Ubuntu Touch Q&A 48
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Show Notes

News and Updates

Alfred is the special guest this week.


Dalton recommended some app releases which are now in the OpenStore. Kaidan is a Kirigami build XMPP client. It is the first cross platform app we have, other than the Gallery made with Kirigami, which was more a proof of concept. More app ports will probably follow.

Gearboy Color is a Gameboy look-alike app. You can now play Gameboy ROMs that you actually legally own ! It is a great gaming platform.

On a side note, Cut-the-rope was written entirely in html5. Sadly it is no longer available in the store.

Fluffychat has been ported with the assistance of Tim Suebercrub who has made it available as a snap! It can be used right now across a range of distros.

This is convergence! The same app running on your desktop and your UT phone!


The forthcoming OTA-9 release is nearing week 8 of the cycle. We have made the decision that we will not include the new version of Unity 8 in this one. It still needs more work. But some big news is that Ruben has fixed the Nexus 5 camera bug with six lines of code. It is still not perfect. Sometimes it freezes when switching between still and movie mode. Praise Ruben! Ruben Carneiro is in Portugal and he has been working with us for a very long time. He has also added lots of device splash screen designs.

Edge channel operates in a separate release pipeline. It used for testing, particularly of the latest versions of Unity 8 and Mir. There is a new Launcher, rotation now works, there is a Home button in the Launcher. Overall it offers a much faster way to navigate and there will soon be a search function. The new Mir is very smooth and fast. But to stress again, this breaks frequently and you need to be a developer to fix it when it does. It is not, repeat not, a daily driver!

Just to clarify, Edge runs a newer version of Unity 8 than that used in Devel channel.

In the early days, Alfred tried a Galaxy Nexus port when Canonical were still running the show. Now he has been using UT for 9 or 10 months as a daily driver. He has been playing around with Sony Xperia X and has made a lot of progress. The main thing is that there is no audio. Calling “works” but has no sound… Android 7 and Qualcomm are presenting problems across devices but those will no doubt be solved at some point. The ‘Lorie’ Xperia comes in single and dual SIM versions but they are basically the same and the port should work for both.

There was a bug with Meizu MX4 not running Edge. Alfred has now fixed it using an MX4 kindly donated by Canonical.

He was heavily involved in Sailfish development. In fact he has only recently released a few new apps on that platform…

Alfred’s Nextcloud app for Sailfish will come to UT when it is done. Fredl.me is his username if you want to contact him.

Canonical were working on a storage framework for the phone at one point. Nothing came of it but maybe it can be resurrected and revived? In theory, it might enable a routine backing up function? First it will needs export from Bazaar to Git. There is an automated script for that. (In fact both Marius and Florian have written one!)

Florian and Alfred are neighbours in Vienna. There are now enough UT people there that they can meet up socially now and then, which is really nice. If there are others near, let them know.

Alfed has been involved recently in Unity 8 development and work on OTA9. Neither Marius or Dalton are in the change log for OTA-9! This is a first and a very good sign. Our base of developers is getting broader.

Thanking sponsors.


How do you squeeze a desktop onto the phone?

The answer is that Canonical didn’t. They made a phone OS then extended that to the desktop. Mir and Unity 8 went from phone, towards the desktop.

We hit a flash upload limit on phones. A printing solution we made worked nicely but it pulled in more dependencies than we could fit. Actually it is an Android partition thing, not a ‘phone’ limitation in general. It is worth saying again that UT is not a desktop derivative!

Even something as simple on a desktop as cut and paste is really difficult on a phone.

Would a ‘benevolent dictator’ would be a good thing for UBports?

Unsurprisingly, the answer was “no”. We want to be a community project, not just one person’s idea. Android is Google’s project. Solus was run by one person and he disappeared from view overnight …

UBports and Postmarket are both community based models.

Dalton says there is of course a practical hierarchy because only some people have a global technical view. Developeres make developer decisions. But we still have multiple developers sharing those design decisions.

How about the Librem 5?

The simple answer is that UBports have had no devkits yet. Apparently KDE have received some?

The YouTube install video from 2018 has been viewed 120,000 times but there is no link to our Forum and nobody is answering the questions left there?

Well, we don't have people available for that at present. We do read comments below the line at YouTube but we don’t answer. We can raise it with Marketing. Linking our website will be done though.

Are we are planning for 2g and 3g being phased out in some countries?

It will lead to reliance on LTE in many markets. Marius believes there is some support for LTE in ophono. The big problem is the absence of support in the hardware. There might be problems with lack of LTE standardization globally? We didn't know there was any imminent plan to shut down 2g and 3g imminently. Some USA providers have taken that step but there are alternatives still. We need to decide whether we need to prioritize this issue but we don’t know enough about the situation? Reports from our users around the world would help.

Which desktop OS the panel use?

Marius says KDE Neon - newest and best. Dalton uses Solus having got in a tangle with Kubuntu. He has Pop OS on his laptop. Florian uses Windows for his day job but Ubuntu 16.04 otherwise. There has been a big move to Linux recently in Austria at enterprise level but it was all Windows when he started. Alfred uses Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.

How far away are we from WebGL in Morph browser?

That depends on the Qt development team. We will get it from their upstream. We will have to fix hardware acceleration for it though.

WebChillStreaming seems to be in the Qt repository, so we might not be that far away.

#47: U Can't Touch This
Ubuntu Touch Audiocast