Ubuntu has just announced a device that may very well change the mobile market as we know it. The ubuntu Edge can dual-boot Android and Ubuntu Phone OS. Aside from that, it also runs the full Ubuntu OS for desktop when docked to a monitor. If this device starts a new trend, we will see big changes taking place in mobile computing.
I have always said that when manufacturers start doing this it will be the real battle of the smartphones. Imagine if Windows Phone could do the same with desktop Windows? Or if Apple could make its iPhones run Mac OS? And as Google’s official platforms are Android and Chrome OS, those two would probably be paired together as well.
The Ubuntu Edge is able to run a full desktop operating system thanks to its stunning specs. Canonical claims the device will have the “fastest multi-core CPU”, along with 4 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal storage. These specs are simply unheard of in smartphones and we are sure the fact it runs a full desktop OS is the main reason why such power is necessary.
The specs make the smartphone more expensive ($830 if you get it after the first day), an issue that Google wouldn’t have to worry about. Chrome OS is a very light, web-based platform that needs very little power to run like a boss. In fact, most current Android devices would probably have no problem running Chrome OS. Something no other operating system maker can claim.
Imagine away from home and taking your Android smartphone with you, only to get to your office and dock your device to a monitor and launch Chrome OS. Chrome OS is getting to the point where it can replace a full desktop OS for most people. You can even do some video/photo editing in the cloud, and offline features are improving by the day.
I know I would love my Android smartphone to run Chrome OS when docked. Then manufacturers could even start selling laptop docks (a la Motorola) and you could use your Android/Chrome OS smartphone wherever you go. Do you think this concept will take off, though? Or is Canonical’s attempt to change the industry unnecessary?