back to article Ubuntu on a phone, anyone? UBports reaches 18th stable update, but it's still based on 16.04

UBports, which took on the task of maintaining the Ubuntu Touch mobile OS after Canonical abandoned it, has released OTA-18 with lots of improvements, but still based on the ancient Ubuntu 16.04. According to the team, one of the big changes in this release is a rewritten Media-hub service, responsible for media playback and …

  1. RyokuMas

    Funny thing...

    "There is plenty of interest in the idea of a phone that is free from Google or Apple..."

    Oooh, I recall there being just such a thing some five to ten years ago... it got up to about 10% of the UK market share too, along with widespread panning from a lot of people on here who had never used it, but preferred Android "because Android was Linux-based", and therefore open source...

    ... oh yeah, that right. It was made by Microsoft...

    1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

      Re: Funny thing...

      And it only came to prominence after ms subverted Nokia, not coincidentally killing off maemo just as it was maturing into a viable phone os.

      (granted, Nokia weren't exactly managing it well at the time, but ms delivered the coup de gras)

      1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

        Re: Funny thing...

        Nokia had already shot themselves in the foot long before the MS purchase, they certainly had the talent and several Reg articles appeared to show they had 2 touch OS' (One being Symbian correct me if I am wrong as its been a while since I saq that article) which looks like it could have launched at the same time as Apple.

    2. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: Funny thing...

      If you're against both Apple and Google's business model, why would you want to support Microsoft's which since they added all the telemetry to Windows 10 is a combination of the worst aspects of both?

      1. RyokuMas

        Re: Funny thing...

        "since they added all the telemetry to Windows 10"

        WinPhone 7 / 7.5 / 8 predates WIn10 and its telemetry... that's not to say that I don't believe for a second that they wouldn't have added it.

        In fact, I think that one of Microsoft's greatest own-goals (of which there are too many to count) is not taking advantage of the growing concern over privacy - had they continued supporting and developing WinPhone/Windows Mobile (and by that I don't mean "totally rewriting it every version) and made a public commitment to not collecting data, they would have stood a reasonable chance of grabbing and holding a decent chunk of the mobile market share.

        ... but then this is Microsoft we're talking about - the only thing they've got anywhere near right recently is cloud technologies - and I'm pretty sure that that was only because the law of averages means that they had it had to happen at some point.

        1. DS999 Silver badge

          Re: Funny thing...

          That's a specious argument because you can guarantee that if Microsoft was still making phones they would have added all that Windows 10 telemetry to Windows Phone 10!

          1. RyokuMas

            Re: Funny thing...

            "you can guarantee that... they would have added all that Windows 10 telemetry to Windows Phone 10!"


            I suggest you take a look at the second line of my post - here it is in all it's glory:

            "... that's not to say that I don't believe for a second that they wouldn't have added it."

      2. Trixr

        Re: Funny thing...

        ... which is after the debacle of the Nokia phone, so that didn't apply in this instance.

  2. Adair Silver badge

    For those on Android who prefer to minimise their Google contact - but without the buttock clenching frisson of going full Lineage on their precious hardware - there is Aurora (see F-Droid (other APK repos are available)), which basically anonymises your access to the Playstore - and works very well in my ongoing experience.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Or you can just sign into playstore (and your phone) with a throwaway Gmail account.

      You need to click "skip for now" everytime it asks for a credit card, or if you need to buy apps use a giftcard

      1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

        How do you get a throwaway Gmail account without giving up your personal data?

        1. Victor Ludorum
          Big Brother

          Who said it had to be your personal data?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            I think you're being trolled, because the whole idea of gmail is to let Google spy on your e-mails, and since they tell you they're doing it, it's an in-your-face security nightmare (by design).

            At first using an anonymized gmail account was annoying because it always barked for a credit card, phone number, blah. At one point they "locked" the account, but after about 4 weeks they came crawling back for me to use it with one of those "Is this your account?" bot-mails, which proves just how anonymized it can ever be :-( They haven't "relocked" it since, that was 4 years ago.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          >How do you get a throwaway Gmail account without giving up your personal data?

          You make it up, all you need is another email address to activate it = and a mailinator one works (other email anonymiser services are available)

          1. Blank Reg Silver badge

            I have about half a dozen throwaway accounts that all link around to each other in a circle.None of them have any of my real data.

          2. Trixr

            Yes, wow, just invent any BS to create as many google accounts as you need. I have four... I think.

            It's not rocket science.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'm pretty sure Google can work out exactly who you are without adding your credentials to the Play store.

      Your location, cell tower pings and your neighbor's WIFI SSID's shuld be enough.

  3. mark l 2 Silver badge

    I thought Ubuntu was now unsupported unless you pay Canonical for extended support, Does this mean the UBports team are providing their own security patches for UBports 18 or are you risking running an unpatched version until they get one based on Ubuntu 20?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      For the security I don't see anything listed about keeping the latest patches, although I don't see why they wouldn't. The article calls 16.04 ancient, but it's fully maintainable, so...

      "unsupported". Do you mean on a mobile exclusively? I have no idea. IIRC, Ubuntu changed how LTS is maintained vs. licensed LTS, support itself isn't gone. Trust me, the little update center ("A") annoyingly lets me know EVERY DAY on my Gnome based 2-in-1.

      Ubuntu+Gnome isn't dying, it's growing. It's poping up in videos all over the place covering all kinds of things, which usually are not about installing Ubuntu or even related to Linux at all. Somebody... somewhere... is making it trendy. "It", as in Ubuntu+Gnome straight vanilla style, also no other desktops like the superior KDE.

  4. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Linux phone

    I want a proper Linux phone with a bash shell and command line calling, and my contacts in a text file

    1. Stoneshop

      Re: Linux phone

      I had that. Well, if you scratch the Linux requirement, as that didn't exist yet.

      VAX8600 + VT220 + Phone. Somewhat lacking in the portability department, though.

      (the one with those orange binders sticking out of the pockets)

    2. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Linux phone

      You can get one of those. A few devices out there support a straight Linux OS without any Android additions. The problem with them has been that they're not polished for nontechnical use; some software is beta quality and requires you to enter command line commands in order to do some things. From your requirements, I'm guessing that's not going to be a problem for you. Calling from bash should be pretty easy with it.

      1. SilverCanary

        Re: Linux phone

        Sailfish is a very polished OS and it's fully Linux-based. I have it on my Sony Xperia as my daily driver. It comes with a terminal too if you enable developer mode. It's not fully open source unfortunately, but a lot of it is. It's somewhat of a spiritual successor of Maemo, a lot of the ex-Nokia people are involved.

        It even lets you run Android apps if you buy the licence. No Google Play of course, but it works pretty well in my experience. Then again, I don't use a lot of apps, so YMMV.

    3. Blank Reg Silver badge

      Re: Linux phone


      I think I still have a laminated Hayes command set cheat sheet somewhere

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Linux phone

        You typed the Hayes codes ?

        some of us just whistled the tones into the handset

        1. Blank Reg Silver badge

          Re: Linux phone

          Couldn't do that, but I at one time I had worked on DTMF for so long that I could tell the number pressed by the sound. And for fun I'd dial a phone just by repeatedly pressing the receiver button/hook flash in the appropriate pattern, kind of like Morse code, only easier.

          1. Stoneshop

            Re: Linux phone

            And for fun I'd dial a phone just by repeatedly pressing the receiver button/hook flash in the appropriate pattern

            Which is how you call out from a phone with a locked dial or no dial at all.

    4. CJ_C

      Re: Linux phone

      Ubports is indeed a proper Linux phone. It has a bash shell. New volunteers and users are wanted.

    5. ScissorHands

      Re: Linux phone

      Where were you when the Nokia N9 needed users, back in 2011?

  6. Youngone Silver badge

    UBports Phone Experience

    I have UBports running on an LG Nexus 6p and it works pretty well really. I have not had dropped calls which some people report. The recent update downloaded and installed in pretty quick time too, I was impressed by how smoothly that went.

    The real problem of course is a lack of apps, and several that I use daily will never be available for a minority platform like this one.

    I am hopeful however that one of the Linux phone projects gets to the point of mainstream acceptance, and in an effort to help with that I have thrown some money at the Pinephone guys.

  7. 4d3fect

    This is the year of the linux ph-

    I'll see myself out now

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like