We had already been told that Ubuntu for smartphones was going to be arriving in October with a developer preview set for release in late February. And well, it looks like we now have a specific date to mark on our calendar. That date is February 21, and in a bit of extra news, there will now be two supported devices.
In addition to running Ubuntu for smartphones on a Galaxy Nexus, you will also be able to use the Nexus 4. This should make it a bit easier for those looking to do a little playing around — especially since Google recently dropped those 4.2.2 factory image files. In terms of access, the developer preview will be available from the Ubuntu Wiki. In addition to the preview, Canonical will also have an SDK and Apps Design Guide available for those looking to get a head start building some apps.
Aside from the good news in terms of an availability date and the expanded device support, Canonical notes that this release is “intended for enthusiasts and developers.” Simply put, you are not going to load this on your Nexus (Galaxy or 4) and start using it as a daily driver just yet. On the flip side though, if you happen to have a spare device lying around, it may be fun to do some playing around.
If you have yet to see Ubuntu running on the Galaxy Nexus, we have a hands-on video from CES where we spent a few minutes playing for you to check out. Canonical has also said they will be at Mobile World Congress so we are going to keep an eye out for anything new at that time. Finally, for those who simply like the look and are happy with Android, you can get a little taste with the Ubuntu Phone Experience app.