The people over at Ubuntu have been working hard adapting what people love about the Linux distribution into a phone OS. From what we’ve seen so far, Ubuntu OS really stands apart from iOS and Android by fully embracing gesture navigation. Although the first phones sporting the OS aren’t expected to arrive until fall, first builds of the OS should be available to developers sometime this month. As such, we should expect to see some flashable ROMs this spring.
If you’re not patient enough to wait that long, there was some good news today released over on the XDA forums. It seems developers over there have been hard at work trying to bring some of the gesture-based navigation abilities to Android. Called the Ubuntu Phone Experience, the app provides users with a quick-launch menu of apps on the left side of the screen when touching the edge. For those of you using Apex Launcher to open your app drawer with gestures, this app might not be all that unfamiliar to you, but keep in mind, rather than taking you to your app drawer, the Ubuntu Phone Experience provides an on-screen menu that appears to work rather well as can be seen in the video below:
As far as availability, the app appeared on the Play store today but was removed shortly after by Google without explanation. The app can still be downloaded directly from XDA, however. Downloading from XDA will install the free version of the app, with a premium upgrade option available from within the app, although presently unavailable due to the app being pulled from Play. Nevertheless, the free version of the app provides lots of customization features such as the ability to add and remove apps to the menu. To be honest, it was rather impressive, making me want to see what’s available in the premium version when they sort out the legalities with the Play store.
In any case, check out the free version of the Ubuntu Phone Experience over XDA. If it doesn’t get you excited about the Ubuntu OS, it’ll provide you at the very least with a cool new way to quick-launch your apps.