Early last month, Canonical announced the Ubuntu OS for smartphones, which will be coming later this year in October as opposed to the initial timeline of a 2014 release. However, we still haven't heard a word about a tablet OS until now. Canonical unveiled the tablet version of Ubuntu today during the same time as HTC's event, and while the news might have gotten drowned out by the new HTC One smartphone, open-source fanatics are no doubt excited for a tablet version of Ubuntu.
We knew a Ubuntu tablet version would be coming, but it's nice to finally see it in its official form, ready to be consumed by various tablets. In fact, the new OS will be available in a developer preview form for the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 this Thursday. This is the same day that Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4 users will be able to grab the smartphone preview as well.
Just like the smartphone version, Ubuntu for tablets is optimized completely for touch, and it relies on screen-edge gestures for navigation rather than physical buttons. For the most part, everything looks to be the same, except for the obvious change in screen size when using the tablet version -- the interface itself is pretty similar to the phone version.
Canonical moving towards smartphones and tablets is a big and bold move for the company, but it's nothing too surprising, and frankly it was expected at some point, with more and more users switching over to tablets and smartphones for computing needs. While Ubuntu for mobile devices may not gain a ton of market share, we sure that open-source enthusiasts and computer geeks of all kinds will take advantage of the new OS on their smartphones and tablets soon.