The user interface takes advantage of the screen's edges to navigate between apps, settings and controls. The apps are located on the left edge, and swiping from left to right takes the user to the apps page. That makes for less clutter and room for more content, according to Canonical. There is also the side-stage multitasking feature, which allows a phone application to be displayed on the screen at the same time as a tablet app. So users can take calls in Skype while they work in a document, make notes on the side while surfing the Web, or tweet while they are watching a movie, the company said.
Canonical has posted a video demoing the tablet UI.
The Canonical team will be available to install Ubuntu on phones and tablets at Mobile World Congress, which starts on Feb. 25.
If Canonical wants to turn its OS and interfaces for phones and tablets into a success it needs backing from developers. The Preview SDK, which currently supports phone app development, will now be updated to also work with tablet apps. On Ubuntu, developers can create a single application that works on phones, tablets, PCs and TVs because it is the same underlying system and all services work across all form factors.
"Developers will be able to ship a single application binary that itself can respond to the different form factors," Shuttleworth said.
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