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Feb 21, 2013

Canonical Officially Release Ubuntu for Phones

Canonical has finally launched its Ubuntu for Phones OS, but so far it's just a Touch Developer Preview for enthusiasts and developers.

Canonical teased us for almost two months with the release of its promised OS, but Ubuntu Touch Developer Preview was finally launched today, February 21. In order to use the new operating system you will have to install it on a compatible device: Galaxy Nexus (maguro), Nexus 4 (mako), Nexus 7 (grouper), and Nexus 10 (manta). You will also have to flash you device in order to accommodate the new OS and Canonical has provided extensive tutorial on how to perform this task. The installation is quite simple and anyone with an Ubuntu OS will be able to run it.

So far, only a few features are available, as detailed by Canonical:
• Shell and core applications
• Connection to the GSM network (on Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4)
• Phone calls and SMS (on Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4)
• Networking via Wifi
• Functional camera (front and back)
• Device accessible through the Android Developer Bridge tool (adb)

Canonical also warned its users that there are some known problems with the Ubuntu for Phones. For example, the memory usage has not yet been optimized for the devices. It is possible to experience application crashes due to having too many applications open at the same time. The workaround is to close apps that are not being used. Another problem is related to the timezone. Users will need to set it manually from the command line, but there are clear instructions in the official tutorial.

The last issues that need to be mentioned , although the list is quite extensive, is that currently the OS only supports limited voice and SMS over GSM. Other technologies such as CDMA, LTE, Airplane Mode, and so on, are not yet supported. "Touch Developer Preview for Ubuntu" is released for free non-commercial use. It is provided without warranty, even the implied warranty of merchantability, satisfaction or fitness for a particular use.

Ubuntu Touch Developer Preview
Image credits to Canonical

ST-Ericsson to Showcase 3GHz eQuad NovaThor L8580 Chip at MWC 2013

Chip maker ST-Ericsson announced today plans to bring to the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week a new processor aimed at smartphones, clocked in at 3GHz.

The new 3GHz eQuad application processor will be showcased on the NovaThor L8580 integrated smartphone platform that also sports a multimode LTE Advanced modem, the company announced. According to ST-Ericsson, this is the fastest chip aimed at the mobile market, and it should prove the company’s leadership in the development of wireless chips. The company notes that it will launch the new NovaThor L8580 platform with an eQuad 2.5GHz processor inside, based on ARM Cortex-A9’s, Imagination PowerVR SGX544 GPU at 600MHz, and advanced multimode LTE modem with Carrier Aggregation. The NovaThor L8580 platform also arrives on the market with support for 3GPP Release 10, as well as for LTE category 4, and should provide users with downlink speeds of up to 150Mbps.

Additionally, the company notes that the chip will provide support for LTE-FDD, LTE-TDD, HSPA+, GSM and TD-SCDMA, along with VoLTE and HD voice. The platform should prove a cost-effective solution for the deployment of global LTE smartphones, considering that it comes with support for up to 17 bands in the same device and a single radio for Carrier Aggregation. “Our next-generation NovaThor platform is creating a disruption for the wireless industry by combining some of the most advanced technologies on the market, including STMicroelectronics’ 28nm FD-SOI process technology, to deliver a real industry breakthrough in terms of speed, power consumption and overall performance,” said Didier Lamouche, president and CEO of ST-Ericsson.

“We focused on innovation on real world use cases and delivered a ModAp that lets applications run significantly faster – up to 35% faster CPU while GPU and multimedia accelerators run 20% faster. With the NovaThor L8580, ST-Ericsson is bringing speeds normally reserved for the PC market to mobile devices.”  On top of that, ST-Ericsson claims that the new NovaThor L8580 needs 35 percent less power than rival solutions at high frequencies. At 1GHz, the chip consumes 50 percent less power, the company notes. More info on the chip can be found on ST-Ericsson website.

ST-Ericsson to showcase 3GHz mobile processor at MWC 2013
Image credits to ST-Ericsson

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