Ubuntu Touch OTA-11 Release

23 ottobre 2019

Ubuntu Touch is the privacy and freedom respecting mobile operating system by UBports. Today we are happy to announce the release of Ubuntu Touch OTA-11! OTA-11 is immediately available for all supported Ubuntu Touch devices. You can skip to How to get OTA-11 to get it right away if you're impatient, or read on to learn more about this release.

What's new?

We were calling this a "small release" originally. Our plan was to cover the backlog of pull requests that weren't quite ready for OTA-10. It turns out, that made this "small" update not small at all.

Your keyboard, now smarter

Kugi has outdone himself this time. With this update you'll find a new way to edit text via the Ubuntu Touch on-screen keyboard: the Advanced Text Functions. Using this feature, you can move around your typed text, undo and redo actions, move around a text selection rectangle, and use the cut/copy/paste commands, all from the same overlay. To get started, press and hold the space bar!

We are still unsure about the discoverability of this feature, so stay tuned for changes that will make it even easier to find and use!

This update also adds the option of a Dvorak keyboard layout for the refined OSK user. The PR included fixes to allow multiple keyboard layouts to share the same correction dictionary and word overrides. Huge thanks, zoenb!

Rounding off the updates to the keyboard are improvements to the Polish layout, removing some diacritics that are not used in the language (Thanks, Daniel20000522!); the same treatment for the French-Swiss layout (Thanks, wilfridd!); and a tweak to the Japanese layout so that it respects your settings better (Thanks, Fuseteam!). If you'd like to get in on the keyboard-improving action, Tallero added instructions for building and testing the keyboard to its Readme at https://github.com/ubports/keyboard-component.

It browses better

It wouldn't be an Ubuntu Touch release post without a section dedicated to our in-house Morph Browser. Morph is a project which embeds Qt's integration of Chromium, QtWebEngine. This allows us to focus on making the browser itself rather than its engine.

Chris changed about 4,000 lines of code (not counting the gettext translation files) to bring us the Domain Permissions model. This adds some important features that were previously missing:

  • Page zoom level is now saved per-site rather than per-tab
  • Users may set "Always allow" or "Always deny" on location access per-site
  • Sites may launch other apps via custom URL handlers, such as tel:// to launch the dialer with a number pre-filled.
  • Users may blacklist access to certain sites or block access to all but their choice of whitelisted sites.

Push notifications for all

Ubuntu Touch has provided a battery-friendly push notification service since before we maintained it. However, some users did not know that the service required them to log in with an Ubuntu One account before their device would register. This made sense when users had to sign in to Ubuntu One in order to install apps, but it had become more than a little strange lately.

To fix this, Rodney removed the account requirement from the client and server. Now all devices will be able to receive notifications for apps which support the service.

And more

There are many more changes included in this release that can't quite merit their own section, but deserve to be mentioned.

Ratchanan and Alfred made some huge changes that facilitate more hardware on devices that shipped with Android 7.1. We've merged many hooks for audio support, especially for calls. Nexus 5 users will be very happy to learn that we've narrowed down and fixed a problem that would cause the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth hardware to lock up from time to time, using a ton of CPU and battery.

Multiple contributors have been investigating issues related to MMS support on Ubuntu Touch. In particular, Raphaël and parksjr fixed issues with the display and management of MMS messages. Others have been looking into issues around receiving MMS messages.

We'd like to extend a huge thanks to everyone who helped make this release possible as our effort continues to be split between the "normal" release channels and the "Edge" channel. That division of our energies will come to an end soon. We'll talk more about that in the release announcement.

What's next

It's finally time to share what we've been working on since the beginning of the year. OTA-12 will deliver Mir 1.x and Canonical's last version of Unity8 to the stable channel.

As the Mir+Unity8 upgrade project shows, this was by no means a small task. With well over fifty tickets and many more problems that weren't officially filed solved, we feel that we are ready to share this work with everyone.

We'll start the process of merging the changes to various repositories the week after this release. This process will likely take a while, and during this time no updates to the devel or rc channels will be made available. Once we've got things stabilized again, builds will continue.

How to get OTA-11

What you should know first

There are a few issues which we expect many users to run into.

  • On larger screens (such as the BQ M10 and Nexus 7), the browser will close after opening a selection box while in landscape mode. ** Workaround: Either move the browser to a side stage (press with three fingers and drag to the right) or hold the device in portrait mode.
  • When switching between text boxes in the browser, the input type of the keyboard is not updated (for example, when going from a numbers-only text field to a URL field). ** Workaround: Dismiss the keyboard before changing text fields. This can be done by swiping the keyboard downward or tapping on the page in an area that is not a text field.
  • In the browser, selection boxes open in a new window. This will continue until a newer version of Mir is used, which will allow for drawing tooltips within the surface that created them.
  • On the Nexus 5, hardware video playback is not functional. Playing video using the web browser or another software-based decoder works properly. Unfortunately this means you cannot directly watch the videos you record using the camera.

Existing Ubuntu Touch users

Existing users of Ubuntu Touch in the stable channel (which is selected by default in the UBports Installer) will receive the OTA-11 update through the Updates screen of System Settings.

New Ubuntu Touch users

You will find instructions for installing Ubuntu Touch on your device at devices.ubuntu-touch.io.

"I found an issue!"

Have you found a bug? We want to know!

You can follow our Bug Reporting document to learn how to present the information we'll need to confirm and fix your issue. Every bit helps. The best way to improve Ubuntu Touch is to use it and then tell us about the experience.

You should always check to see whether your bug has already been reported on ubports/ubuntu-touch on Github. Browsing open bugs is worth doing, even if you have nothing to report. This ensures that you can watch for any of the open issues and help fix them by providing more information.

Changelog

What follows is a changelog for this release of Ubuntu Touch. Only changes from UBports contributors are included, those which come from upstream Ubuntu are not listed.

Note that this release does NOT include the latest upstream versions of either Mir or Unity8. That transition is ongoing and is tracked in the Unity8+Mir upgrade project.

This update has added SDK version 16.04.3. If you would only like your apps to be installable on this latest version of Ubuntu Touch, please add this framework version to your manifest.

[Brian Douglass]

[Rodney Dawes]

[Joan "Cibersheep"]

[Dalton Durst]

[Daniel20000522]

[Chris Clime]

[erik-kueng] *

[Raphaël Fery] *

["parksjr"] *

["Fuseteam"]

[Kugi Eusebio]

["zoenb"] *

[Jonatan Zeidler]

[Luca Weiss]

[Alberto Mardegan]

[Marius Gripsgard]

["0312birdzhang"] *

["Tallero"] *

[Ratchanan Srirattanamet]

[Jan Sprinz]

["fredldotme"]

["wilfridd"] *

["saveurlinux"] *