Desktop-like smartphones soon to be reality

The Android-based smartphones which can work like PCs by connecting them with a monitor, keyboard and mouse, will be out in the market in a matter of months, said Canonical, developer of the Ubuntu Operating System.

 In an interview with Deccan Herald, Canonical Regional Manager for Asia Pacific Prakash Advani said that the company is in advanced talks with some of the major OEMs to bundle Ubuntu with the Android OS for the desktop convergence, based on a prototype it had demonstrated at the World Mobile Congress in February.

 While Motorola’s “Webtop” and “Lapdock” enabled Android phones are doing the rounds in the US (mainly promoted by Verizon) offering dock-able phone feature, Ubuntu-Android combination has been seen in recent times as the most viable and workable solution for enabling smartphones to act as PC replacements.

Besides the fact that Ubuntu and Android share the kernel (core of the programme), which has made integration easier, Ubuntu is easy to use and much fuller as an operating system than Webtop/Lapdock.  Ubuntu for Android lets both the OS to share the same Linux kernel so they can run at the same time.

“Android would provide the phone experience users look for, while Ubuntu, when docked with monitor/keyboard, offers the desktop experience. This would mean one address book, one set of bookmarks, one place for text messages and a common in-box,” Advani explained.

 With duel core chips becoming common feature in smartphones (and quad core for high-end varieties), the handsets will have the necessary computing power to work like a PC.

 With Apple’s shipment of phones bolstered by iPhone 4s, desktop  portability is seen as a vital feature on Android phones to provide a value addition that would shift the momentum back on Android.

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