Linux in The News 11-13-23

Last Updated on November 13, 2023 by KC7NYR

Ubuntu Touch OTA-3 Out Now with OTA Support for PinePhone and PineTab Devices

This release introduces initial support for Snap packages, as well as numerous improvements.
Ubuntu Touch OTA-3

The UBports Foundation announced today the release and general availability of Ubuntu Touch 20.04 OTA-3 as the latest stable version of this Ubuntu-based privacy and freedom-respecting mobile operating system for smartphones and tablets.

Coming more than three months after Ubuntu Touch OTA-2, the Ubuntu Touch OTA-3 release is the third stable update based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) and it’s the first to offer official Ubuntu Touch 20.04 system images for PINE64’s PinePhone, PinePhone Pro, and PineTab devices.

Ubuntu Touch was already supported on PINE64’s PinePhone, PinePhone Pro, and PineTab devices, but users had to update their handsets independently of the rest of the officially supported devices as they didn’t receive new OTA updates via the stable channel.

PinePhone owners also received support for DSI as an internal display option to address shell rotation issues, as well as gpsd provider, which is required for PinePhone mainline Linux devices. However, the devs consider the PinePhone/PineTab images to have a beta status rather than stable.

Ubuntu Touch OTA-3 also introduces initial Snap support, implements the ability to search within conversations in the Messaging app, restores the ability to disable vibrations from notifications and other apps, switches to lineageos-apndb as the primary APN database provider enabling mobile data and MMS support for more users, and re-enables support for content-hub based clipboard to improve copy/pasting between apps.

This release also updates Ubuntu Touch’s System Settings app with a redesigned UI and menu structure of the Security and Privacy pages, as well as the ability to reflect channel selection changes on the Update page. Also update is Ubuntu Touch’s Morph Browser, which now features a toggle switch for mobile/desktop mode and a checkbox for automatic loading of image in its settings.

For those who want to use Android apps, Ubuntu Touch OTA-3 improves Waydroid support by adjusting calculation of available display size for Android apps to no longer cut off the bottom navigation buttons. Moreover, tethering detection has been extended to CDC-{NCM,ECM} and USB tethering support was added on supported devices, such as Fairphone 4.

Several new keyboard layouts have been added and existing ones updated, and many laguage translations received updates. Of course, this release also includes many other bug and security fixes for a more stable Ubuntu Touch experience.

Ubuntu Touch 20.04 OTA-3 is now rolling out to Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1, Pro1-X, Fairphone 3, Fairphone 3+, Fairphone 4, Google Pixel 3a, Google Pixel 3a XL, JingPad A1, OnePlus 5, OnePlus 5T, OnePlus 6, OnePlus 6T, PinePhone, PinePhone Pro, PineTab, PineTab2, Sony Xperia X, Vollaphone, Vollaphone X, Vollaphone 22, Vollaphone X23, Xiaomi Poco M2 Pro, Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC / X3, Xiaomi Redmi Note 9, Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro, Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro Max, and Xiaomi Redmi Note 9S devices.

Image credits: UBports Foundation (edited by Marius Nestor)