UBports releases its twentieth stable update of Ubuntu Touch

The UBports Foundation logo

Do you remember several years ago when all the tech firms wanted in on the mobile space but were more or less forced out due to Apple’s and Google’s market dominance? One of the players was Canonical which was aiming for true convergence across desktop, tablets, and phones. Canonical ended up shelving that ambitious goal but its mobile operating system, Ubuntu Touch, was picked up by the UBports Foundation and that organisation has just published OTA-20, the twentieth stable release of Ubuntu Touch.

Building and maintaining an operating system is no easy job which explains why Ubuntu Touch OTA-20 is still based on the archaic Ubuntu 16.04 which came out more than five years ago. Nevertheless, the team is still working away on improvements. In this update, LED notification support was added for devices with the Halium 9 base. If your device is newer and doesn’t have an LED light, vibration support for incoming notifications has also been added. Other new features include support for Khmer and Bengali fonts and the ability to define a custom notification sound by picking any audio file.

This update has added a range of new supported devices so if you have any lying around spare you could give Ubuntu Touch a go. The new devices supported by this release include the Xiaomi Redmi 9 and 9 Prime (lancelot), Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 (merlin), Note 9 Pro (joyuese), Note 9 Pro Max (excalibur), Note 9S (curtana), Xiaomi Poco M2 Pro (gram), and the Pixel 2 (walleye). It should be noted that the Pixel 2 suffers from battery life issue in this release so it’s not fully ready to be used as a daily driver.

The list of devices above are just the new additions, Ubuntu Touch actually supports many more phones. To find out if your device is supported and for installation instructions, head over to the Ubuntu Touch Devices website. Open source projects like this are quite interesting because although they may not have as much backing as iOS and Android, they do typically support older devices for longer which could mean you don’t have to throw your old phone away so soon.

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