Linux Phone News - February 10, 2024
Hey there! Hope everyone has been doing great in this New Year.
It's been quite awhile since we've been able to do an update, but things have calmed down and we're finally back with a new update to get caught up through what has been up in the world of Linux Phones since our last roundup!
Ubuntu Touch OTA-4 Update
Ubuntu Touch has a brand new update, OTA-4, that is available now on several Android devices, both Pinephones, and a few tablets!
Here are the details:
The update is available on these devices:
- Asus Zenphone Pro M1
- f(x)tec Pro1-X
- Fairphone 3
- Fairphone 3+
- Fairphone 4
- Google Pixel 3a
- Google Pixel 3a XL
- OnePlus One
- OnePlus 5
- OnePlus 5T
- OnePlus 6
- OnePlus 6T
- Samsung Galaxy S7
- Sony Xperia X
- PinePhone Pro
- Jingpad A1
- VollaPhone X
- VollaPhone 22
- VollaPhone X23
- Xiaomi Poco M2 Pro
- Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC/X3
- Xiaomi Redmi 9 Pro
- Xiaomi Redmi Pro 9 Max
- Xiaomi Redmi 9S
Ubuntu Touch OTA-4 is based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, and contains several new features for your convenience. Here's a quick breakdown on some of the new features:
- Notification content can now be hidden while the screen is locked.
- When locked and on the charger, the device displays the estimated time to charge.
- Theme-switching is now baked into the operating system, without having to rely on a third-party application to take advantage of it.
- Individual contact ringtones can now be assigned.
- When connecting the device to a computer, a notification is now displayed for confirmation.
- Other quality-of-life changes and bugfixing.
As you can see, a nice new update awaits you if you run Ubuntu Touch on your own device and haven't updated yet!
If you would like to learn more about this update, including further details on the ones mentioned here and a deep-dive into the smaller bugfixes and QoL upgrades, check out the update notice from Ubports!
If you like the Phosh Shell on your Linux mobile device, you'll be interested in a few updates from the Phosh Team on new developments in the Linux Phone mobile environment.
Looking at the 2023 wrap-up on the Phosh website, you'll notice some of the nice new features that have been introduced into the software over the last year. These include:
- When you long-press the power button on your device, you will be presented with a menu that gives you quick options to power off the device, lock the display, take a screenshot, or make an emergency call.
- Audio devices are selectable through new quick settings, and ongoing calls display a notification when the display is locked.
- Squeekboard (Phosh's onscreen keyboard), gained new keyboard layouts, saw fixes on sizing, and more.
- The Settings application received a new panel for onscreen keyboard settings. It also received a new censor panel and a panel for configuring event feedback. One can also now configure sounds used when an SMS or phone call is received.
0.35.0 was released on January 7 of this year, and includes some of these nice new changes:
- The home bar is now smaller, and the onscreen keyboard will display if the user long-presses it.
- A 5G indicator will be shown in the status panel if such coverage is detected.
- Fixes for suspend-inhibitor when the data hotspot is on, back-swiping when the lockscreen widget is open, and more.
Please check out the link above if you would like to go deeper into the details on the 0.35.0 update.
Mobian: Looking Ahead
On their blog, the Mobian Team did a nice look back at everything they accomplished in 2023, and mentioned some things in the plans for the mobile distribution this year. Here are some of the highlights that we might see coming to Mobian this year:
- Bringing in a runtime-based tweaks environment, allowing for unification in images, and packages for hardware that has varying configs and requirements.
- Getting packages that are device-agnostic into Debian.
- Pipewire and Wireplumber improvements, making call audio better.
- Sending more patches upstream.
- Single installer image for mainline Linux devices, avoiding the need to make new per-device installers.
For a deeper dive into the roadmap and a look back at the Mobian developments last year, be sure to check out the link above!
Linux Phone App Highlight
I want to start highlighting some of the apps I have been using in each update to shine a spotlight on them, and the devs building them. As such, we will begin highlighting some apps in our roundups!
- WatchMate: I use a PineTime, and this app is great for connecting to my PinePhone. Not only does it handle the Bluetooth connection to the device, but it also can handle downloading and installing firmware updates for PineTime operating systems, such as InfiniTime! Check out WatchMate here and give it a go!
- Fractal: On GNOME-based environments, I like to use Fractal for my Matrix conversations. I use Matrix to talk to several friends and family members, and run some groups, including the FOSSphones community group. On mobile Linux devices, Fractal scales nicely to the mobile environment. If you want a nice Matrix client for your device, give Fractal a go here.
- Blanket: A great application for making some background sounds. You can relax with sounds of nature and customize it to your liking. I like to run this app in the background sometimes while working on other things. If this sounds like something you'd enjoy, check out Blanket here.
Do you have any favorite applications to use on your Linux Phone? If so, please shout it out to us on the Fediverse, on Twitter, or in the FOSSphones Community group, and we will be sure to write it up in our next roundup!
That about wraps up this one! I'm finally able to get back to regular updates, so expect another one shortly! Until then, thanks for hanging out for this latest FOSSphones news roundup and have a great week!