convergence in a box
Canonical’s plans have come a long way

A new video shows how far Canonical has come with the idea of convergence, both at the software level and on working hardware.

Although long talked about, the Ubuntu Edge campaign exemplified the concept best with its “super phone” boast: your phone would hook up to a monitor, mouse and keyboard and become a fully functioning Ubuntu desktop PC. Phone apps would run on the desktop in an appropriate guise like responsive websites do on phones.

Today, ahead of Mobile World Congress next month, Ubuntu Desktop Manager Will Cooke has posted a three-minute video that shows how Canonical’s engineering team is progressing.

‘We’re now seeing the company’s plans for a seamless experience — in real working code’

Although short, we’re now seeing the company’s plans for a seamless experience across devices in real, working, usable code.

For enthusiasts, early adopters and users Cooke cautions that the code shown here – i.e., to enable the convergence features – will only land in the Mir and Unity codebase once the quality is considered up to par.

Buggy or not it is impressive. In one instance Cooke takes an Intel-based tablet running the Unity 8 version of Ubuntu in tablet mode and pairs a mouse. The UI then ‘transforms’ into a more traditional pointer-led windowed mode.

Microsoft debuted a similar ‘Continuum’ feature for Windows 10 tablets above 8-inches earlier this year. Like Ubuntu for Tablets it too switches to ‘windowed’ mode when a keyboard and mouse are attached.

If You Weren’t Convinced Before, You Will Be Now

While plenty more work remains, as you can see, the video is still proof that Canonical hasn’t been idle and that work on getting the lauded convergence functionality working on Mir, Unity and devices is now progressing at pace.

“We’re still not quite satisfied with XMir, there is more work to do around the input stack, so please bear with us while we get the bugs ironed out and then we’ll get the alpha version ready for you to try on your own devices,” Cooke adds.

Canonical will likely demo some of the features of the single device convergence in the video at Mobile World Congress in March. Also there will be the Bq Ubuntu device launched earlier this month and the forthcoming eight-core Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Phone.

If you weren’t already excited about the Ubuntu for Devices project, this video could help.

convergence mir