For a sneak peek at Ubuntu phones, try this Android app

Can't wait for Ubuntu phones to arrive? Now you can get a taste of what they will be like.

Canonical made quite a splash at the start of this year when it announced Ubuntu for phones, but--apart from what it demonstrated at the time--we're still waiting both for the downloadable image it promised to provide for the Galaxy Nexus and for specifics on actual devices.

Many outlets have reported that Ubuntu phones are due in October, but that's still far from certain. Work on apps, however, has clearly begun.

In the meantime, those who can't bear the wait now have at least some solace: an Android app you can download today that gives you at least an early taste of what Ubuntu Linux for phones will really be like.

Intrigued? Read on.

'Ubuntu Phone Experience'

Targeting both high-end superphones and entry-level basic smartphones, Ubuntu for phones is particularly notable for the way it uses all four edges of the screen, according to Canonical's early demonstrations.

There have already been published guides to replicating the interface's basic appearance using themes on Android, but none I've seen so far have included that fundamental behavior.

Enter Ubuntu Phone Experience, a free app that's readily downloadable and lets you get a more accurate taste of what the real thing will reportedly be like.

A free download

Posted by members of developer site XDA, Ubuntu Phone Experience is designed to offer a gesture-based experience similar to that promised by Ubuntu for phones, according to an Android Community report.

Reportedly removed from Google Play since its original launch, the app promises to work with almost all ROMs and devices. Users can apparently adjust the sidebar to show recent apps, select apps, adjust the sidebar's appearance, and more. A premium version is said to unlock even more features.

A video on YouTube demonstrates the app in action. Ready to give it a try? Ubuntu Phone Experience is available for free from the XDA Developers site.

Tags Business mobilityLinuxopen sourceappsAndroidcanonicalsmartphonessoftwareoperating systemsubuntuconsumer electronics

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Katherine Noyes

PC World (US online)

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