Ubuntu Touch came to an abrupt end in the first of 2017, when Canonical announced the end of its strategy around convergence to return to GNOME. That move has served to improve both, since GNOME 3 has begun to show its best side and Ubuntu has been able to serve the LTS version that has been released the best in a long time. On the other hand, the development of Ubuntu Touch has passed into the hands of UBPorts, which Canonical has supported to the extent that it has been able.
Although GNU / Linux has failed in its attempt to penetrate the mobility market, this has not interrupted the development of some systems that insist on freeing users from proprietary software. One of those systems, of course, is Ubuntu Touch, whose development has continued steadily in recent years by the hand of UBPorts, to the extent that we have among us recently OTA-13 of said system.
Ubuntu Touch OTA-13 aims to continue the path of offering a free mobile operating system that respects user privacy, which apparently Android does not do so well and for which it is so criticized. This time we find component updates and some other relevant technological change.
Continuing with the parts tied to the graphical user interface, for Ubuntu Touch OTA-13 it has been retrieved the main menu from the icon-based system settings, which was removed by Canonical shortly before discontinuing the project possibly with the intention of improving the experience with two columns. This interface will kick in when the window is too small for list-based layout.
Among the contributors to the system is a person who is working to make components like Lomiri and its flags work on postmarketOS and Alpine Linux. As UBPorts explains, this will lead to the adoption of a new set of technologies, including the replacement of GNU Libc by musl and the use of newer compilers and tools. The aforementioned changes have brought work around Ubuntu Touch closer to postmarketOS and have made it easier for UBPorts to transition to Ubuntu 20.04 and later.
Then there are other novelties of less impact but that can also end up being very useful, such as the fact that the Contacts application can save birthdays, a redesigned view to facilitate the introduction of new contacts, the possibility of importing contacts from a file VCF and fixed an issue with SMS and MMS messages where bubbles ended up overflowing.
Ubuntu Touch OTA-13 can be downloaded from the UBPorts website or obtained from an update. We leave you with the devices supported by the stable branch:
- LG Nexus 5
- OnePlus One
- FairPhone 2
- LG Nexus 4
- BQ E5 HD Ubuntu Edition
- BQ E4.5 Ubuntu Edition
- Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition
- Meizu Pro 5 Ubuntu Edition
- BQ M10 (F) HD Ubuntu Edition
- Nexus 7 2013 (Wi-Fi and LTE models)
- Sony Xperia X
- Sony Xperia X Compact
- Sony Xperia X Performance
- Sony Xperia XZ
- OnePlus 3 and 3T