Ubuntu Touch Q&A 23

Convergence, Dongles, Maps and More!


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Show Notes

Progress on 16.04

The developers have been hard at work on Xenial!

ARM64 now working on Ubuntu Touch, and applications launch! As many modern CPUs don't include 32-bit compatibility mode, ARM64 native mode on UT can start to make use of more modern CPUs.

There has also been work on a Nexus 5X port (including a 64-bit port), running on Halium. It's still a work in progress, but it boots to a login screen.

Speaking of Halium, we aren't the only ones working on it. Many other projects have been hard at work too, and working well together (quite the busy telegram group)! Work on a unified boot protocol for Halium has also been going great.

That all being said, there is still a lot of work to be done including the following:

  • Apps need to be compiled with newer libraries
  • Testing and Quality assurance
  • Continued development on Mir & Unity 8 (Ping Marius @mariogrip if interested)
  • Work on Documentation (Ping Dalton @universalsuperbox if interested)


The UBports Docs are being translated into various languages! You can find the languages option on the lower left-hand corner (where it says "v: latest"). The current languages are:

  • Catalan
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Romanian
  • Spanish
  • Turkish

If you know one (or more!) of these languages, don't hesitate to help!

Unity 8 Desktop

Unity 8 on the desktop as also been coming together. While it's both good and pretty, it's not 'pretty good'.

Work still needs to be done to get Unity 8 working properly on Nvidia GPUs. However, a Developer ISO will be coming out soon, so if you're interested in testing Unity 8, then get excited!

If you are a developer and already know a bit about Unity 8 development, help is appreciated, so go ping @mariogrip!


Clickable support in 16.04 is also being refined. Experimental support for Docker is available, but still needs to be worked on.

VPN Support

Support for using a VPN is also going to be added to Ubuntu Touch! Instructions on connecting to a VPN will be available soon.

Updates on uNav

uNav is getting more updates! The Open Route Service will allow uNav to support directions for cars, pedestrians, and bicycles alike!

Currently it works best with cars, but support for pedestrians and bikes will come soon. On the wish list as well is support for offline/downloadable maps.

State of Convergence

It's everybody's favourite feature: convergence!

As always, a phone with HDMI support (aka slimport) is needed for a smooth experience. You can, however, use other display-out options, but do keep in mind they may provide a sub-par experience (such as a >1s delay).

Both the Nexus 4 and 5 have HDMI support, so they are the best choices for convergence. The Nexus 5's extra power will provide an even sleeker experience.

During the Q&A, Marius showed us an awesome demo of convergence running on the Nexus 5. Some apps showcased were the browser (playing YouTube), Scopes, and the OpenStore. The Nexus 5 seamlessly transitioned from phone mode, to desktop mode, and back!

Soon to come is the newer version of Unity 8, which will have a fancy new launcher/dashboard in desktop mode. This will come with the newer version of Mir.

Speaking of Mir: Wayland! Once we switch to the new version of Mir, apps can also use the Wayland display protocol. This mean even more apps! They can run in Libertine, or possibly be packaged as clicks.

Where is the stats page?

It will be back, with total download statistics only.