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Android vs. Ubuntu Touch: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Updated on October 12, 2023
Android is a widely-used, customizable OS developed by Google, while Ubuntu Touch is a user-friendly, Linux-based OS developed by UBports, offering an alternative mobile experience.

Key Differences

Android, developed by Google, leads the global market in terms of mobile operating systems and is characterized by its broad user base, app ecosystem, and compatibility with various devices. Ubuntu Touch, on the other hand, developed initially by Canonical Ltd. and currently maintained by UBports, pursues a distinct ethos, aiming for a secure, open, and fully-featured mobile OS that’s distinctly tethered to Linux. Both OSs exemplify unique principles and development philosophies, catering to disparate audiences and applications.
In the realm of app availability and ecosystem, Android boasts a gigantic app store, Google Play, furnishing a myriad of apps for varied purposes. Contrarily, Ubuntu Touch harbors a more modest app collection, offering essentials and focusing on providing secure and privacy-respecting alternatives. The disparity in the app ecosystems represents the contrast in their market penetration and developer engagement between Android and Ubuntu Touch.
Customization is a crucial element where Android generally allows a substantial degree of personalization, supporting a wide array of custom ROMs and modding communities. Ubuntu Touch, too, provides a degree of customization, yet with a more standardized user experience and an interface, “Lomiri”, that ensures consistent usability across devices. These OSs symbolize different takes on user personalization and community involvement.
Android, with its extensive device support, ensures that it can run on numerous devices, from high-end smartphones to budget-friendly options. In contrast, Ubuntu Touch has a narrower device spectrum, working optimally on a select list of devices, emphasizing secure and stable operation. The operating systems depict divergent approaches to device compatibility and user experience, each with its peculiar advantages and limitations.
When discussing community and support, Android has a massive global community and a multitude of forums, guides, and support channels. Ubuntu Touch maintains a vibrant, albeit smaller, community, which ardently supports the development and use of the OS, fostering a robust environment for troubleshooting and development, but in a smaller circle compared to Android. Thus, both operating systems cater to their communities in distinct, yet similarly passionate manners.

Comparison Chart


Developed by Android Inc., acquired by Google in 2005.
Developed by Canonical Ltd. for Ubuntu operating system.


Based on the Linux kernel.
Also based on the Linux kernel, but with a different user interface and system libraries.

Default User Interface

Uses Material Design, which is a design language developed by Google.
Uses Unity 8 interface which is unique to Ubuntu Touch and offers a different user experience.

App Development

Primarily developed using Java or Kotlin with Android Studio.
Developed using QML and HTML5, often with the Ubuntu SDK.

App Store

Google Play Store is the primary store.
Ubuntu Touch uses the OpenStore for app distribution.

Grammar Note

Android is often referred to as an 'OS' (Operating System) or 'platform'.
Ubuntu Touch, being a version of Ubuntu, is sometimes called a 'flavor' or 'distribution' of Ubuntu.

Android and Ubuntu Touch Definitions


Android offers compatibility with numerous devices, from premium smartphones to affordable handsets.
Android’s broad device compatibility enables users to select phones that best match their budget and requirements.

Ubuntu Touch

Ubuntu Touch hosts a modest yet essential selection of applications in its OpenStore.
Ubuntu Touch users access applications through the OpenStore, which offers a curated selection of apps for varied uses.


Android is known for its extensive app ecosystem, offering users myriad applications through Google Play Store.
The Android operating system supports millions of applications, enhancing user productivity and entertainment.

Ubuntu Touch

Ubuntu Touch emphasizes security and privacy in its mobile operating environment.
Users prefer Ubuntu Touch for its robust protection of personal data and privacy-centric applications.


Android is a versatile mobile operating system developed by Google, used by various device manufacturers.
Android allows users to choose from a wide range of devices and customize their experience extensively.

Ubuntu Touch

Ubuntu Touch supports convergence, enabling a PC-like experience when connected to an external display.
Ubuntu Touch can transform a mobile device into a desktop-like environment through its convergence feature.


Android harbors a vast global community, providing ample resources, forums, and support for users and developers.
Android’s expansive community assists users in troubleshooting and exploring the expansive capabilities of the OS.

Ubuntu Touch

Ubuntu Touch features the Lomiri user interface, providing consistency across varied devices.
With Ubuntu Touch, the Lomiri interface ensures a uniform and intuitive user interaction across all supported devices.


Android supports extensive customization, including the use of custom ROMs and varied user interfaces.
Android users often modify their devices using custom ROMs to personalize their usage experience.

Ubuntu Touch

Ubuntu Touch is a user-friendly, Linux-based mobile operating system developed by UBports.
Ubuntu Touch offers a unique, Linux-based user experience on mobile devices.


Possessing human features.


Can I run Ubuntu Touch on any device?

Ubuntu Touch supports a specific list of devices, but it’s not universally compatible with all smartphones.

Who developed Ubuntu Touch?

Ubuntu Touch was initially developed by Canonical Ltd., and is now maintained by UBports.

Does Ubuntu Touch feature an interface similar to traditional Ubuntu?

Yes, Ubuntu Touch uses the Lomiri interface, providing a similar experience to desktop Ubuntu.

How do I install Ubuntu Touch on a supported device?

You can install Ubuntu Touch using the UBports Installer available on the UBports website.

Does Ubuntu Touch support NFC payments?

As of now, Ubuntu Touch does not support NFC payments.

Can Ubuntu Touch be considered as an alternative to Android for general users?

While Ubuntu Touch provides a unique and secure environment, its smaller app ecosystem may not cater to all the needs of general users as Android does.

What is Android?

Android is a widely-used mobile operating system developed by Google.

Can I customize Android?

Yes, Android is known for its extensive customization capabilities.

Is Android secure?

While Android does have security features, its widespread use makes it a common target for malware.

How does Android handle app multitasking?

Android supports app multitasking, allowing users to easily switch between and manage open applications.

Which devices support Android?

Android is supported by a vast array of devices, including smartphones, tablets, and more from various manufacturers.

Which OS has a larger user base, Android or Ubuntu Touch?

Android has a significantly larger global user base compared to Ubuntu Touch.

Can I develop apps for Ubuntu Touch?

Yes, developers can create and submit apps to the OpenStore for Ubuntu Touch.

What is convergence in Ubuntu Touch?

Convergence allows Ubuntu Touch to provide a desktop-like experience when connected to an external display.

Can I use Microsoft Office on Android?

Yes, Android supports Microsoft Office apps, which can be downloaded from the Google Play Store.

Can I play popular mobile games on Android?

Yes, Android supports a vast array of popular mobile games available on the Google Play Store.

How does app availability on Android and Ubuntu Touch compare?

Android has a vast app ecosystem with millions of apps on Google Play, while Ubuntu Touch has a modest but growing collection in its OpenStore.

Are Android apps compatible with Ubuntu Touch?

No, Android apps are not natively compatible with Ubuntu Touch.

Which companies primarily use Android for their devices?

Major companies like Samsung, OnePlus, and Google utilize Android for their devices.

Is Ubuntu Touch open-source?

Yes, Ubuntu Touch is an open-source operating system.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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