Imagine carrying a full desktop computer in your pocket. We're not talking about that crippled Webtop crap from Motorola, either. We're talking about a real desktop OS built in to your smartphone. Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, wants to make that happen. Soon.
Ubuntu for Android is something that we've only dreamed about up to this point - one device to rule them all, if you will. In your pocket, it's an Android-powered smartphone. Not just any smartphone, either - it's your smartphone. Pull it out and drop it in a docking station, though, and it becomes a full workstation powered by Ubuntu, complete with monitor and keyboard. Sounds incredible, right?
Canonical seems to have covered all the bases here, too; since the Android kernel is based on the Linux kernel, it's fully compatible with Ubuntu. This means that, thanks to some software tweaks built into Ubuntu for Android, you still have access to all of your phone's goodies, including SMS messages and phone calls.
What kind of horsepower would it take to run something like this, though? Honestly, not that much. In fact, most multi-core phones with at least 512MB of RAM, HDMI, and USB should be able to handle what Canonical is proposing.
At this point, Canonical is still calling out to manufacturers and carriers to hop on board so they can start integrating Ubuntu for Android into handsets, so it's hard to say when we'll actually see this in the consumer market. Canonical is, however, planning to demo Ubuntu for Android at next week's Mobile World Congress convention in Barcelona, so hopefully that will spark more interest.
For more information on Ubuntu for Android, go here. If this is something that you would like to see implemented in your favorite manufacturer's future offerings, make sure to let them know!
Update: Video walkthrough by celebrateubuntu: