Ubuntu for smartphones coming in late summer?

US open source house Canonical, the developer behind the popular and user-friendly Ubuntu Linux distribution hinted that the smartphone version of the OS, Ubuntu Touch, may be ready for release in the summer or autumn.

The company revealed in January that it had a version of its operating system for smartphones ready to deploy for carrier testing, but said this week that it will have a version ready for day-to-day usage by the end of May.

Rick Spencer, VP of Ubuntu Engineering, said: “We should drive as hard as we can to making it so that we can use our phones with Ubuntu Touch as our real daily phones as soon as possible. Really eat our own dogfood, so to speak. So, we committed our teams to making it so that by end of May, the phone images will be usable as our daily phones.”

What this means is that the Ubuntu Touch installation will be stable enough for every day usage to make and receive phone calls and SMS; web browsing; wifi; importing and editing of contacts; and a fully working proximity sensor.

Come May, Spencer expects development to really take off, ticking off other missing features as it goes. “Of course, there will be a lot missing. Off the bat, I can thinking of things like the ability to find and install new apps, hardware not working on certain reference hardware (camera on Nexus 7 for example?), lots of missing features in existing apps, etc… However, in my experience, progress accelerates when people are using, in addition to building, software.”

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