Android app gives users sneak peek at Ubuntu phone OS

App allows Android users to experiment with Ubuntu-alike launcher

Dave Stevenson
14 Feb 2013

Owners of Android smartphones can get a sneak peak of Ubuntu for phones almost a year before the mobile operating system launches, courtesy of an app that appears to mimics some of the OS's behaviour.

Ubuntu Phone Experience, announced on Android developer forum XDA, mirrors the pull-out sidebar that the Ubuntu phone OS will use to launch apps, as demonstrated in January by Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth.

The app isn’t a full-blown emulator. It doesn't offer, for example, Ubuntu's innovative lock screens, which will give users at-a-glance information such as unread messages and remaining battery life.

However, it’s as close as users will get until Ubuntu releases its smartphone version, although the open-source company is expected to make Ubuntu available for the Google Nexus before the launch of Ubuntu-branded phones at the end of this year.

The Ubuntu-mimicking app is available for download - at your own risk - from XDA.

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