A cloud-based smartphone with Anbox Cloud, the new thing that Canonical plans together with Vodafone

Canonical and Vodafone partner to create an Anbox Cloud-based phone

reading this news, published by Canonical Last February 28, a geek streak made me think, in English, «Oh, my god, here we go again». And it is that now a little less than ten years ago, the company responsible for Ubuntu and led by Mark Shuttleworth announced something that sounded very good: an operating system that would work on any device, be it mobile or desktop. Ubuntu Touch has remained of that, but thanks to the fact that UBports decided to go ahead with the project. And it is not the best we can install on a Linux mobile.

But here's Canonical again wanting to get into the mobile phone arena, albeit this time in a very different way. It will collaborate with Vodafone to test new technology that uses the Anbox Cloud and the power of mobile phone networks to turn televisions, computers and wearables and other devices into "cloud smartphones."

Canonical tries again, but with a different point of view

The Cloud Smartphone prototype will be presented at the MWC 2022 that is being held in Barcelona, ​​and they intend to show the concept of a phone that runs everything in the cloud, leaving only some basic functions on the same device. And what does this remind us of? Well, a little to what we have seen in other sections, such as video games. For example, Google promises that we will only need a controller and a compatible web browser to be able to play its Stadia. A similar concept is what Canonical has in mind.

Using Canonical's Anbox Cloud, Vodafone is able to test a software stack that enables it to implement running the Android operating system in the cloud by moving all processing to a virtual machine. In this way, the chosen device will only have to use basic video decoding capabilities, allowing simple objects to take over the tasks of the smartphone. The integration with functions that remain in the physical device such as the camera, the location or the available sensors, provides the user with an environment that does not show any difference from the one he is used to having on a regular basis.

The key: Anbox Cloud

According to Canonical, Vodafone has decided to work with them because of their experience with Android virtualization, with which millions of applications can be replicated or similar in the cloud thanks to Anbox Cloud.

And is that now they are all betting on cloud services. It is no longer just services like Netflix, Spotify or Stadia; is that for example Manjaro also promised us that it could run on an iPad. to later announce that it would be available within Shells, which is a virtual machine service in the cloud. I don't know how this new thing from Canonical will end, but if it went ahead we could extend the life of our phones, since the software would not run on them and future updates should not weigh them down.

Right now the only thing certain is that Canonical has partnered with Vodafone to start experimenting. Of the rest, only time will tell.


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