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Ubuntu is coming to smartphones and tablets. Let's take a look at the software that hopes to challenge Android. It launches on new phones like this one some time this year. Here's Ubuntu for phones and tablets running on a Google Nexus 5 phone and Nexus 7 slate, ahead of the arrival of the first phones, the Meizu MX3 and BQ Aquaris. The OS was previously known as Ubuntu Touch.
Photo by: Rich Trenholm/CNET
Ubuntu is based around souped-up home screens called "scopes."
Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET
Some scopes look familiar, like this gallery app gathering your videos.
Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET
Here's the photo gallery.
Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET
Scopes are sort of a cross between a home page, an app, and a widget, and can be themed like this soccer-celebrating World Cup scope.
Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET
You can scroll through embedded carousels and tap to see more. Other possible uses include a scope made by your network or carrier to put your account profile, your bill, and useful links in one place.
Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET
Here you can see your apps, with recently used apps at the top for quick access.
Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET
Swipe in from the left for the app launcher, packed with your favorite shortcuts.
Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET
Swipe up from the bottom when you're in an app for the app's menu.
Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET
Swipe in from the right to scroll back and forth through your currently open apps with this multitasking carousel.
Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET
The multitasking carousel doesn't disappear when you take your finger off the screen, so you can come back to it if you're interrupted.
Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET
Swipe down from the top to see your notifications and status updates.
Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET
As you swipe down, scroll sideways to see useful stuff such as recent messages or your network or battery status.
Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET
Settings are also in the pull-down tray.
Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET
Here you can see how long your battery is going to last.
Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET
Ubnutu is designed to be the same on phones and tablets.
Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET
One unique tablet feature is this multitasking window.
Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET
Pull the multitasking window in from the right and you can use the app without leaving the main app, perhaps doing a quick calculation or checking a message.
Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET
Ubuntu on tablet.
Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET
The first two phones to bring Ubuntu to consumers will be the Spanish-made BQ Aquaris, pictured on the left, and the Chinese Meizu MX3.
Photo by: Rich Trenholm/CNET

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