I think the Ubuntu Edge looks fantastic. Sexy. Alluring. Desirable. Well, side on anyway. From the front it just looks like another generic flat slab smartphone with a touchscreen. But I digress. This article has nothing to do with the Ubuntu Edge’s Miranda Kerr dressed in a techno-modern dress look nor its hardware specifications (what has been released so far, anyway). It has what appears to be some pretty snazzy hardware inside. No, this article has to do with its software philosophy.
Its biggest drawcard is the ability to dual boot – where two different operating systems can live on the same device – into both Android and Ubuntu Mobile. Now, dual booting has existed for years on PCs and Macs because there are unique programs and functions that they serve that sometimes only exist on certain operating systems. For instance, a lot of complex engineering and visual design is done on UNIX or Linux systems because of the sheer amount of computing power that must be devoted to that task. That’s something Windows simply isn’t good at. On the other hand, Windows is simpler to maintain and it has games. Lots of games.
But the Ubuntu Edge is a phone that can dual boot into two mobile operating systems. One of its additional features is that it even comes with the full Ubuntu desktop OS on it! Huzzah! I like Ubuntu, I think it’s cute, friendly and simple to use. I’m even sure this is within the realms of science fact and possibility, three different operating systems existing on the one device that relies on battery power and a processor that’s been designed for mobile software, such as an ARM chip or an Intel Atom, but I have serious doubts about the functionality and speed of Ubuntu desktop when it’s run from such a device.
Then, there’s the rationale for having both Android and Ubuntu mobile on it. There’s more apps on Android. Yeah, they’re not wrong. But that’s mainly because Ubuntu is late to the party. Even Windows Phone is considered late to the party, and that launched three years ago. But you have to launch Ubuntu Mobile from within Android? Why would you bother? Wouldn’t you just stick with Android and not fuss about with an extra operating layer over the top of it that would only succeed in using more power?
The device simply boggles my logic circuits. If someone could point out WHY this kind of software design would be useful to them, I’d dearly love to hear from them because I honestly can’t come up with one reason to buy such a device. Apart from it looking fantastic, sexy, alluring and desirable. From the side.