Looking for a fun project to fill your free time or get you away from relatives this holiday season? Canonical's got just the thing for you. The company today announced the Ubuntu and Android dual-boot developer preview, a new piece of software that allows users to easily switch between Android and Ubuntu for phones with just the click of an app icon.
Once downloaded, an Android app will handle the installation and upgrading of Ubuntu. Clicking on the "Ubuntu Dual Boot" app icon will then kick the user into Ubuntu for phones, giving he or she an easy way to try out Canonical's mobile software ahead of its retail debut next year. Once the user is ready to get back to Google, he or she can tap on the same Ubuntu Dual Boot app and choose to reboot back into Android.
Sounds pretty simple, no? Even still, this is called a "Developer Preview" for a reason, and so you should only attempt to install Ubuntu Dual Boot if you're comfortable getting your hands dirty by tinkering with the innards of Android software. Canonical says that the Ubuntu Dual Boot software requires ADB tools on the desktop as well as a Nexus 4 that's got 2.7GB of free space and has had its bootloader unlocked. The company adds that other Nexus devices "should in theory work," but that it hasn't explicitly tested them with the software.
Ubuntu for phones was initially introduced way back in the first few days of 2013, and the software steadily improved and continued to make news throughout the year. Recently it was revealed that Canonical has forged a partnership with a manufacturer for Ubuntu Touch OS hardware and that the two are planning to release high-end phones to the market in 2014. Of course, anyone that doesn't feel like waiting that long can give Ubuntu a crack right now so long as they meet the requirements that I named above. It's pretty cool that Canonical continues to make developer previews of Ubuntu for phones available, and that's especially true with this latest piece of software that makes switching between Android and Ubuntu a breeze.
If jumping from Android to Ubuntu and back again sounds like your ideal way to spend the holiday season, you can download and install Ubuntu Dual Boot by hitting up the Canonical link below.