Mark Shuttleworth announced on 31 October 2011 that by Ubuntu 14.04, Ubuntu would support smartphones, tablets, TVs and smart screens.
On 18 October 2013, it was announced that Ubuntu 14.04 would be dubbed "Trusty Tahr".
This version was released on 17 April 2014, and is the 20th release of Ubuntu. Shuttleworth indicated that the focus in this development cycle would be a release characterized by "performance, refinement, maintainability, technical debt" and encouraged the developers to make "conservative choices". Technical debt refers to catching up and refining supporting work for earlier changes. The development cycle for this release focused on the tablet interface, specifically for the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets. There were few changes to the desktop, as 14.04 used the existing mature Unity 7 interface. Ubuntu 14.04 included the ability to turn off the global menu system and used locally integrated menus instead for individual applications. Other features were the retention of Xorg and not Mir or XMir, a Unity 8 developers' preview, new mobile applications, a redesigned USB Startup Disk Creator tool, a new forked version of the GNOME Control Center, called the Unity Control Center and default SSD TRIM support. GNOME 3.10 is installed by default.
Point releases included 14.04.1 on 24 July 2014, 14.04.2 on 19 February 2015, 14.04.3 on 6 August 2015, 14.04.4 on 18 February 2016, 14.04.5 on 4 August 2016 and 14.04.6 on 7 March 2019. The release initially included Linux kernel 3.13, but this was updated to 4.2 with the point release of 14.04.4 on 18 February 2016. Point release 14.04.5, which provided the latest Linux kernel and graphics stacks from Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, was intended to be the final point release for 14.04 LTS, but 14.04.6 was released on 7 March 2019 as a security-targeted update.
Joey Sneddon of OMG Ubuntu noted that recent Ubuntu releases have received lower and lower amounts of mainstream press coverage and termed it an "established product that has, by and large, remained a niche interest".
In reviewing Ubuntu 14.04 LTS in April 2014, Jim Lynch concluded: "Ubuntu 14.04 seems to be all about refining the Ubuntu desktop. While there are not a lot of amazing new features in this release, there are quite a few very useful and needed tweaks that add up to a much better desktop experience. Canonical's designers seem to be listening to Ubuntu users again, and they seem willing to make the changes necessary to give the users what they want. That may be the single most important thing about Ubuntu 14.04. It could be an indication of a sea change in Canonical's attitude toward Ubuntu users."
Jack Wallin writing for TechRepublic termed Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, "as polished a distribution as you'll find. It's cleaner, performs better, and is all around improved. Some users may say that this is the most boring release Canonical has unleashed in years, but I believe it to be one of the finest."
Terry Relph-Knight of ZDNet said, "although there are no amazing 'must-have' new features in Ubuntu 14.04, it is worth upgrading just to get the latest LTS release with a more recent kernel and default applications."
Scott Gilbertson of Ars Technica stated, "Ubuntu is one of the most polished desktops around, certainly the most polished in the Linux world, but in many ways that polish is increasingly skin deep at the expense of some larger usability issues, which continue to go unaddressed release after release."
Normal LTS support continued until 25 April 2019, after which extended security maintenance is available to Ubuntu Advantage customers and as a separate commercial purchase, as was the case previously with 12.04. In September, 2021, Canonical announced that it would extend LTS support for the 14.04 and 16.04 to a total of 10 years, extending the support date for 14.04 until April 2024.