Canonical began teasing a tablet yesterday. The teaser arrived in the form of a countdown timer with the words “tick, tock, tablet time.” And well, that timer has since finished and it looks like Canonical has introduced Ubuntu for tablets. There is nothing to download just yet, however they have said that a developer preview would be available beginning on February 21.
Basically, the developer preview edition of Ubuntu for tablets is launching at the same time as Ubuntu for smartphones. Similar to the smartphone release, the tablet release will bring focus to the Nexus tablets. Specifically, the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10. There are other similarities as well. For example, as we saw with Ubuntu for smartphones, the tablet release will use all edges of the screen with the left being for apps, the top for access to the settings and system services, the bottom for control over apps and the right being for the Side Stage.
Side Stage is a new feature that focuses on multi-tasking and is just as the name would imply, a sort of stage on the side. The demo shows the stage as being easily scrollable with your thumb. The size of the stage can also be adjusted to give more, or less room for viewing. That is just one of the features of Ubuntu for tablets though, Canonical is also touting effortless navigation and defense-ready security with hopes to bring a higher bar for tablet design and a “new standard for the post-PC era.”
And if that was not enough, Ubuntu for tablets is described as being the “cleanest, freshest, most beautiful tablet experience around.” Perhaps key here, Canonical is pushing this all towards being a unified experience from the smartphone in your pocket, to the tablet in your hand, to a desktop experience or media center/gaming experience in the living room. Sounds a bit bold, but nonetheless interesting. While we still have some time before a more stable release comes available, Canonical will have these developer previews on display during Mobile World Congress, at which time we hope to get a bit more information.