Call for Testing: Ubuntu Touch OTA-12

19 April 2020

Hello again, everyone!

I'm happy to announce that it is finally time to ask your help to test Ubuntu Touch OTA-12! OTA-12 is slated to release on Wednesday, May 13, 2020. Until then, we need to make sure it's ready to go!

edit 2020-05-05: Ubuntu Touch OTA-12's release has been delayed until May 13, 2020. Its original release date was to be May 6, 2020.

What's new?

Honestly, it's difficult to give a concise list of changes between OTA-11 and OTA-12. The work on this update was started in the edge channel as early as December of 2018. Work continued in the background until October of 2019, when it was merged into our xenial branch after OTA-11. We've continued working on it in the foreground since then.

We finally believe this update is ready to ship to everyone.

Highlights of OTA-12 include:

  • Move from Mir 0.24 (of 2015 vintage) to Mir 1.2 (of May 2019 vintage 😅)
  • Return Lomiri (the code still says unity8) to version 8.15+17.04.20170404.7-0ubuntu2, one of the last released by Canonical, and build up from it. This introduced a number of new interaction models, including the Application Drawer.
  • Remove scopes. The Dash has been removed from this version of Lomiri, taking the old "home screen" and scopes with it.

We expect the removal of scopes will be the most talked-about change in this update, as it will change the home screen for everyone. This topic was heavily discussed in I wanna go home on the UBports Forum, and we expect this discussion will continue with this update. The whole forum topic is required reading before sharing your thoughts, we think. Many excellent viewpoints were raised.

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-12.

We've prepared a GitHub Project for OTA-12 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-12 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 (2020-W16) 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-12 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-12 Call for Testing forum post where we can discuss any questions you may have about anything that comes up during your testing.