ConvergenciaUbuntuOne of Canonical’s challenges has always been to make it possible to use a tablet or smartphone as an Ubuntu PC. This has now become a reality, as demonstrated at Mobile World Congress 2016.

But what is convergence exactly? Ubuntu convergence gives you the Ubuntu Desktop experience from almost any smart device .

The origins of Ubuntu convergence

To understand convergence, we first need to look back at what the idea of convergence meant when the founder of Canonical presented the idea. Mark Shuttleworth’s intention was for Ubuntu to expand as an operating system and for all products to be standardised in order to meet a series of conditions:

  • To have the same code on any device: PCs, mobiles, tablets, televisions, the internet of things, etc.
  • To have a single development framework for creating apps and services.
  • To have a single platform for all devices and to be able to see all your information on a single device.
  • To maintain the high security and privacy levels which have always characterised the system.
Ubuntu for all

Ubuntu for all

When these conditions for convergence were presented in 2010, there was not yet the infrastructure to support them. With this in mind they mapped out a new vision of convergence for Canonical products and services. That convergence is now real today, as Shuttleworth explained in his speech at the Ubuntu Summit in 2015.

Standardising projects

As a consequence of all this the majority of Canonical’s current projects are based on this idea. For example, they have been adapting their software development kit (SDK) in order to make it possible to create applications on any hardware platform, thus guaranteeing compatibility. This means that PC applications can be adapted to mobile devices and vice versa.

In line with this standardisation, Canonical’s IoT (internet of things) projects use the same code base which Ubuntu mobile devices will soon have, and which is already used in dronesindustry and home automation.

Smartphones with Ubuntu Touch are now being launched by different manufacturers, notably the first convergent Ubuntu tablet, the Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition. The launch of this tablet brings together various Canonical projects which had been running in parallel until now.

The development of a tablet which offers a convergent experience is a big breakthrough and a great source of pride both for Canonical, having achieved one of its goals, as well as for BQ, having participated in another true free software project.

Convergence means flexibility

The Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition lets you work in three different ways, each one more convenient than the last. What’s more, it is fully portable, meaning you can use it wherever you go. Let´s take a look at some examples:

→ Tablet mode : this mode offers all the advantages you would expect from a tablet , as well as the advantages and features specific to the M10 Ubuntu Edition.

Tablet mode

Tablet mode

→ Tablet+ keyboard mode: this mode allows you to connect a USB or Bluetooth keyboard and mouse.

This makes the tablet switch to windowed mode, and all applications are run on a desktop-like format, facilitating multitasking and switching between apps, and given a PC-like experience on a 10” screen.

Tablet+keyboard mode

Tablet+keyboard mode

→ Tablet +keyboard+monitor/TV: by adding a microHDMI-HDMI cable and a monitor, you can connect your device to get a full PC experience, letting you browse, play, or get work done using apps like LibreOffice or Google Docs. This is the breakthrough which the Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition offers: the ability to convert your BQ tablet into an Ubuntu Touch PC.

Tablet+television mode

Tablet+television mode

An open system in continuous development

The applications included on the BQ tablet presented at Mobile World Congress 2016 included LibreOffice, Firefox, GIMP and X-chat. With Canonical’s constant development work, it is expected that more applications will have been adapted which will be available to use when the Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition is used as an Ubuntu PC.

As always, the project is backed by development by Canonical and the Ubuntu community . The project guarantees a firmware update almost every month to resolve bugs and add new features to devices, thanks to the capacity for evolution and implementation which the Ubuntu code has.

It can now be said that convergence is a reality which is within everyone’s reach.

If you are looking for a system which preserves your security and privacy and which is in constant development with open and efficient support available through all possible channels, Ubuntu is the alternative for you.