News and Update
Alfred and AppLee presented this time.
Ofono and battery enhancements
Some progress has been made on stopping UT from dropping out of connection with cell towers. There have also been some battery enhancements. Most of the changes are not dramatic but make small improvements to the overall performance of UT.
Snaps and TIDE
Alfred has made some tweaks to Snaps capability. Specifically for tablets such as the Jingpad and PineTab. Also progress in development of TIDE snap package version for web-assembly. Although packaged as a Snap it also runs on iOS or MacOS. Alfred expresses support for this idea and encourages community members to help make it a reality. You can run simple Python builds on it or work with C++. It can show error messages in the input field, as well as then debugging. In future, Alfred hopes to integrate Clickable so that UT app development can take place directly within it.
AppLee said that when he had a BQ M10, that is exactly the thing he wanted.
AppLee was wearing a bracelet in the Belgian flag colour because next week he heads to Brussels for FOSDEM celebrated 3rd and 4th February 2024. We hope to have a livestream from there. It is always a great opportunity to discuss and socialise with others in the FOSS community. It is always great to meet people who have heard of UT but didn’t realise that the project is still going strong.
The News section of our Forum is the best place to post questions for the Q&A. YouTube live chat,Telegram and Matrix are other places to post a question.
If you didn't know, the Forum questions get priority.
Apps gaps and upgrades
TheVancedGamer asked when the Epics for UT will be properly updated to indicate issues and progress? If developers know who is working on what they will be better able to decide if there is somewhere they can help out. This is something that can be discussed in the https://t.me/UbuntuAppDevEN. Join that if you are in a position to contribute. Current information about what is happening and the gaps that need filling are shared there but on a more informal basis.
Canonical and Snap development
Padraic is excited to see that Canonical have renewed their attention on Snap development. Could they be approached to incorporate functionality for UT in their work? We would love that of course. Alfred’s TIDE is a Qt6 implementation inside a Snap package, so the flexibility of the approach is clear.
Access to Snapstore gives us some very interesting and sophisticated app options.
Focal and Apps selection
AppLee saw a post on Reddit recently about mobile OS. There were quite a few responses about UT but a fairly common comment was that the OpenStore is too limited in the range of apps it offers. The move to Focal was great but it has reduced the overall number of apps available because many apps have not yet been updated. Using the Snaps route, many apps will just need forking and a little tweaking to work on UT.
Plans for 2024
Equareo asked what we are looking forward to in 2024? Alfred is working on power management controls with system settings. There has been some renewed interest in backup and restore. It would be great to make some progress on that. Snaps need to be made pitch perfect. We are going to be moving swiftly in line with LTS updates rather than catching up all the time. That will mean a lot more stability. All of the energy which previously went into just catching up can be diverted to improving apps and the system.
Anyone who has questions about particular devices can go to the Devices page on devices.ubuntu-touch.io to see whether a device is supported and to see any limitations. If it is not supported a port will have to be made. Lots of support is available to help with that but there is no ‘port on demand’ service or the capacity to provide it.
Nexus 5 used to be very popular for UT at one time but it is now very old and probably unreliable. It is not realistic to expect any updates for it. Time to move on.
VoLTE solution with dual boot?
Alagirialagiri asked about the location of the flight mode toggle switch, to prevent it being operated by accident. Lack of VoLTE is a problem and can we have dual boot to overcome that? This has come up before and it is a kind of magical thinking. It would basically be the same as having two phones, with very limited means to share between the two OS. Installed on the same phone we would expect a host of incompatibility issues, with a massive workload just to overcome them. We don’t have resources to waste on that. What users want is a proper phone, not a toy. Switching between two operating systems would be an end user nightmare. AppLee commented that he has never gone into flight mode by mistake.
Ubuntu Touch and custom options
Android has huge resources behind it so it is possible for it to offer a great number of custom options. Having limited reources, we have to go for a ‘one size fits all’ approach. It has to be simple, so that we minimise conflicts and bugs. Of course UT is open source so anyone can choose to fork or modify it.
5G and VoLTE
5G support is on the way. VoLTE is a pain to do, so we can’t really say how long it will take to prepare a fix.
Equareo joked that we now have smartwatch support. Well there is Rockwork which supports Pebble. Hopefully more watches will be supported in future.
If anyone is headed to FOSDEM, make sure to introduce yourselves to us.
See you next time :-)