19
Mar
android-features-hero

"One Device to rule them all, One Device to find them, One Device to bring them all and finally unconfine them"

Ok so I may have taken a few liberties there, but that's what we all want, right? One device that can do everything that we require of a computer throughout our daily lives. Smartphone by day, desktop by night.

Fortunately, we aren't the only ones who think that this is a great idea; the Ubuntu team has already announced plans to transform your smartphone into a proper computer when it's placed in a docking station, and with the release of Linux 3.3, this just got easier for OEMs to do as well.

Up until now, the Android project has been kept completely separate from the Linux kernel because developers from both projects couldn't agree on how they should be merged. This is now a thing of the past, and the latest update to the kernel has started the merging process between Android and Linux. Kernel Newbies has commented on the release, saying that

Various Android subsystems and features have already been merged, and more will follow in the future. This will make things easier for everybody, including the Android mod community, or Linux distributions that want to support Android programs.

We may not see a significant impact from this change immediately, but it means that over the coming months and years, it will be much easier for Linux developers to support Android programs and vice-versa.

With both camps set to benefit from the merging it will hopefully go ahead at full speed in future releases, and you never know, we might all be using crossover Android / Linux devices sooner than we think!

Source: Kernel Newbies

John Thompson
John's been addicted to technology ever since he tinkered with his first custom built PC when he was 10 years old. He's also the proud owner of seven Amazon Kindles, but only because he destroyed the first six.

  • B.G

    There are not many moments that redefine computing, that are truly disruptive, that bring real progress and chenge to the table. This is one of them.

  • kam

    if done well, this could be a big win

  • Jonathan

    Could be Amazing,

  • sgtguthrie

    I'm not a developer, but anything that makes the process more uniform between devices, oem's, and even android versions is a win for sure!!!

  • http://alldroid.blogspot.com Blizard

    This is amazing news!

  • Rob

    I'm actualy not that excited about the whole "Phone is an Ubuntu desktop" thing. I just want to plug my phone into my laptop and use my Android apps that are installed on my phone in Linux Mint.

  • Daniel

    I'm not sure about this on a phone.
    But if they get this working on the Asus Transformer Prime it would blow anything out of the water.

    • Charles

      Should work on any version of Android just deals with the kernel

  • Darrell V

    I would be more excited if Oneiric Ocelot never existed, or if it weren't Canonical doing the merging--the last thing a smartphone needs is more bloatware, and unfortunately, that's the way Ubuntu is heading. I stopped accepting the "It's still better than Windows" argument a long time ago; how about a Unity-less Maverick Meerkat-like experience?

  • fonix232

    This can make support of deceased phones a lot easier in the future. If the manufacturer uses the main Linux tree (and there is no reason to do not do so), it can be easily tracked down which revision they used, then their additions can be added to the mainstream using a simple diff-patch.1

    And that would mean, no more relying on the manufacturers. Users can easily get the latest kernels, and our only problem will be the proprietary codes (RIL, openGL drivers, etc).

  • J-Dog

    I love the idea of being able to simply plug my phone into a dock station & have it link up with my keyboard, mouse & monitor automatically & take off as a desktop replacement. That means if I have multiple set ups, I'd always have my files, etc wherever I was - at home, the office, computer lab on campus, etc.

    But what I'm not fully understanding is... Why do we need Ubuntu (or any other OS)? What can it do that Android either can't now, or couldn't after an upgrade?

    I can already mirror the screen to an external output (TV/monitor) with the HDMI cable, and Android supports both USB & Bluetooth mice & keyboards for inputs. So I could fire up Google Docs or any other Office like app & write my thesis on it just as well as I could with Ubuntu's Open Office. Switching from phone to desktop mode won't magically get me extra processing power, which has generally been the primary advantage actual desktops have over mobile devices.

    All I really see is a new UI & possibly access to a few apps that haven't been ported over from Linux to Android.