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Ubuntu Touch Audiocast
77 minutes | Sep 7, 2022
Ubuntu Touch Q&A 120
Ubuntu Touch Q&A 120 by UBports
72 minutes | Jul 14, 2022
Ubuntu Touch Q&A 119
Ubuntu Touch Q&A 119 by UBports
75 minutes | Jun 21, 2022
Ubuntu Touch Q&A 118
Starting with what is happening with the existing 16.04 based version of UT, Alfred was very pleased to announce the first port of Halium for a device which achieves 100% feature coverage! The device is of course the Pixel 3a, which Alfred has been working on for a long time. Since device development is continuous, this covers a greater number of features than were present when Canonical presented UT phones with a full feature set. The device initialisation is much improved on previous devices. It uses UDEV in Java keyboard. It is using only one partition and does not run an initramfs like other devices. There are no audio issues now when the device goes into sleep mode, so you can listen to music in the background without it cutting out. The final thing which brought the device to completeness was the implementation of aethercast. That is the system which allows wireless external display support. It is compatible with Miracast, the Microsoft version. At present it only operates at 720p. Next on the list with be 1080p capability, along with 60 fps. If you look at Twitter, you can see that Arubislander and others have been testing out the casting capability of the Pixel 3a, with their own equipment. Lomiri has received some attention. There was an issue with the drawer hiding away under the mouse counter and that has been fixed. Another fix deals with stretched push indicator icons when in desktop mode. An issue with rpowered which prevented maintenance of the wake mode when programs had made a call on the system has also been resolved. Devices which have seen problems with suspend when dealing with tasks should see an improvement. Our Devices page has ‘wireless external monitor’ listed as a category but for most devices that shows as a No. Now we have a yes. It is an awesome feature. You can use it to switch to your desktop mode on a large screen. Most devices supported by UT don’t have an HDMI out or equivalent, so wireless is the only option. Scale is not an issue so it will work with a big screen, for example to show slides in a lecture. We have quite a long way to go with providing business oriented functions on UT devices and this is a very important step on that road. Not having to carry a laptop to a meeting room would be great! The aethercast option is contained within the UT build but is not on by default and for each device, the porter needs to fine tune the implementation before it can be used at all. There are strange chips in some devices which are unable to support P2P mode and will therefore never be able to support aethercast. Device porters should contact (best via the porting group) to find out what they need to do in order to enable aethercast on their devices. The Lenovo tablet is another device that porters have been able to test aethercast on.
45 minutes | Mar 25, 2022
Ubuntu Touch Q&A 117
There has been a very long pause during which we didn’t have any installer updates and the most recent releases were to some extent broken, so we had to recommend older versions. At last, we have a brand new installer update. Big thanks to the UBports installer team for putting it together. Special thanks to Johanna (Neothethird) for their major input to installer development. The latest iteration is 0.9.3. If you use the new version, be aware that there may still be some device specific bugs. Generic bugs are not expected but of course feedback from use is very important and we look forward to hearing reports of how it works for you. It includes a fix to the OpenCuts QA tracking upload facility, which will aid your feedback. Three new devices have been added to the installer. The first of these is the Lenovo tablet M10 X605. This is an affordable device with moderate but sufficient power. The next is another tablet, the Jingpad A1. This is a Halium 10 based device. A special feature of this tablet is that a companion keyboard attaches magnetically and when it does, the display switches to desktop mode. It therefor functions very nicely as a convergent device! The bad news is that Jing seem to be having issues and it appears that the device is no longer available through the normal retail channel. If you can find one ‘remaindered’ it would be well worth buying. Otherwise it may not be possible to get one. Maybe another business will come up with something similar that works great with Linux. Alfred has created a VScode setup, to make this a true ‘programming on the go’ option. It is capable of Git pushes, installing Git in Libertine and launching a wrapper on the host side. Florian has been helping out a bit with the work to port the Shift 6MQ. That too is now in the installer. It is Halium 10 based. Alex from Shift Phones did most of the work on it, so huge thanks to him. Of course without the input of Nikita on Halium 10 we would not have got to this point. At present it only has a devel channel. We need do do some more testing and development before we can present a Stable option. A known issue is audio on incoming calls, which fails 80% of the time. When it does work, it is crystal clear though. It has USB-C display out, so you can attach a DisplayPort compatible monitor. There has been a very long pause during which we didn’t have any installer updates and the most recent releases were to some extent broken, so we had to recommend older versions. At last, we have a brand new installer update. Big thanks to the UBports installer team for putting it together. Special thanks to Johanna (Neothethird) for their major input to installer development. The latest iteration is 0.9.3. If you use the new version, be aware that there may still be some device specific bugs. Generic bugs are not expected but of course feedback from use is very important and we look forward to hearing reports of how it works for you. It includes a fix to the OpenCuts QA tracking upload facility, which will aid your feedback. Three new devices have been added to the installer. The first of these is the Lenovo tablet M10 X605. This is an affordable device with moderate but sufficient power.
46 minutes | Feb 7, 2022
Ubuntu Touch Q&A 116
A big improvement has just been announced, with the release of Clickable 7.0. This is the software which UT uses to build apps and this version has new features across the board. There is a Clickable tool which will handle the format and library changes for those on the older version. It has way more options than any developer is likely to need and overall has more features than Xcode. It makes the whole process of creating apps for UT easy and seamless. Work on Xenial has not stopped. Rotating lock screen now works. Thanks to Capsia for that change. Some ports now have background blur. A wallpaper behind the UI was a very simple arrangement and posed no risk to stability. Making things more fancy has the potential to introduce bugs and degrade performance but we have brought in a modification which works well. Porters have the final say but if they want, they can implement a translucency layer, so that when the app drawer is expanded from the left side, the wallpaper is visible in blurred form behind it. This feature will be in the next OTA release. Something similar was tried a long time ago and was tested on the Nexus 5. The performance was dreadful, so it is good to see that the problems have been solved. Dialer has had an improvement. There is now a predictive feature which will offer a suggestion based on your first few numbers punched in. WebGL in Morph is going to be in the next OTA release. Some of the very old devices such as BQ will unfortunately not be able to make use of it. An improvement which you might not have noticed is that when swiping away tabs in Morph, the action is now more fluid. Alfred has been continuing his refinement of the Pixel 3a. Landscape keyboard now works and there is an improvement in battery life. A really big one is the fact that you can at last fix in-call voice volume. That was a fundamental usability issue. “It will no longer blow Mark Shuttleworth’s ears – only his mind” :) OTA-22 was delayed by a bit. There was a synchronisation fault which, unusually, affected the rc channel too. Apps started to break so we delayed and reverted. It will be sorted out soon and procedures changed around a bit to avoid future problems.
47 minutes | Jan 17, 2022
Ubuntu Touch Q&A Episode 115
Ubuntu Touch Q&A Episode 115 by UBports
3 minutes | Dec 31, 2021
Song: Let's Bring Back the Touch
Let's bring back the touch By Joe (In here) I've come so far I dreamed a dream and this is it. Like a shooting star Going up the stream I must commit I'm feeling so numbered I 'm installing on many more devices All your comforts Without them preying on your vices I've been sorting request more than a thousand new Yes, I've been porting it's best When it's with U. ---- I'm on the course I'm in too deep I don't know how My brain is open source I never sleep I can't stop now I imagine a phone that does everything you would expect Safe in your home and treats all the humans with Respect I've been sorting request more than a thousand new Yes, I've been porting it's best When it's with U. Is there somebody out there I think I'm coding alone tonight It's more than software. But it's getting really hard to continue the fight. It could be me and you and more we could do so much 2021 is done. I see 20.04 Let's bring back the touch
34 minutes | Dec 21, 2021
Ubuntu Touch Q&A Episode 114
Xenial development has still been moving ahead, despite our emphasis on Focal. MMS patches have finally been applied. Josele and Lionel Duboeuf are thanked for their work on that. This will allow operation of a download?re-download button when an MMS comes in. That was a complicated process to manage, involving many different components, which needed to operate together. There has been some work done on mediahub client. This is the main mechanism for video and audio playback. Alberto has changed the media client library for it so that it is fully implemented in Qt and C++. In the future it will allow for simultaneous playback of videos. An obvious application for that would be in Teleports, where in a channel containing a lot of videos, they could autoplay as you scroll. There are several more steps needed for implementation of a feature like that but what has been done provides the foundation. Sensorfw for Android 9 has been included now. It now covers magnetometer and compass. It has already been established that it works with Waydroid. Microphone access has been incorporated into the browser. The permissions dialog has been implemented, allowing it to function. Google accounts have been restored, allowing sync of contacts and calendar. All of this stuff will be in OTA-21, which goes out for testing on 22 December. Before moving on to 20.04 news there were some other updates. Our permissions system has had some problems with Halium and some work has been done on that. On Android 9 devices, the prompt to allow use of the camera was not working and now has been fixed. The fix can be ported back to 7.1 but porters will have to apply a kernel change. The camera will work in devices which don’t have the prompt but that is because of a workaround that allowed the camera without permission. That change needs a bit of tweaking and adaptation, so it will not make OTA-21. Thanks to Guido we now have metapackages for 20.04. The importance of that is that it will make building UT images hugely less complicated. Work has been done on Messaging, Phone and Address Book core apps to update their legion of dependancies. A new version of ofonophoneSIM has been packaged. If you have a virtual build, this component will be able to send messages without the corresponding phone hardware. The ofono community made this new upgrade.
44 minutes | Dec 6, 2021
Ubuntu Touch Q&A Episode 113
Alfred spoke about some new apps, including Steps by Jevaz??? which uses the accelerometer to track how much walking you do. There is a baby monitor by Fabian (assisted by Mateo Salta). It is in early development. Fixel by Nicolas Colla brings back a very important tool for fixing pixels. He has also done some work on the Gimp markdown editor. It is great to see earlier apps which broke being rescued in this way. Aaron has introduced Waydroid Helper app. This enables you to hide Android applications and allows you to press a ‘stop Waydroid’ button. In the long term we hope that a lot of the features will become part of the OS but this is a very good way to start that process. Finally, there is PocketVM by Alfred himself. It is basically a Qemu front-end for UT. You can open a ISO image in at and set parameters such as RAM usage, hard drive size, CPU limitations etc. It offers a partial ability to share files. Eventually, the hope is for integration into ContentHub. In theory, it could be distro agnostic by running as a Snap package for example. Alfred showed Fedora running on his Volla phone. Florian reported on OTA-21 which contains a lot of changes. It is hoped that we may get it out before Christmas. There are two quite big things in it. The greeter redesign has been put in, so there is something that users will immediately notice. This was done by Capsia. It is the thing which asks you for your PIN (or not, if you don’t have one). You will have had an early look if you are on rc channel. At the moment it doesn’t rotate into landscape but there is a fix in the works for that. In Settings there is a section for Storage but it isn’t great. Michele assigned some new colours to the interface and added some new categories, as well as fixing the totals. Microphone access in the browser has been broken for a while. The fix may allow Skype and other calls to work there now. Arun the lead developer for the Signal app Axolotl has said something may happen with the microphone… Florian also spoke about Teleports and the issues we have had this week. First there was a refusal to let users login and then logged in users found that the app hung. One of the reasons is that Telegram are shifting from 32 bit identifiers to 64 bit identifiers. We knew this was coming but they went early on it and caught everyone by surprise. Aside from that, they have now introduced sponsored messages as a way of monetising the service and they will only allow clients which cooperate with that. The deadline they have given for that is 1 January 2022. A messy fix was rushed out at great speed for Teleports and everyone should update to it. The app now works again but some bugs have been introduced. Those will be sorted out but the urgent thing was to get messaging back. Of course ads will be annoying and we would rather not have them but we rely a lot on Telegram and it is fair enough that they should have some income. It is unfortunate that they managed the change so badly. Animated emojis will return but Telegram changed the format for those, so we have to reimplement… On a different subject, Michele has been working on a notch workaround for UT. Florian showed an animation with sliders moving and resizing indicators to accommodate a notch of any size.
33 minutes | Nov 28, 2021
Ubuntu Touch Q&A Episode 112
First off, Clickable version 7 is out for testing. Just to explain, this is the desktop app which handles all aspects of building, uploading, versioning and maintaining for apps made for the Ubuntu Touch OS. Version 7 is a huge step up from version 6. For those who are used to chaining commands together they now have the ability to use ‘Chain’ command explicitly, to avoid confusion with other syntaxes. If you import libraries to function with your app, you can now use the Clickable build command itself to incorporate those. clickable.json has been removed and you now have clickable.jaml. You could still use .json if you feel you must but .jaml is just much cleaner and easier to read. For new users it will be much simpler to understand and if developers want to ‘borrow’ existing code, that will be much less of a hassle to do. There have been a lot of other changes, notably some improvements to Rust integration. If you are struggling a bit with making the transition from 6 to 7, a tool is available to help you and that has been built in Rust! [Dalton made a joke about Rust and ‘Fanfare’ so obscure that I have no clue what it was about but you get 7 zillion geek points if you get it]. Big thanks to the Clickable team for their amazing efforts on this new version. To pat ourselves on the back, Clickable is the kind of comprehensive app building environment that you just don’t find with other operating systems. It is a real breath of fresh air and something we can be proud of. OpenStore new apps In new apps, we have Simple Reader by Nicolas Colla. Just as it says, it is wildly simple. You just open an ePub file and there it is, including a very cool sepia rendering. Also from Nicolas is Headline, which is an RSS news reader. In addition to those we have a game, Costumemaster Reloaded. Finally there is a de-compressor for compressed files, called UT zipper but actually with the ability to handle a range of formats, not just Zip. This app is by LionelD [the French Lionel :)].
49 minutes | Oct 25, 2021
Ubuntu Touch Q&A Episode 111
Alfred is working on what he calls a Stereoptikon, which is a container for running graphical Linux apps on Mac OS. There is a Telegram group of the same name where people can join the discussion about it. Dalton gave a plug to his new podcast, entitled LinuxAfterDark. A big shoutout of gratitude to everyone who voted in the B1 Systems give-away. UBports secured third place and accordingly was awarded €1400. Our congratulations to all the other winners. Mateo sent in a new roundup of apps. He includes either those which are new to the OpenStore or those which just got a substantial upgrade. To start, there is LiteP word processor, an HTML5 app by Nicolas Colla. It is touch operated and has some Rich Text features. Next, an app also by Nicolas Colla… this one is OnionSurf, which is a partial implementation of a Tor browser. It is still being worked on so don’t use it if you are being chased by the CIA :) He would love to have some developers help him to close IP and DNS leaks etc. more effectively. It is a fork of Morph browser. Another new app is Transmission remote. It allows you to check on the status of your torrents from anywhere in the world. It is a client/server hybrid, not just a client. TotalSonic reported on the introduction of GemFork by Aaron Heffner. It updates the Gem browser, which is a Gemini gopher browser. Multimaps is an app which uses satellite data to display data simultaneously from a variety of different map applications. Florian talked about the coming OTA-20 release. There is a critical bug in syncevolution which prevents it connecting to LetsEncrypt encrypted servers. The older version of the LetsEncrypt certificate expired on the 30 September and this was one of the casualties. A bug in OpenSSL meant that the certificate fail was interpreted as a failure of the whole chain. There were plans for some new features but those have been dropped so that all attention is directed to this bug. Most of the stuff will be under the hood but one very visible thing will be the ability to create and set a custom SMS receipt sound. It will also be available to any other app (such as Teleports) which delivers notifications. Thanks to LionelDbf for that. Vibrations and LED flashing is not 100% fixed but devices that are Android 9 and above should see this most of the time. Florian has not only moved to a new address but his second son has been born, so if he has been a little less visible recently, that is why! Congratulations to Florian! A reminder as ever that testing is a crucial part of preparation for a new release and there is nobody out there who is not capable of helping out with that [except of course those that don’t have a UT phone!]
48 minutes | Oct 11, 2021
Ubuntu Touch Q&A Episode 110
In news, B1 Linux is celebrating its anniversary by donating €30,000 to a project. UBports is on the shortlist and anyone can register a vote with them, in favour of the project they would most like to see get the money. All of the projects are worthy but we are calling on our community to vote for UBports. OTA-20 is not far off. Just to clear up any confusion, this is just our numbering system at work. This is Xenial based, it is NOT 20.04. The CA certificate for LetsEncrypt expired recently and caused all kinds of chaos. Anyone using OTA-19 to connect to LetsEncrypt services is having trouble. It isn’t a problem in browser but it is for things like Calendar sync, emails etc. Switching to rc channel will find the fix. A regression involving loss of microphone has been remedied in the browser and we now have a custom messaging sound option for SMS receipt. As always, for all changes it is important to have test feedback before they pass into Stable channel. It isn’t possible for Dalton to gather together a round-up of news for device ports but just as we have Mateo putting news together for apps in OpenStore, it would be great to have a volunteer or volunteers to bring us device updates. Those can then be fed into this section. Marius noted that one of the things which always gets commented on about UT is our ‘convergence’ or ‘desktop’ mode. [A reminder again: what we mean by that is OpenStore apps which transform automatically, so that they look right and work right on a big screen. Nothing more, nothing less. We do NOT mean ‘a desktop in your pocket. Rant over…] In those terms, convergence on UT is working very well overall but it is interrupted too often by some annoying bugs and Marius has been spending some time working through those.
41 minutes | Sep 30, 2021
Ubuntu Touch Q&A Episode 109
Join us for the 109th episode of the Ubuntu Touch Q&A...
65 minutes | Sep 15, 2021
Ubuntu Touch Q&A Episode 108
Join us for the 108th episode of the Ubuntu Touch Q&A ....
40 minutes | Aug 30, 2021
Ubuntu Touch Q&A Episode 107
Join us for the 107th episode of the Ubuntu Touch Q&A ....
63 minutes | Aug 15, 2021
Ubuntu Touch Q&A Episode 106
Join us for the 106th episode of the Ubuntu Touch Q&A...
51 minutes | Aug 4, 2021
Ubuntu Touch Q&A Episode 105
Join us for the 104th episode of the Ubuntu Touch Q&A...
43 minutes | Jul 19, 2021
Ubuntu Touch Q&A Episode 104
Join us for the 104th episode of the Ubuntu Touch Q&A...
46 minutes | Jul 6, 2021
Ubuntu Touch Q&A Episode 103
Join us for the 103rd episode of the Ubuntu Touch Q&A...
57 minutes | Jun 23, 2021
Ubuntu Touch Q&A Episode 102
Join us for the 102nd episode of the Ubuntu Touch Q&A...
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