Ubuntu Touch Q&A 141
Newer APis coming, new and updated apps




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News and Update

Ubports Q&A 141 on 25 May 2024

Alfred, AppLee and Marius presented.

Newer APIs

Work is continuing to move all components of Lomiri over to Debian. Some changes to LomiriDownloadManager will enable use of some newer APIs. This will make the AppArmor sandboxing in UT work properly.

An error connected with the calendar app syncing has been fixed. Eastprof has been updated, making AppArmor work correctly with apps. This will assist OpenGL especially.

Mike, Guido and LionelD have been working on contacts. At a practical level that will smooth things like Nextcloud synchronisation. The ICU interface will as a result allow searching with non-standard characters.

Another aspect of Lomiri development is the ability to switch shell mode to lite. That will be able to work alongside app themes.

New way for error reports

AppLee has developed an app which will enable ‘ordinary’ users to access just those parts of Gitlab which are needed for submitting error reports, without them having to learn Git. The app interface was showcased. It will maintain a list of issues which you have notified and if you are not a Gitlab user, a bot will do an upload on your behalf. Swiping up will generate a new issue. The app needs some more work before it arrives in the OpenStore. It does not work with Github but we have relatively little on there now. AppLee needs some feedback about what users want. If you want to be an alpha tester, please contact AppLee.

New and Focal apps updates

On apps, first TimeTracker. This is a very neat app by Matthias with an attractive interface. It does exactly what it says.

BookWurm by Weston is a Bible study app. Again, self-explanatory.

ActivityTracker by Daniel covers physical activity, such as walking. It can do that in a quite granular way but because UT is very conservative with permissions, note that the app screen must be live for it to work. It will not function in the background.

The Mileage app by Mick has been updated. It computes your car fuel consumption. It works in metric and old type measurements.

Alfred updated ScreenRecorder. There is now a recording delay which prevents the app itself being recorded before it is swiped away. An edit which you no longer have to do. It can also now screen record wired or wireless attached monitors!

Alfred has made a little Node.js app so you can now do javascript development on your phone.

DevTools is another development and debugging tool for use in UT. It will work without RW or changing rootfs.

Sponsors were thanked. We are truly grateful for every donation and making a donation is very easy to do. Select one of our options.


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.

Alfred´s apps development

Fuseteam asked whether Alfred’s development apps will run unconfined for the purpose of making the symlinks? Yes, they create a custom directory in the Home directory but actually they run via the terminal and that already has a defined relationship with AppArmor, so there is semi-containment.

Auto-generated changelog

A user on the forum has asked why UT updates do not have an auto-generated changelog? The answer is simply that maintaining a changelog is a huge amount of work and we don’t have the resources needed to deliver that. The only option is to comb through the git commits manually. That is not very practical of course which is why we have blog posts which summarise the main points. The user is right that the only way to deliver would be to automate. It would be a terrible waste of time to do it manually every time. Anyone who wants to take it on as a project is very welcome. Our Gitlab is a bit messy at the moment so extraction of the data would currently be untidy.


Stanwood commented that a lot of new and exciting improvements have been made. Is there going to be an OTA5 soon? Yes. It will be the final update on 20.04. It will contain minor tweaks. Noble is our priority at this point.


Thedeafenguy asked about SMSplus for workchat. Are there plans to implement that protocol on UT? This about the successor to MMS. An important change is the shift to end-to-end encryption. All of this is very dependent on VoLTE and 5G so our work on those will be key. The standard protocols are notoriously loose and then overlaid by a proprietary mess, so this whole area is a major challenge.

New browser

Domubpkm asked whether the new browser is available somewhere for alpha testing? As yet, no. If you get it from Github, compile it yourself and recursively clone it you can have a look - though only on Arm64. It will take you hours. So basically, wait…

Network manager settings

Thedeafenguy also asked if there are any plans to allow edit of NetworkManager settings for WiFi? No. This is another area which is not a priority and for which we have no resources. As always, volunteers are welcome to pitch in with development work.

Marius dropped by at this point.

The question about RCS was raised with him. It is apparently just client side. So an implementation of it would be a start. Most providers use a Google RCS server. We could in theory set up our own. Apple is moving into that sphere now too. It would be possible for us to use vendor supplied binaries but like VoLTE solutions, they would be device specific. Compared with VoLTE it is much less complex so perhaps there is potential there. It is a specialist area, so if you have knowledge or know someone who does, please contact us.

Marius did a quick search and found that Google have provided packages in Node.js and Python.

Passkeys support

Thedeafenguy asked if there are any plans to add support for passkeys? Those are very much part of Apple and Google proprietary architectures and very difficult to implement. Bitwarden is open source but unfortunately written in Csharp. It would be possible to rebuild that in C++ for our purposes. There is an organisational aspect. We are not part of the consortium. In addition, it requires browser implementation and we are not set up for that. We would have to research whether functionality is embedded in webkit or is only found in iOS itself. If the former, there would be something for us to take hold of. Practical implementations usually rely on a hardware chip, so how we would manage without that is very unclear.

Open VPN

Safriddle asked are there plans to add Open VPN import functionality to UT? It works from terminal but it does not work via UI.


Kimo? Asked whether there is anything with better functionality than Axolotl2. Great thanks to those who have been working hard on it but it is just not there yet. TELEports (for Telegram) is the most complete we have at the moment. We need more developers and we need a more sophisticated notifications module.

Fuseteam noted that Signal notifications could work through unified push.

See you next time :-)

Ubuntu Touch Q&A 140
Youtube and Internet Archive Q&A audio file