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Two weird things happened last week simultaneously but not related! 1) I made a typing error in the "from" address of the newsletter, basically preventing it from going out. 2) Florian and Alfred did a spontaneous Q&A recording! Hence, we switched publication. No biggy of course! Anyway, here we go (again! :-) )

Hi people, here's your biweekly UBports news letter again! And this time with a brand new, albeit pretty buggy, template design. And before you ask: no, this is (probably) not the final design. It's just, well, design hacking actually. We are working with new Odoo template design modules, and by now several designers, and play around with what works, or..., well, doesn't.

I got some feedback to write less and show more pics. Because that is what people like. I get it, I really do. Who has time these days, right? Is the fine art of reading slowly dying because we live in a world swamped with tiny screens around us? Will we move to this dream of convergence and have one personal computing device in the end? With hopefully all our data safe somewhere "up there" (I am pointing at clouds like a zealot now). Some 20 years ago I was this Dutch promotor of things open source and always got the question "When will be the year of Linux on the desktop?". And, for a while, I said "well, I think in 2 years time". People love predictions and forget them the next day. Basically, we love to hope. And in the end, that's what counts and helps us and get us through the day. So, wherever you are on this world, and under what conditions I don't know. But here is my wish for you personally: I wish you lots of hope!

Sit back, grab hold of your favourite beverage and enjoy another episode of the UBports Newsletter (while I write this edition this time with music from Mike Oldfield's album  "Five Miles Out" on. Still running the same excellent and very stable MellowPlayer flatpack instance on my Ubuntu desktop).

Greets, Jeroen Baten

p.s. I don't know about you, but having a major Microsoft product running on UT is pretty big. See the "Apps in the spotlight section for more news)



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MARCH 14th 2022

You know this is a joke, right?

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Reader mail

This came in the mail: "once again I enjoyed your news letter without any beverage and a few days too late. But I enjoyed it very much, and this is what counts in the end, right?

Anyway, I wanted to give you my feedback in the last poll for the header image. It is missing a very crucial third option: keep the current image. If you really want to go for a change consider a "none of the above" option.

Personally I don't like the two proposals very much. I don't see what is wrong with the current image either. So, there you have it, my two cents."

Thank you for your email, and yes! You are absolutely right. I will take this into account next time I do this. (actually, I already have, albeit in a joke)
Also, the last poll about the graphic got 127 results with a clear favourite being  the second graphic at 81.75% (103 votes). But without that third option does not say much. It does not grace the headings just yet, but we will definitely take all the results into account redesigning this, well, err... design. 

Upcoming elections

The UBports Foundation Membership Committee is excited to announce the election of the Board of Directors and Membership Committee!  Elections will take place on April 15, 2022 via email. You may nominate yourself for candidacy on either of these boards until April 8, 2022. Read on for more details...


Ubports Training!!!
Oh, boy, have we got big news for you! And, when I say "big", I mean, well, "pretty big".

You see, a team has been working for months on this and now we are making this project public! You know the saying, "release early, release often"? Well, a lot of time went into prepping but now we are on our way and are filling module after module with pearls of wisdom on the fine art of UT app programming.

We are currently working on the development of Ubuntu Touch App development courseware. A way for people to learn to program and create apps for UT. Draft versions of the first two modules of the course have been published already on In these modules you'll learn how to get your development environment with Clickable up and running and you start creating a simple shopping list app with QML.

In the next few months we'll be working on the rest of the modules of the course, with eight modules in total. In the mean time, we'd love to get some feedback on the published modules. Do you want to start learning how to create Ubuntu Touch apps?

Try our course modules and let us know what isn't clear or where you get stuck. Open an issue on with your question. And if you're an experienced Ubuntu Touch app developer and you see something wrong or incomplete in the course, please contribute a merge request with your suggested changes.

Last but not least, we'd like to publish the final course on a nice URL such as We're using GitLab Pages to publish the course, and its settings allow you to use a custom domain. However, this will link to our course, and we'd like to add other courses later under the same URL, such as We've not yet found a solution to this. If you're a GitLab Pages expert and you know how to solve this, please let us know by opening an issue in the course repository.

What are you waiting for? Start coding!

The team working on this introduces themselves in this blog post that really deserves a read.  If you are more the "tl;dr"-type, then at the very least read this:

  1. Every Thursday evening 19:30 and 22:00 CET we get together to enjoy an evening of programming in Ubuntu Touch, using Discord:

  2. Once a month we, the Ubuntu Teach Team, will organize a public online get-together

  3.  Once a month we will publish a newsletter such as this one

 So about point 2: We like to invite you for Thursday April 7 between 19:30 and 22:00 CET (Central European Time) to drop by on our public workshop (Discord via During this get-together we like to support anybody who is passionate about teaching or learning more about Ubuntu Touch app development.

The above means that you can actually join a (free) online training on UT app development!

Apps in the spotlight

Here are some new Ubuntu Touch apps to try out:

  1. UT Crypto Prices ( by David Farkas is an app to check cryptocurrency prices and track your portfolio.

  2. Swebtelegram ( by Jose M Reyes is a web app for Telegram. It also supports calls and videoconferencing.

  3. Discord Web ( by walking-octopus is a web app for Discord. If there's enough interest, he even considers building a native app.

  4. VSCodium ( is a port by Alfred Neumayer of the open source version of Microsoft's code editor Visual Studio Code. For now, the app only supports keyboard and mouse input.

You can find these apps on the OpenStore (

Please remember that OpenStore has a built-in option to donate to app creators. We urge you to use that button, so that we'll get more great apps on Ubuntu Touch.


Help needed

If you have some spare time, we could use some help in the following domains: 

  1. Lionel Duboeuf is working on an alternative keyboardless PIN code prompt. You can find his demo app ( on OpenStore or try it for real with `sudo ubports-qa install PR_unity8_425`. Please try it and give feedback on the forum:

  2. Alberto Mardegan has been working on a command-line installer for Ubuntu Touch. You can find the source on and Ubuntu users can install it from his PPA. Currently it supports only the BQ devices cooler, frieza, krilling and vegetahd. If you want to support other devices, please get in touch with Alberto on the forum:

  3. There's a new beta version of the UBports installer, with a complete overhaul of the user interface. Please download UBports installer 0.9.2-beta from or install it with  "snap install ubports-installer --beta". We need testers! And if you want to help with development, check out some good first issues to tackle:

  4. We need people willing to work in our VoLTE development team. So, We are looking for people with a particular skill set. We need help getting doubango to work with the commercial IMS core. More info here:

Ubuntu Touch Q&A 117

Florian and Alfred were the hosts of the Ubuntu Touch Q&A 117 session. They talked about some newly added devices and about future-proof devices.
The UBports Installer, which has a major new version, includes support for three new devices. The JingPad A1 is a Halium 10 based tablet. It has a companion keyboard that attaches magnetically. When it does, the display switches to desktop mode, so it works very nicely as a convergent device. The bad news is that the JingPad A1 is no longer available through the normal retail channels. Another newly supported tablet is the Lenovo M10 X605, an affordable device with moderate but suffient power. The third device that has been added to the UBports Installer is the Shift 6mq, a Halium 10 based phone with USB-C display out. Currently it only has a development channel.
What will be some future-proof devices that will be 'officially' supported by Ubuntu Touch in the future? The list of recommended devices is not set in stone, but you could expect the Pixel 3a to get a lot of support because Alfred is working on it. And because Shift is a commercial partner of the UBports Foundation, they are working on ports of their devices and will surely want the quality of their ports to stand out.
You can watch the whole session and read our notes here (soon to be published):

Funny short tech stuff

Sometimes I listen to Hacker Public Radio. And their episodes always start with a Text-To-Speech (TTS) intro overlay over their opening tune. Anyway, episode 3558 triggered me because the voice-over voice sounded so natural and I did a little bit of digging.

Turns out it is incredibly easy to make these audio snippets yourself these days. And it is fun to play around with!

You can get started by running a docker image locally (you have to install Docker first of course):

$ docker run -it -p 5500:5500 synesthesiam/opentts:en

After some download and startup time, browse to port 5500 on your own system, and type a text. I suggest you start with voice "coqui-tts: ljspeech [F] (en-us)". Paste some text into the text area and click on the "Speak" button on the right. Might I suggest the lovely Shakespeare poem "Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?" (Sonnet 18)?

Happy hacking!

Ubuntu Touch Q&A 117
UBports installer update, New devices, OTA-23 coming soon