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Linux Phone News - April 10, 2024

Salutations, and welcome to the newest FOSSphones Linux Phone news roundup! It's been a fun start to April - I've been working on some things, seeing some family, and of course, viewing the total eclipse a few days ago. Hope your month has been going well so far, too!

We have some fun new developments to get into, as well as our usual mobile free software application highlights, so let's jump right into it!

Phosh 0.38.0 Release

The well-known and much-loved GNOME-based mobile desktop environment, Phosh, just saw its 0.38.0 release.

As usual, Phosh itself, as well as the Phoc compositor, and Squeekboard, Phosh's onscreen keyboard, all saw some quality-of-life improvements. Here's a quick breakdown of the new features and fixes:

~ Phosh updates

You can see the full list of updates for Phosh in greater detail here.

~ Phoc updates

You can find all of the updates for Phoc here.

~ Squeekboard updates

A full breakdown of Squeekboard updates can be found here.

If you run a mobile Linux distro with Phosh as your mobile environment, these updates should make their way to you fairly quickly depending on which distribution you use.

Arch Linux ARM Sees Some Updates

If you like to tell your friends "btw, i run mobile arch", then you might like to know about some of the new updates the DanctNIX team has brought to the mobile distribution just 2 weeks ago.

Please note that this release targets PinePhone, PinePhone Pro, and PineTab2. Here are some of the notes from the changelog:

Quick Tip: If you're running Arch ARM on the Pinephone Pro, make sure you have Tow-Boot installed on the SPI.

If you would like to see the full changelog in deeper detail, as well as download this release for yourself, please see this page on GitHub.

CalyxOS 5.6.0 Arrives With Security and Bug Fixes

If you're a fan of the AOSP distribution, CalyxOS, you should be checking your device for the newest bits! CalyxOS 5.6.0 is here with the April Android security patches, bugfixes, and some other announcements. Let's take a quick peek and breakdown the latest from the CalyxOS team:

Also, a few device-specific fixes:

~ Pixel Tablet, Pixel Fold, Fairphone 5, Fairphone 4, Moto G32, Moto G42

~ Moto G52

It is worth noting that this update is for the Pixel 3 and above, along with Calyx-supported Fairphone and Motorola devices.

CalyxOS also showed up with a booth at the FOSSASIA Summit in Vietnam a few days ago. You can read about this and further details of things we listed off here about this update by checking out this post from the CalyxOS team.

LineageOS 18.1 is Sunsetting

Speaking of AOSP distributions, there is some news from the world of LineageOS, as well. While most users are probably up-to-date to LineageOS 21 (as I currently am on my Moto z3 and my Essential Phone), users on older devices might still be using some of the older versions of LineageOS.

With that being said, LineageOS 18.1 just saw its final update. Going forward, LOS 18.1 will be considered sunset. This is due to the fact that in February, Google published the final ASB (Android Security Bulletin) for Android 11, the version of Android on which LineageOS 18.1 is based on.

The Lineage team clarifies that while backports could technically be done, it would very difficult for changes across versions to be tracked - and the worry that backporting the code to fix security vulnerabilities on this older version could introduce newer vulnerabilities in the process.

If your device is currently running 18.1, be sure to see if it is still supported by LineageOS. If it isn't, you can always grab a device which is supported by current versions, or you could see if development for your device starts up again - or you could always take up the mantle for yourself!

If you want further details on the sunsetting of LineageOS 18.1, be sure to check the announcement from the LineageOS team to get the full scoop.

Linux Phone App Highlight

As usual, we have a few free software mobile apps to spotlight. If this is your first roundup, we share a few of our favorite apps on Linux phones and AOSP devices each time, in the hopes that more people learn about them.

As usual, if you have any recommendations for FOSS mobile apps you like and use frequently, tell us about it on the Fediverse or X, and we will be sure to highlight them in a future roundup!

That's about it for this first April roundup! As usual, thanks for stopping in and checking out what's new in the latest in the world of Linux and free software on mobile devices. Until next time, we hope everyone has a great week, and we'll see you in the next roundup!