Ubuntu Touch is alive and well with release of version 20.04 OTA-3, now available on PinePhone
Ubuntu Touch is still kicking, and the development team behind the project released the latest version of the alternative smartphone operating system today.
Ubuntu Touch 20.04 OTA-3 released today for compatible smartphones (list at the end of the article). The phone-focused version of Ubuntu and brings a number of stability improvements as well as support for new keyboard layouts, tweaks to the settings UI, improvements for Waydroid (which allows some Android apps to run on Ubuntu Touch), and more.
The biggest update that OTA-3 brings is official support for Pine64 devices, including the PinePhone, PinePhone Pro, PineTab, and PineTab 2. Up to this point, there has been a PinePhone-specific release of Ubuntu Touch. This update brings Pine64's mobile devices into the official Ubuntu Touch fold.
The PinePhone and PinePhone Pro are smartphones designed to run a number of Linux distros that are modified to work on a handset. While they are still considered by most to be highly niche hobbyist devices, Pine64 has actively supported the handsets and worked with developers to get stable and modern Linux software running on the handsets.
UBPorts, the team behind Ubuntu Touch, stated that the OTA-3 update is still considered a beta release for the PinePhone, meaning it's likely to contain a number of bugs. The hope is that with official support, UBPorts will be able to improve the Ubuntu Touch experience on the PinePhone (in addition to other supported handsets).
Ubuntu Touch 20.04 OTA-3 is based on Ubuntu Desktop 20.04 LTS (Long-term Support), which was released in April 2020. However, as an LTS release, Canonical will support the desktop version of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS for a minimum of 5 years, which means it will receive updates until 2025. The future of Ubuntu Touch is entirely in the hands of UBPorts, which is a separate entity from Canonical, but it's likely that Ubuntu Touch 20.04 will receive updates for years to come.
Devices compatible with Ubuntu Touch 20.04 OTA-3:
- Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1
- Fairphone 3 and 3+
- Fairphone 4
- Google Pixel 3a and 3a XL
- JingPad A1
- OnePlus 5 and 5T
- OnePlus 6 and 6T
- PinePhone (beta)
- PinePhone Pro (beta)
- PineTab (beta)
- PineTab2 (beta)
- Sony Xperia X
- Vollaphone X
- Vollaphone 22
- Vollaphone X23
- Xiaomi Poco M2 Pro
- Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC / X3
- Xiaomi Redmi Note 9, 9 Pro, 9 Pro Max and 9S