The devices website has long been the place to look for Ubuntu Touch devices. With the new release, we want to chart our own course and especially meet your expectations when you buy a new device or decide to install Ubuntu Touch on a device you already own. Therefore, we have added new features to the website that will help you decide on your next device. Most importantly, the changes made to the website highlight a new focus on quality rather than quantity of devices.
First let’s take a look at the search filters, a feature much anticipated by many of our users: you can now sort devices by advancement, price, or alphabetically, find devices by the most commonly requested features, such as support for Waydroid, display out, or installer. It is also possible to filter by compatibility progress, using predefined grades for device use cases.
With the new filters, some devices will be hidden by default; it is assumed that when you choose a device you want at least some basic features to work, such as touchscreen, application confinement with Apparmor, and Lomiri launching. Devices that haven’t confirmed that these basic features work and those that are not in the installer will be hidden by default, but you can still check their status and install Ubuntu Touch on them by disabling the filter. Please notice that installation on a device without the installer is not officially supported, but you can ask the porter for help and perhaps help test and improve the device so that it can be supported by the installer in the future.
With the Focal update coming soon, this update includes support for viewing multiple releases and the progress of each device in both Xenial and Focal. We will soon be adding the devices supported on Focal to the website, but we need to make sure we have tested everything accurately, and we need the help of porters and testers to do that. If you are already on the development version of Focal, please let us know.
The last but not least important feature is maintenance monitoring. With so many devices ported so far, we need to know whether devices are being actively developed and maintained or not. This helps us get a better overview of the number and status of devices and also helps you make decisions. It is very likely that a maintained device will receive the latest updates, so take a look at the contributors and maintainers section when you choose.
We are very grateful to all our partners who have built their devices to ship with Ubuntu Touch preinstalled, so we have added a new banner to make them stand out among the others.
Porters who wish to apply as maintainers can submit a new pull request to the device repository. When you apply, your device will be marked as maintained for the next 6 months, after which you can renew your maintenance. If you cannot continue as a maintainer until the end of the current renewal, you can withdraw at any time by informing us.
Because the devices website is updated frequently, more data needs to be entered with each new version to keep the device pages current and complete. To help you keep your device page up to date, we have added device file templates that you can download and fill out. If you need help, there is also a new documentation page for the device file format that automatically updates when you need to add new data.
Some devices currently share the same port and have the same functions enabled; porters of these devices will be pleased to know that support has been introduced for device variants, which allows data to be written in one configuration and inherited by other device variants of the same port. The website will now also try to check installer compatibility for each variant separately, in case only some of them are supported by the installer. We have moved all ports that need it to the variants syntax; if you are the porter of one of these devices, take a look at your page and report if anything seems out of place after the update.
Finally, if you have some time, add the price ranges and check if double-tap to wake up works on your device and report back on the website; don’t forget to assign maintainers for your device and add the Focal release if you have already started porting for Focal 20.04.
In future updates, we would like to answer a few more questions and further improve the information available on devices. Here’s what’s on our checklist:
Informing about VoLTE support issues.
Planning how best to comply with and help implement the new support guidelines
Obtain installation and unlocking instructions from the installer (e.g. Android version required for installation).
Obtain more information on issues related to the functionality of each device.
I would like to thank everyone who contributed to this release. Kaizen for his guidance, designs and especially for helping me develop the devices website from the start. Florian for suggesting file templates and Sunweaver for multiple releases support. The writers’ group for helping me check new content. And finally Dalton for mentoring and getting me excited about contributing to UBports.
Happy New Year to everyone