Call for testing: Ubuntu Touch OTA-11

9 October 2019

Hello again, everyone!

We're happy to announce that it is time to ask your help to test Ubuntu Touch OTA-11! OTA-11 is slated to release on Wednesday, October 23, 2019. Until then, we need to make sure it's ready to go!

How can I test?

We want to ensure that every release we ship is better than the previous, so we're looking to our entire community to help us with QA (Quality Assurance) of OTA-11.

We've prepared a GitHub Project for OTA-11 QA which lists the issues we'd like your feedback on. The QA column lists issues which do not have complete test results. The Done column lists issues which, thanks to our efforts here, are confirmed as fixed. The In Progress column lists issues which are not fixed, or where the fix introduces a severe negative side effect. The goal at the end of this is to have every issue in the Done column.

We're interested in hearing your feedback on everything in the QA column. We want to know:

  • Which device are you using?
  • Is the issue fixed in your testing?
  • Did you notice any side effects to the change as it is listed in the issue or Pull Request?

Testing any issue should be easy. On your device:

  1. Update all of your apps using "System Settings -> Updates" or "My Apps" in the OpenStore app
  2. Head to System Settings -> Updates -> Update Settings -> Release Channel
  3. Select rc
  4. Go back to the Updates screen to install the downloaded update

After your phone reboots, you'll be on the OTA-11 release candidate! Of course, only step 4 is required if you are already on the rc channel, this update will come through as normal.

You will receive an image named (2019-W41) or newer. You can find your image version in System Settings -> About -> OS.

Now you can pick any issue in the QA column in the OTA-11 project, then ensure that you are not able to reproduce it. If you can't reproduce the issue, the fix worked! If you can still reproduce the issue (or you notice something else isn't right), we want to know about that too. Leave a comment with your device and image version, then let us know the results of your test.

We also have a OTA-11 Call for Testing forum post where we can discuss any questions you may have about anything that comes up during your testing.

What's new?

We were calling this a "small release" originally. Our plan was to cover the backlog of pull requests that weren't quite ready for OTA-10. It turns out, that made this "small" update not small at all.

Your keyboard, now smarter

Kugi has outdone himself this time. With this update you'll find a new way to edit text via the Ubuntu Touch on-screen keyboard: the Advanced Text Functions. Using this feature, you can move around your typed text, undo and redo actions, move around a text selection rectangle, and use the cut/copy/paste commands, all from the same overlay. To get started, press and hold the space bar!

We are still unsure about the discoverability of this feature, so stay tuned for changes that will make it even easier to find and use!

This update also adds the option of a Dvorak keyboard layout for the refined OSK user. The PR included fixes to allow multiple keyboard layouts to share the same correction dictionary and word overrides. Huge thanks, zoenb!

Rounding off the updates to the keyboard are improvements to the Polish layout, removing some diacritics that are not used in the language (Thanks, Daniel20000522!); the same treatment for the French-Swiss layout (Thanks, wilfridd!); and a tweak to the Japanese layout so that it respects your settings better (Thanks, Fuseteam!). If you'd like to get in on the keyboard-improving action, Tallero added instructions for building and testing the keyboard to its Readme at https://github.com/ubports/keyboard-component.

It browses better

It wouldn't be an Ubuntu Touch release without a section dedicated to our in-house Morph Browser. Morph is a project which embeds Qt's integration of Chromium, QtWebEngine. This allows us to focus on making the browser itself rather than its engine.

Chris changed about 4,000 lines of code (not counting the gettext translation files) to bring us the Domain Permissions model. This adds some important features that were previously missing:

  • Page zoom level is now saved per-site rather than per-tab
  • Users may set "Always allow" or "Always deny" on location access per-site
  • Sites may launch other apps via custom URL handlers, such as tel:// to launch the dialer with a number pre-filled.
  • Users may blacklist access to certain sites or block access to all but their choice of whitelisted sites.

Push notifications for all

Ubuntu Touch has provided a battery-friendly push notification service since before we maintained it. However, some users did not know that the service required them to log in with an Ubuntu One account before their device would register. This made sense when users had to sign in to Ubuntu One in order to install apps, but it had become more than a little strange lately.

To fix this, Rodney removed the account requirement from the client and server. Now all devices will be able to receive notifications for apps which support the service.

And more

There are many more changes included in this release that can't quite merit their own section, but deserve to be mentioned.

Ratchanan and Alfred made some huge changes that facilitate more hardware on devices that shipped with Android 7.1. We've merged many hooks for audio support, especially for calls. Nexus 5 users will be very happy to learn that we've narrowed down and fixed a problem that would cause the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth hardware to lock up from time to time, using a ton of CPU and battery.

Multiple contributors have been investigating issues related to MMS support on Ubuntu Touch. In particular, Raphaël and parksjr fixed issues with the display and management of MMS messages. Others have been looking into issues around receiving MMS messages.

We'd like to extend a huge thanks to everyone who helped make this release possible as our effort continues to be split between the "normal" release channels and the "Edge" channel. That division of our energies will come to an end soon. We'll talk more about that in the release announcement.

Changelog

What follows is a changelog for this release of Ubuntu Touch. Only changes from UBports contributors are included, those which come from upstream Ubuntu are not listed.

Note that this release does NOT include the latest upstream versions of either Mir or Unity8. That transition is ongoing and is tracked in the Unity8+Mir upgrade project.

This update has added SDK version 16.04.3. If you would only like your apps to be installable on this latest version of Ubuntu Touch, please add this framework version to your manifest.

[Brian Douglass]

[Rodney Dawes]

[Joan "Cibersheep"]

[Dalton Durst]

[Daniel20000522]

[Chris Clime]

[erik-kueng] *

[Raphaël Fery] *

["parksjr"] *

["Fuseteam"]

[Kugi Eusebio]

["zoenb"] *

[Jonatan Zeidler]

[Luca Weiss]

[Alberto Mardegan]

[Marius Gripsgard]

["0312birdzhang"] *

["Tallero"] *

[Ratchanan Srirattanamet]

[Jan Sprinz]

["fredldotme"]

["wilfridd"] *

["saveurlinux"] *