Ubuntu Touch Q&A 34
Cool, Cool OTA-4


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Show Notes

The guys talk about OTA-4 nearing release, the 16.04 cultural showcase, huge apps coming to 16.04, and Marius' mistake building a computer.


OTA-4 is in Feature Freeze

On August 14, we pushed the code for the final feature that was blocking OTA-4. With this, we have officially entered feature freeze. This means that we will not add any new features to OTA-4 and will only fix critical bugs (defects which make using the OS impossible for all users).

We are targeting the final OTA-4 release within this week assuming no critical bugs are found.

This release has been months in the making, we're happy that you have all followed us to this point.

If you'd like to read about the features and fixes in this release, we've prepared a changelog which will appear in the first-run wizard upon installing the update.

Now, more than ever, it is important to ensure this update is well-tested and ready for release. If you have time, please download and run our manual smoke testing and report any issues that you find on the Ubuntu Touch issue tracker.

We'd like to remind you that any devices currently running Ubuntu Touch OTA-3 will NOT automatically upgrade to OTA-4. The upgrade is scheduled to occur upon the release of OTA-5, which will be released 8 weeks after OTA-4.

16.04 Cultural Showcase

The 16.04 Cultural Showcase was an opportunity for artistically minded community members to show us their best music performance, foley, photography, or visual design. We're working on the blog post detailing all of the submissions along with their authors and licenses, but Dalton needed to gush about one entry in particular since he's basically fallen in love with it: Voyager 1 by Mauricio Duarte.

Document Viewer for 16.04

We've received requests daily to bring different apps compiled only for 15.04 to 16.04. Today we're happy to announce that we've successfully compiled the Ubuntu Touch Document Viewer for 16.04. It will be landing in the OpenStore shortly.

The community stepped up with Dekko 2

On July 21, doniks posted in our forum rallying the community to step up and build Dekko 2 for 16.04 since no build had appeared yet. Today, we're proud to say that he and his informal team have succeeded. An Alpha build of Dekko 2 for Ubuntu Touch 16.04 is available at doniks' dekko2 repository and can be installed by downloading the click and opening it with the file manager.

Please read the release notes when downloading the click from doniks' repository as it contains important information about the status of the alpha release.


doniks - Have you heard anything new about the status of Liberapay?

Liberapay announced last month that they were having trouble with their payment processor and would soon be unable to take new wallet contributions for disbursement. As of this writing, we have not heard anything new from Liberapay. Their update to the situation should come on their blog.

doniks - How is the Edge channel?

The Edge channel is a build of Ubuntu Touch which includes packages needed for compatibility with Halium. It is removed from the devel-rc-stable promotion pipeline and should serve as a testing ground for huge changes to Ubuntu Touch, such as upgrades to Mir or Qt.

The exact name and nature of the channel is still under discussion, but a proof-of-concept build has been set up. This build has been used to successfully boot Ubuntu Touch on multiple previously not working devices (with a few changes), including the Xiaomi Mi 3.

Marathon2422 - Will the Google device certification program cause problems?

Google has recently introduced some changes into its device certification program, the set of requirements that must be met to run the Google Play services on a device. These changes are controversial at best, cause for a $5 billion fine from the EU at worst.

Depending on the exact requirement in question, these changes could be good for Ubuntu Touch. Handset manufacturers are looking at the AOSP ecosystem today and finding a Google controlled, locked down, mostly proprietary landscape. Ubuntu Touch and similar projects offer a truly level playing field where the only limitation is the skill of the company to offer their own value.

doniks - What was in the recent Canonical device donation?

The most recent donation of devices from Canonical included:

  • 4 x Nexus 7 2013 Wi-Fi
  • 4 x Nexus 10
  • 1 x Meizu MX4

domubpkm - Can we put an on-screen terminal in the UBports Recovery?

The UBports Recovery is a second boot image for our Android-based handsets. It contains the minimum amount of software to install and upgrade Ubuntu Touch images on the handset.

This question is asking whether an on-screen terminal such as the one contained in TWRP can be included in the UBports recovery to aid in diagnosing and repairing system failures. Unfortunately, we do not currently have the engineering time or demand to include this feature. Both the UBports Recovery and TWRP are open source, so it should be possible to include code from TWRP in our recovery if someone would like to investigate further.

ThePossessor - Are there any Halium ports which are advanced enough to integrate into the installer?

Currently, yes. The Community channel is meant to serve as a place for ports from community members to automatically be built and provided for users. Currently the only device on this channel is the Moto G2 (or Moto G 2014, codename titan). It is currently not listed in the UBports installer since it relies on an API that is not completely finished.

What's going on with Anbox?

Morphis (the developer of Anbox) was able to help us fix Anbox on devices with Adreno GPUs, Marius pushed the required code to run it on the Nexus 5 and Oneplus One this week. Images and instructions to test this build of Anbox (which currently has issues with touch input) will appear after the OTA-4 final release.

An Ethical Exposé