Ubuntu Touch is the privacy and freedom-respecting mobile operating system by UBports. Today we are happy to announce the release of Ubuntu Touch OTA-17, our sixteenth stable update to the system! OTA-17 will be available for the following supported Ubuntu Touch devices over the next week:
LG Nexus 5
LG Nexus 4
BQ E5 HD Ubuntu Edition
BQ E4.5 Ubuntu Edition
Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition
Meizu Pro 5 Ubuntu Edition
BQ M10 (F)HD Ubuntu Edition
Nexus 7 2013 (Wi-Fi and LTE models)
Sony Xperia X
Sony Xperia X Compact
Sony Xperia X Performance
Sony Xperia XZ
Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
Huawei Nexus 6P
OnePlus 3 and 3T
Xiaomi Redmi 4X
Google Pixel 3a
Xiaomi Redmi 3s/3x/3sp (land)
Xiaomi Redmi Note 7
Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro
Xiaomi Mi A2
Samsung Galaxy S3 Neo+ (GT-I9301I)
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
The Pine64 PinePhone and PineTab are updated independently of the rest of these devices. The stable channel for the PinePhone and PineTab will not receive an update labeled "OTA-17".
New devices this cycle
With this update we have new devices officially joining the release cadence! This means that these devices will now have a "Stable" update channel available in System Settings -> Updates -> Update Settings -> Channels. You can install Ubuntu Touch on these devices using the UBports Installer:
Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro by Alberto
Xiaomi Redmi 3s/3x/3sp (land) by "areyoudeveloper"
If you're a porter with a near-ready device that is not in the above list, make sure it can be installed with the UBports Installer and has an entry on devices.ubuntu-touch.io.
Before we start, we thought we'd share our newest video production with you: A love letter to our community, from our community on YouTube. This video tells the story of many of our contributors (and, therefore, our community): who we are, how we got here, and why we do what we do. Maybe you'll see a bit of yourself in the people we interviewed... I sure did.
As promised in the OTA-16 release post, this release is where we slow down for a bit. We're working hard to bring you Ubuntu Touch based on Ubuntu 20.04. However, this release is still based on Ubuntu 16.04. Since most of our time is spent on Ubuntu 20.04, there's less time to review and merge fixes and new features for the regular OTA releases. With that said, we've got a few neat new things to show off!
Ubuntu Touch now has support for NFC hardware in most of our devices running with Android 9 hardware compatibility, including the Pixel 3a and Volla Phone. NFC support gives app developers the ability to read or write NFC tags; or even to communicate with another device using the protocol. People have already been thinking up ideas for how to use NFC features to read from passive medical monitors... This is a feature that seems to make people very excited. You can find some demo apps for this feature on Alfred's GitHub, ut-nfcd-p2p-demo showcases support for two Ubuntu Touch devices communicating while ut-nfcd-ndev-demo shows off reading and writing NFC tags.
Camera flash, zoom, rotation, and focus was fixed on many supported Ubuntu Touch devices, including the OnePlus One. This fix was discovered almost entirely on accident... It was brought back into our mainline development from our android 9 branches, and only a few days later did anyone discover its effects on the older devices.
A new Macedonian keyboard layout was added by "Boriseto." Lionel fixed word prediction services failing to load on the swiss-french and english-dvorak keyboard layouts.
In device-specific news, Libertine containers will now be set up correctly on the OnePlus 3. The Pixel 3a now has working thumbnail generation, vibration works immediately on startup, and its battery life is much improved (my Pixel 3a XL just idled with WiFi and cellular on for 2 days, and still had 20% left in the tank). We worked around an issue with trust-store and online-accounts on the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 - opening these features no longer freezes the devices, but you may need to retry the operation to get it to work correctly. Automatic screen brightness was fixed on the Volla Phone (for real this time).
We've updated Mir from v1.2.0 to v1.8.1. We have had no reports of breakage related to this update, which is a great testament to the software's stability.
And as always, we'd like to thank Joan for the OTA-17 release mascot, the tangram bee. This release involved a lot of hard work by many individuals and introduced new ways to communicate.
We've made great progress on Ubuntu Touch based on Ubuntu 20.04. We are now able to launch Lomiri, launch apps to display in Lomiri, and launch apps via a systemd user session. The problem is that all of these are separate! Putting them all together will bring us much closer to our first public milestone for the project: providing the first Ubuntu Touch image based on Ubuntu 20.04.
Don't worry, your phone won't be moving to a new Ubuntu base until we're sure the software is ready. But we're happy with the progress we've made so far, and each task completed unblocks several others. This is allowing us to work faster and faster.
Ubuntu Touch OTA-18 will be another release based on Ubuntu 16.04. It will also be another smaller release like this one. However, you can be sure it'll be packed with thoughtful features and fixes contributed by the UBports Community.
How to get OTA-17
Existing Ubuntu Touch users
Existing users of Ubuntu Touch on Stable channel (which is selected by default in the UBports Installer) will receive the OTA-17 upgrade through the Updates screen of System Settings. Devices will randomly receive the update starting today through May 19. This spread is to give us time to interrupt a bad update in the future (should that ever become necessary), not to accommodate any bandwidth restrictions.
If you would like to receive the update immediately, turn on ADB access and issue the following command over `adb shell`:
sudo system-image-cli -v -p 0 --progress dots
Your device should then download the update and install it. This process may take a while, depending on your download speed.
New Ubuntu Touch users
You will find instructions for installing Ubuntu Touch on your device at devices.ubuntu-touch.io.
"I found an issue!"
Have you found a bug? We want to know!
You can follow our Bug Reporting document to learn how to present the information we'll need to confirm and fix your issue. Every bit helps. The best way to improve Ubuntu Touch is to use it and then tell us about the experience.
You should always check to see whether your bug has already been reported on ubports/ubuntu-touch on Github. Browsing open bugs is worth doing, even if you have nothing to report. This ensures that you can watch for any of the open issues and help fix them by providing more information.
A manually-compiled changelog for this release is posted at https://forums.ubports.com/topic/6123/ubuntu-touch-ota-17-changelog