dual-boot preview
(click images to enlarge; source: developer.ubuntu.com)
The dual-boot mechanism rewrites the Android recovery partition, and requires flashing and partitioning the device. The procedure is only recommended for experienced users.
Ubuntu Mobile gains Qt Embedded support
On Dec. 12, Ubuntu gained support from Digia’s Qt project, which released the final version of Qt. 5.2. The cross-platform development framework shipped with new support for both Ubuntu for Phones, which the Qt project refers to as Ubuntu Mobile, as well as Jolla’s similarly mobile Linux-based Sailfish OS. As had been previously announced with the beta release, Qt also added its first production-ready support for Android and iOS.
Qt Enterprise Embedded architecture
(click image to enlarge)
In September, Jolla announced two-way Android compatibility for its Sailfish OS based Jolla phone, which recently shipped to early pre-order customers. Jolla phones can run Android apps, and Sailfish OS can be loaded onto existing Android devices, according to the Finnish company. It’s unclear whether Canonical will add an Android emulator from within Ubuntu, or settle for the dual-boot arrangement to access Android.
Earlier this month, Canonical said it had lined up its first hardware partner to make Ubuntu phones, but did not name the company. It appears that the first commercial phones to run Ubuntu out of the box will not ship until the fourth quarter of 2014, although an announcement could arrive much earlier.
Further information on the Ubuntu and Android dual-boot developer preview is available at Ubuntu’s developer site, here.