Call for Testing: Ubuntu Touch OTA-16
Hello again, everyone!

Edit March 5, 2021: The OTA-16 release date has been moved to March 15. For more information on this change, see this post:

I'm happy to announce that it is time to ask for your help in testing Ubuntu Touch OTA-16! This is slated for release on Wednesday, March 15, 2021. Before then, we need to make sure it's ready to go!

What's new?

Over 300 packages have changed in Ubuntu Touch between OTA-15 and OTA-16, so there's a lot to talk about.

We've finally upgraded to the newest open source and long-term supported version of Qt, Qt 5.12. This upgrade brings many new features to the Ubuntu Touch platform, improves app startup times, and makes our job over the next few months easier. 5.12 is the version of Qt in the latest Ubuntu, so this move helps clear the way for our upgrade to 20.04.

To move ourselves onto Qt 5.12, we added or updated over 50 vendored source packages. All of them were moved to GitLab in the process (in the ubports/core/packaging group), allowing us to test and improve our CI infrastructure greatly.

The Oxide web rendering engine has been removed from Ubuntu Touch. Any apps which directly import the Oxide QML plugin will cease to function with this release. Apps which import `Ubuntu.Web`, the old simplified interface for Oxide, may continue to function. If they do not, please contact the app's developer to get the app updated to `Morph.Web` and QtWebEngine. If you're an app developer and need help with this transition, find us at, (at)UbuntuAppDevEN on Telegram, or on Matrix.

The ubports-installer gained support for the Samsung Galaxy S3 Neo+ (GT-I9301I) port by Florian.

Anbox packages are now included with Ubuntu Touch by default. This means that supported Anbox devices can use Anbox without installing more packages, and Anbox installations will no longer break with every Ubuntu Touch update.

Morph Browser gained a number of new features and fixes, including:

A new Downloads dialog and overlay. Gone are the days of wading through menus to find your recent downloads, they appear directly next to the address bar.
A menu item to reopen the most-recently-closed tab
"Always Deny" location access to particular websites
Zoom control now works correctly, the first time, every time

The Catalan keyboard layout has been overhauled for better usability.

The integrated messaging app gained support for animated GIFs sent over MMS.

Since a majority of our work for this cycle was on fixing bugs caused by the 5.12 transition, I don't have many new bug-fixes to talk about. However, we do have a few important fixes compared to OTA-15:

Apps can now use the vibrator on Android 9 devices.
The Launcher no longer disappears when an app updates its notification bubble.
The VPN file selection dialog now appears correctly.

How can I test?

We want to ensure that every release we ship is better than the previous, so we're looking to our entire community to help us with the QA (Quality Assurance) of OTA-16.

We've prepared a GitHub Project for OTA-16 QA which lists the issues we'd like your feedback on. The QA column lists issues which do not have complete test results. The Done column lists issues which, thanks to our efforts here, are confirmed as fixed. The In Progress column lists issues which are either not fixed or where the fix has a severe negative side effect. The goal at the end of this is to have every issue in the Done column.

We're interested in hearing your feedback on everything in the QA column. We want to know:

Which device are you using?
Does the issue appear fixed in your testing?
Did you notice any side effects of the change as it is listed in the issue or Pull Request?

Testing any issue should be easy. On your device:

1. Update all of your apps using "System Settings -> Updates" or "My Apps" in the OpenStore app
2. Head to System Settings -> Updates -> Update Settings -> Release Channel
3. Select `rc`
4. Go back to the Updates screen to install the downloaded update

After your phone reboots, you'll be on the OTA-16 release candidate! Of course, only step 4 is required if you are already on the `rc` channel, this update will come through as normal.

You will receive an image named `(2021-W08)` or newer. You can find your image version in System Settings -> About -> OS.

Now you can pick any issue in the QA column in the OTA-16 project, and ensure that you are not able to reproduce it. If you can't reproduce the issue, the fix worked! If you can reproduce the issue (or you notice something else that isn't right), we want to know about that too. Leave a comment with your device and image version, then let us know the results of your test.

We also have an OTA-16 Call for Testing forum post where we can discuss any questions you may have about anything that comes up during your testing.

Ubuntu Touch Q&A 94
New devices web page. OTA-16 getting closer