Ubuntu issues first mobile device release
The Ubuntu development team has released the first version of its Mobile Internet Device (MID) operating system as a developer’s release. Ubuntu 8.04 MID is based on the Ubuntu desktop edition but is built by the Ubuntu Mobile and Embedded community. The MID release is targeted at mobile handsets with limited screen real estate and, in most cases, touch-screen interfaces.
Ubuntu MID has a number of reworked applications designed for better use on smaller screens. Among these is the specially-designed MID browser built on the Gecko engine that underpins the Firefox browser. The browser is designed to maximise the window space available on smaller devices as well as including zoom features to make it easier for users.
MID also has the standard essential applications for mobile workers including those for email, calendaring, document reading, contacts and a media player.
Ubuntu MID is available for both Intel’s McCaslin platform used by Samsung’s Q1U and Intel’s Atom processor, also known as Menlow. For users wanting to just try out the platform there is also a KVM (kernel-based virtual machine) edition available as well.
The development team used primarily the Samsung Q1U platform during development while it waited for the Atom platform to become more widely available.
Ubuntu MID will start to follow the normal Ubuntu 6 monthly release cycle with the next version at 8.10.
Ubuntu MID is open source software and can be downloaded from Ubuntu.