Ever since Canonical announced it at the very beginning of this year, Ubuntu Touch has been continuously improved and developed. I’ve thought it had potential from the beginning, and Verizon seems inclined to agree now that there have been a few updates. Though it isn’t exactly on store shelves yet, as of today Ubuntu Touch has finally reached a stable 1.0 release.
Currently, the software is available for the Nexus 7, Nexus 10, Galaxy Nexus, and Nexus 4. Interestingly, only almost everything works, as there are still some things to be sorted out with light sensors and gyroscopes on the tablets. However, all core telephony features work for GSM devices, so one could theoretically use Ubuntu Touch as the OS on a regularly used smartphone.
There is no app store to speak of – although Ubuntu does have a software store, very few of the apps will actually run on Ubuntu Touch. Of course, this selection should only grow larger, and Ubuntu Touch comes pre-installed with all the core apps that you would expect, including browser, calendar, weather, notes, calculator, and dialer apps. The interface is heavily based on knowing a few key gestures, but actually worked very well even when I used it during the beta.
I doubt that very many people will be switching to Ubuntu Touch for regular use, but this is still an important step for the project. With backing from Verizon and hopefully other companies as well, actual Ubuntu Touch hardware should be available sometime in the near future. And, of course, anyone with a Nexus device can install the software now through the desktop version of Ubuntu, so I may have to get a Nexus 10 to see how well Ubuntu Touch works on the bigger small screen.