The UBPorts community is in the final stages of preparing its next release and it’s calling for testers.
OTA-23 is getting close – the project’s Github kanban looks quite good to us – and if you’re lucky enough to have one of the project’s supported devices lying around, then you can help.
Many of them are a few years old now, so there’s a good chance that you’ve already replaced them and they sit unloved and neglected in a drawer. The starred entries in the list of devices are the best supported and should have no show-stopping problems. In order of seniority, that means: the LG-made Google Nexus 5 (2013); the original Oneplus One (2014); two models of Sony Xperia X, the F5121 and F5122 (2016); and Google’s Pixel 3a and 3a XL (2019).
(The Reg FOSS desk suspects that if you have one of those lying around somewhere and aren’t tempted, you can probably sell it to some open-sourcy enthusiast who would love to give it a go.)
Not starred but still high on the list are several devices which are listed as “functioning well.” This means that they get green ticks across almost all of the feature-list apart from one or two items, such as lacking support for wireless external monitors. To us, this doesn’t sound like a deal-breaker. These models include the Xiaomi Mi A2 (2018) and Poco X3 NFC (2020), and the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 (2018).
There are a few models for which it’s a manufacturer-supported option. The Fairphone 2 is quite old now but it’s still fully supported. So are the original PinePhone and PineTab tablet
The other way to help, of course, is simply to buy a new phone with the OS preinstalled: German privacy-oriented phone vendor Volla will sort you out.
UBPorts is the community that is continuing work on Ubuntu’s mobile distribution. The Reg thought Ubuntu Touch was very promising back in 2013, and we still do… but sadly that didn’t prevent Canonical killing it off four years later.
We’ve been reporting on the volunteer group’s efforts since then, most recently on the OTA-21 release. For now, work is continuing on the existing Ubuntu 16.04 base OS, although the project is looking at a future Ubuntu 20.04 version, and there is even some discussion about 22.04. ®