Just yesterday, Canonical gave us a sneak-peek into the Ubuntu Phone experience by releasing the Preview version of the OS. The actual version for tablets will hopefully come out sometime next year, so we decided to ditch the wait and play around with the Preview until then. We loaded it on the Google Nexus 7 to see how the OS would work on a tablet. Read on to know how it went.
The Ubuntu installer tools and instructions work on Ubuntu terminal commands, so if you want to give this a try, get yourself an Ubuntu-based system first. But installing the Preview is quite easy. This version, being a test version, is pre-loaded with contacts and social network notifications, but don’t let that overwhelm you. On the downside, web apps can only be previewed on the OS and you can’t even sync your e-mail, contacts and social accounts on the Nexus 7.
Canonical had stated that the minimum requirements for running Ubuntu Phone Preview were a Cortex A15 processor and 2 GB of RAM, so the Nexus 7 with its A9 processor and 1 GB of RAM did experience a bit of a lag in running this Preview. Also, while the Preview worked quite smoothly on the Nexus 4, we can’t really say the same about the tablet version. Maybe Ubuntu isn’t yet ready for tablets. We particularly found the keyboard too stuffed and difficult to use on the Nexus 7.
Another downside is that the Preview version doesn’t allow for use in the landscape mode, making it more tablet-unfriendly. Even though the overall look and feel resembles that of a laptop running Ubuntu, it’s possible that Canonical still has a lot of work to put into the Ubuntu Phone to make it worthwhile.
Given that the tablet version of Ubuntu is expected to release at least 14 months later, we’d say that the company might just be able to make it work well when it finally does come out. Until then, let’s just stick with our beloved Android OS’s on these devices.