Ubuntu Touch Q&A 60

The feature freeze OTA 11 coming
8 Oktober 2019

 
 

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News and Update

OTA 11 already on  RC

This week the presenters were Dalton, Jan, Marius, Alfred and Flo.

The feature freeze for OTA-11 comes after 8 weeks of development. We are merging lots of things which we couldn’t squeeze into OTA-10.  No Ubuntu One  sign in for notifications anymore. That feature is already rc.

Joan has been busy fitting the bits together, including refinements to the button colors :)

The keyboard app has been enhanced by Fuseteam, to improve editing. Jan has fixed it so that the name label doesn't slide off the screen on tablets any more.

Thanks to all of those who contributed. Six of them are entirely new contributors.

TELEports

Teleports has now been upgraded. The old telegram is still being used by some people who are dependent on certain features but Contacts will be added soon and secret chats will be available, so the old telegram app will very soon be surpassed.

Stickers are not there yet. Adding them is actually quite a difficult thing to do and they are not an ‘essential’.

Sharing multiple files at a time works and there is integration with Content Hub. The downloads progress indicator is now working. The release will be around two weeks from now. A merged test version will be in the QA group sooner.

UT Installer

Jan and others have done a lot with the installer. 5000 lines of code have been changed. It now has much better stability and polish.

ADB and Fastboot are moved into a new library. Some issues remain but it will only be a couple of days before a release of this latest version of the installer.

PinePhone and Halium

Marius showed off the PinePhone, running UT. It can also be seen on his Twitter account. Lima was used to build it. That performs amazingly well for an open driver project. The model shown was one of the 100 original developer phones. The antennae needs attention still.

The next batch will still not ship with an OS but we expect to see PinePhones shipping with UT installed early next year, along with other OS options.

Alfred spoke about Halium. Gstreamer is coming along well. There was a bug where the Camera would cause a device hang when used with flash. Libhybris has been merged to upstream. Sony Xperia X now has Ubports recovery. The phone is actually working, so it was announced that it is finally a community port! UT is already install-able, although without audio calling built in yet. It can be modified to add that though.

As far as the Installer is concerned, Jan estimated maybe another two weeks for its inclusion (another sock event?) but for the time being Ubuntu device flash can be used.

Dekko 2

Dekko 2 (0.2.1) has just been released. It now sports inline images. There is folder detection, trash handling, improved German translations and brand new Hebrew and Lithuanian translations!  

Ubucon Europe Sintra

Jan is going to Ubucon Europe in Sintra next week. There will be a small UBports group there with a table. Six or seven talks will be given, specifically about Ubports topics. There will be a live installer workshop there.

Sponsors were thanked.

Questions

Questions are usually taken first from the forum, in the News section. YouTube live chat, Telegram and Matrix are other places to post a question.

Progress on new Bluez?

To be honest, not much is happening. Those who could try are extremely busy with other things. We just don’t have the developer resources to do more. Flo believes that the upstream project itself is likely to struggle with car kits.

Pulse-audio probably also needs updating to match. We welcome anyone who wants to assist. Try it with a laptop in your car maybe, to see if desktop Bluez works?

Edge channel uses Mir API or Wayland?

Marius explained that there is no Mir client on his build for PinePhone. Android devices do still use Mir client though, as more work is needed.

There is no hurry to do that though as we maintain it only for ourselves. The change will happen though and it will bring significant performance improvements.

Dalton comment about clicks and snaps

About a comment made by Dalton in his audio cast interview with Wayne. He seemed to imply that clicks were the ancestor of snaps. Does that mean we will evolve to use snaps?

Dalton clarified that what he was talking about was snap packaging, which grew out of the click packaging model. Not that snaps themselves were the next stage onward.

Any plans for GPS lock on UT? 

Partly, performance depends on the particular. Coverage in the location is a major factor too. Location does perform much better but it still is heavily subject to those two factors.

Android GPS uses cell tower triangulation, so it is very fast by comparison. We can certainly tweak further though. Qualcomm devices with a SIM in the USA react quickly because they then use cell towers. Location is one of the things which will receive attention once we near the completion of the Edge project. A variety of other ‘hard to do’ things like this will also receive attention then, as resources are freed up.

Hardware acceleration progress

Will it need a PinePhone to achieve that?

Actually, video is hardware accelerated in UT already. What the question probably refers to is the browser, which is not. Wayland will help a lot with that. Other options are being followed but again, it will take time.

GTK implementation?

Well, Xenial does not have that. It needs MESA, which opens the way to PinePhone and Librem (although not recognizably UT anymore) but realistically it is not going to run on Android.

Planet Computers repository

Jujuyeh1 asked about a Planet Computers repository with some UT apps. Does this mean UT will come to Cosmo Communicator or Gemini PDAs?. The team didn’t know much about the fork so were not really able to comment.

Ubuntu Touch 20.04

benclark06 asked whether we will be waiting until 20.04 is released or start moving to it now? For certain, we will move to 20.04 well before 16.04 goes out of support. Doing so will involve systemd for sure. That will inevitably impact which devices we can still support because it means kernel changes. Until we start, we don’t know how that will turn out. With Edge finishing, this will become a new priority. 

Is there any plan to integrate ORB tk from Redox?

This is something new which needs looking into. It is based on Rust. If you want to help or see more about it, look in the app development section of the forum.

UT for Librem5 is coming? 

The answer is that it is working on the devkit but we don’t have an actual device yet. That has a different cpu so will need some tweaks. We fully expect it to be okay.

And what about FP3?

Again, we don't have any information so we don’t know if UT could be ported. It would almost certainly mean Android 9 and therefore Halium 9.

Is UT the future of the mobile phone? 

Well, it is up to individual users to decide. In its non-Android form it has arrived though.