OTA-10 Sprint | Ubuntu Touch Q&A 54


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News and Updates


OTA-10 is very close to being released but it hit a snag. The FP2 camera problem is fixed but other devices have now developed unexpected problems as a result. We will get them all back to working properly before we launch the update. The problem with Camera app updating to an inappropriate version via OpenStore has now been fixed. This even affected stable and we apologise for that. If anyone still a version issue, please ping Dalton for help on resolving it.

This is a good time to mention the QA team, where we solve problems like these. New members there are always welcome. Take a look at the documentation page to see how to get involved and report bugs.

Fairphone has had reversed headphone outputs forever (nobody seemed to notice!). We have fixed that now. We have also switched from the old Canonical repositories for Libertine (from a Launchpad PPA) and we now have our own installed. This should work much better. You will need to install new containers to make use of it.

A beta for the UT installer to include the Edge channel and to introduce some UI improvements has now been released. Edge is now at a point where it can be used by many people, which is why we have added it now.

You can install Edge without wiping your device.


Florian has a new TELEports release. Apologies for the wait for an update. There were some stability issues that had to be fixed first. With the latest version, forwarding will become possible. Colours, including in popup dialogs, now render correctly. There is also a connection indicator, in the form of the usual moving bar. Re connection time will be much faster. It should all be ready in a couple of weeks from now.

A new tdlib version has been released but there are lots of API changes in that so we will stick with the older version, until we have exhausted the potential to implement the features which are in there but not yet in TELEports.

Telegram develop privately and then upload everything new in bulk, which is rather overwhelming. It is awesome that they are making so much progress but it is obviously very unlike our community driven working model.

Some notification improvements are in the pipeline and unread message presentation improvements are not far off.


In our UT bug tracker there are about 65 items without any label at all. They need tidying up by being removed if they were temporary or resolved. In some cases, it is just a matter of answering a question posed by the poster. A very good way to start getting involved with our project is to help us out with that. Ask Dalton at @UniversalSuperBox if you would like more information on how to get started.

Sponsors were thanked.


Which bugs will be corrected by new Mir and Unity8?

Well, Libertine and hardware acceleration fixes are almost tangible. In the short term, the change will be about enabling technology which can be used for new stuff in the future, rather than just improving what we have now. Again, at a visible level, Morph browser will allow popup windows to work correctly. There will be big stability developments but those you won’t directly see. With the changes, we become plugged into the upstream, which means we will get immediate updates and benefits from the improvements being made by external teams. Indirectly, that frees up more time for other development.

Would it be possible to create a ‘power off’ animation?

As you know, at the moment it just goes dark. Importing an SVG file into QML would be possible in principle, so the basic answer is yes. Unity8 stops though before the device stops. So there still would be blank screen for a while, before the shutdown. We would not be able to do it, as in Lineage, right to the end.

Halium and Porting

We don’t talk about device ports much on Q&As but a reminder – Halium is a collabotative project, for various mobile operating systems. It allows them all to run on Android devices. It is also a place to gather to discuss porting.

5.1 and 7.1 are supported but for now, none other. So if your device launched with something else, you are currently out of luck. Look at halium.org for a lot of information. Some uncompleted ports have been abandoned, so you could pick one up and get a head start. Look in their documentation section. Many ports are still making steady progress.

How easy would it be to emulate an old kernel on a new kernel?

Basically it is not possible. There are new drivers. System calls and function calls would need newer information, which would not be available. It would be great if such technology existed but it would be wildly complicated to do.

New kernels on new devices are of course a different matter altogether! Dalton mentioned that Pinetab is out now. The new Pinebook laptop will also be great. The Pinephone will release us from the old Android-imposed kernel.

Would it be straightforward to allow the import of OpenVPN settings directly within Settings?

It could indeed be done but has not been implemented. There are no plans around but it would be an interesting project. There are of course blogs on our website about setting up a VPN in UT manually.

Finally, a shout out to Nigel who does the uploading of the blog versions of these Q&A sessions and gets them onto social media. Many thanks to him for the work he does.


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