Hello again, everyone!
I'm happy to announce that it is time to ask for your help in testing Ubuntu Touch OTA-17! This is slated for release on Wednesday, May 12, 2021. Before then, we need to make sure it's ready to go!
As explained in the OTA-16 release post and the OTA-15 release post, we're entering a period where change to Ubuntu Touch will slow down for a while. This shift in priorities is allowing us to get Ubuntu Touch based on Ubuntu 20.04 built and on par with the stability of Ubuntu Touch based on Ubuntu 16.04. Even so, there are some great improvements in this release!
We now have a Macedonian keyboard layout. Loading of word prediction on Swiss-French and English (Dvorak) keyboard layouts was fixed. Switching the keyboard editing overlay between selection and movement mode with a double-tap was made much more reliable.
OTA-17 is the first release of Ubuntu Touch to feature support for NFC hardware on some devices, including the Pixel 3a and Volla Phone. NFC support gives app developers the ability to read or write NFC tags; or even to communicate with another device using the protocol. People have already been thinking up ideas for how to use NFC features to read from passive medical monitors... This is a feature that seems to make people very excited.
Battery life and responsiveness to notifications was improved on the Pixel 3a. Automatic screen brightness was fixed on the Volla Phone (for real this time). Camera flash, zoom, rotation, and focus have been fixed on many devices, including the OnePlus One and Xperia X.
We've upgraded Mir from version 1.2.0 to 1.8.1 in this release. There was absolutely no trouble with this upgrade, which is a great testament to the Mir team.
How can I test?
We want to ensure that every release we ship is better than the previous one, so we're looking to our entire community to help us with the QA (Quality Assurance) of OTA-17.
We've prepared a GitHub Project for OTA-17 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-17 release candidate! Of course, **only** step 4 is required if you are already on the `rc` channel and this update will come through as usual.
The image which loads will be named `(2021-W16)` 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-17 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-17 Call for Testing forum post where we can discuss any questions you may have about anything that comes up during your testing.