As mentioned in the general sneak peak, Kubuntu 11.10 will have a strong focus on mobile devices. Since I did not go into details yet, let me make up for this by presenting all the more interesting changes in the area of mobile device support.
First off, Kubuntu 11.10 will get a tablet version.
For Kubuntu 10.10 we presented for the first time a tech preview of Kubuntu Mobile, the first Plasma Mobile powered distribution ever. It was (and quite frankly still is) primarily targeting the Nokia N900.
In 11.10 we will make this amazing product see its first stable release. In particular it will be the first release to finally integrate telephone features.
Namely it will be possible to do phone calls and send SMS. Additionally Kubuntu Mobile will get spiced up with a completely reworked default software selection. This has various advantages. First we will remove all non-mobile parts to shrink the size of Kubuntu Mobile down to a bare minimum. Instead of “desktop” applications we will then include a whole bunch of awesome software for mobile devices. This includes primarily Kontact Touch and Calligra Mobile, two amazing upcoming mobile versions of the well-known desktop applications.
Kubuntu for Tablets
For as long as we have been working on Kubuntu Mobile, we were thinking about expanding to the tablet as they are in many ways very similar. No wonder, that the Kubuntu team welcomes the arrival of KDE’s Plasma Active project, trying to bring the awesomeness of Plasma for emerging devices such as tablets and smartphones. All the better is the fact that they are currently having tablets as primary target.
Following this great development we will release (at least) a tech preview of a Kubuntu version for tablet devices alongside Kubuntu 11.10. At the center of Kubuntu for tablets we will once more place the excellent Plasma technology, in the form of Plasma Active. The on-screen keyboard will either be provided by Plasma as well, or by the keyboard used in MeeGo.
Which devices might be targeted by this new version of Kubuntu is not yet known as the Kubuntu team is not sufficiently supplied with tablet-like devices to work with at the time of writing. Something which we hope to get resolved in time, so that we can make our new product available to users of certain devices as soon as possible.
I do however have a prototype running on my Archos 10.1 internet tablet, using Kubuntu Mobile:
KWin OpenGL ES
More mobile stuff, will it ever end?!
Some time ago the KWin developer Martin Gräßlin presented a KWin version that is capable of using OpenGL ES for desktop effects. This a very important development for two particular reasons:
- Most graphics drivers of ultra mobile devices only support OpenGL ES (well)
- Plasma and KWin strongly interact to make the Plasma user interfaces super attractive (transparency, blur and the like)
So, having OpenGL ES support is crucial for Kubuntu on mobile phones and for Kubuntu on tablets. In Kubuntu 11.10 we will provide a KWin version for OpenGL ES, alongside the regular OpenGL version. This enables everyone who would like to test it, to do so, even on the regular PC (if the graphcis drivers supports OpenGL ES of course :)).
Amazing times are ahead! Nothing more to say.