News and Update
Focal 20.04 development news
Network-indicator is now building. Rachanan has been experimenting with trying to run all UT apps on Wayland, rather than using mirclient. It will be nice if that is successful. Bear in mind that it would be amazing if we can get that to happen but for you as a user, you simply won’t be aware of any difference at all. The switch to 20.04 will be via Settings and if we have done or job right (and it is a lot of work!) you will not notice any change. Rather frustrating really.
MediaScanner 2.0 is now building on Focal. This is the element which provides content to Gallery etc. Ubuntu-app-launch is now in. It has Click support but not Libertine support. Rpowerd is also building.
Apart from all this we are still doing some updates to Xenial. You will see those in OTA-18, coming soon. There were a few regressions found in rc for OTA-17. Those included mediahub not looping its audio correctly when only one track was being played. Podbird lost its ability to resume playback from its most recent position after being closed. Both of those have been fixed. Audio switching from headphones to speaker became a problem on Android 9 and we have resolved that. Unfortunately doing so caused a regression with Android 7 devices.
A fix for Android 7 devices (including Xperia X) with an odd look to the installation animation – including a failure of random blinking – has been done. You won’t see that change when you run the OTA-18 install because it is in OTA-18 :)
Lomiri now takes up 25% less RAM and runs faster on every device, in every situation.
Libertine now has a new icon in system settings. It is now the same colour as all the others and has a higher definition. Thanks for that to Adam Schree, especially as it was his first contribution to UT and his first PR ever on Github!
Dalton as a mentor
Thank you Peter
Template update for ported devices
X-forwarding on NVIDIA solution
Jonny then came up with the idea that Clickable can bridge the gap, by creating a Clickable JSON that can then build Lomiri. No X-forwarding or setting up of containers is required! There is no lag caused by forwarding and it is very slick and switchable between different virtual users. This new environment is able to carry out tests to see if UI bug fixes have worked. There was a scrolling problem in the interface and while Dalton was buried in the documentation, Capsia came up with one line of code and fixed it :)
There were some bugs in the old greeter and those had to be fixed before a new design could be developed.
Reddit UBports section
Aris's survey of porters
Thanks though to all those who tested out the accounts fixes for the PinePhone. They won’t be ready for OTA-18 but we will get them into OTA-19.
FAQ page update needed
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.
Morph and EFF's page testings
Pixel 3a XL fingerprint sensor
Pixel 3a has issues on US carriers so if you are there avoid that. There are likely to be some devices which will not get VoLTE support ever, which would make them useless after a few years, depending on your zone. Xperia X is still a good choice for those who don’t have a lot to spend. It is not perfect but for most people it makes a nice daily driver.
Ubuntu Touch, what is really for?
Dalton professed himself to be a very practical person. If UT was not a practical solution, he would not be using it as a daily driver. Simple as that. Dalton still has a 2014 Motorola, manufactured in Texas when it was under Google ownership. Because of that link it got a flood of updates and it is still working today. From the outset it could detect the state of being in a car driving and would immediately respond by speaking notifications as they came in. It had voice control offline. In Android 5 they added the ability to change the wake word. Unfortunately that update also brought in a pretty big bug, known as the Mobile Data Active bug. That function prevented sleep and would suck up the battery big time. The workaround was to manually turn off mobile data in settings, at times when it was not going to be needed. Dalton’s device is locked to Verizon so there was no exit hack. The Nexus 5X was Dalton’s replacement for that. He ran Paranoid-Android for two years, first with and then without the Google apps. The battery life with the 5X though gradually tumbled. Most have now died.
Getting more interested in what the Google apps were doing, Dalton followed the instructions for viewing his activity since 2014 and found all the preserved recordings of his voice, back to that time. That was pretty creepy. Those recordings included some of what he was saying just before his ‘Hey Google’, which was doubly creepy. He had come across UT informally because it was around at the time and went down the Linux route. An aspect of it was not just the technical thing of an OS but the human thing of a community, which was important too.
If you just want to tinker with UT that is fine. There are plenty of devices out there which are within the financial reach of many people. You don’t have to use it as a daily driver if Snapchat is a central component of your life. If you don’t need those proprietary apps, UT will work fine for you as a daily driver. It is entirely a practical choice and one for you to make. Nobody is forcing anyone.
Some in the community are more actively idealist but the idealists and the practical minded get along very well and debate happily and productively.
Alfred counts himself in the idealist camp and compares the issue to food. He would rather cook a meal himself from the ingredients rather than relying on fast food. He has control over what goes in and over the process used. Isodrive and Ghostcloud are applications he made not out of high minded concern for others but because he needed those things to make UT work for him. Using UT as an alternative to a live USB is unique to UT. Android can’t do that. Taken overall, UT is completely open. A developer can do with it whatever they have the skills to do.
In iOS you can work on an application but if running it better needs something tweaked in the OS there is not a thing you can do about it. You have zero access. With UT, if you are able to you can alter the core of the system in a way that not only opens up possibilities for you but benefits all the other users too.
A reminder that Anbox is being developed actively now so we should reach a point where if you are ‘hooked’ on a particular app like Whatsapp you won’t have to have an Android phone or iPhone to access that. [With Anbox you should be able to use the Whatsapp voice chat function. With Whatsweb on UT you get only texting.]
We always look forward to hearing from people how UT fulfills their needs or doesn’t.
See you next time :-)