Ubuntu for tablets introduced, Touch Developer Preview for Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 coming Feb. 21Alex Wagner - Editorial Director of News and Content
Tablet time is here. After posting a tablet-related teaser and countdown on the Ubuntu home page yesterday, Canonical this morning announced a new version of Ubuntu meant for use on tablet devices. The interface looks fairly similar to the one that we've seen on Ubuntu for phones in recent months, with users getting greeted by a Welcome screen with a large circle that displays notifications. Ubuntu for tablets supports multiple user accounts, and each account will be secured with full encryption for user data. There's also a guest mode for those times that you need to let someone borrow your tablet for a few minutes.
As with Ubuntu for phones, Ubuntu for tablets relies heavily on gestures for getting around. The OS features the same "Edge magic" gestures, meaning that users can slide their finger from the left side of the display to access their favorite apps and swipe all the way to the right to get back to the main apps screen. Swiping from the right edge will bring up Side Stage, which is a feature that allows phone apps to run alongside tablet apps in a small window on the right side. Tablet apps that support a phone layout can also be placed in the Side Stage. Ubuntu for tablets will also feature voice control in the Ubuntu heads-up display (HUD).
Thankfully, it won't be long before we can preview Ubuntu for tablets ourselves. Canonical says that the Touch Developer Preview of Ubuntu that's coming on Feb. 21 with instructions for getting the OS up and running on a Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 as well as a Nexus 4 and Galaxy Nexus. While there's no word yet on any new Ubuntu tablet hardware that might be coming to market, the OS supports screen sizes from 6 inches to 20 inches and resolutions from 100ppi to 450ppi, so there's certainly quite a range of devices that we could see Ubuntu for tablets end up on. Until we hear more, you can find Canonical's official introduction of Ubuntu for tablets embedded below for your viewing pleasure.