UBPorts Ubuntu Touch Firmware to Add Android App Support using Anbox

Last spring, Canonical stopped working on mobile and convergence, and dropped any work on Unity, which explains why Ubuntu 17.10 is now running Gnome desktop environment by default. The company had to take this decision because there was little interest from manufacturers for such solution, and instead they refocused on the more profitable IoT and cloud markets. However, some members of the community still wanted to run Ubuntu on their phone, and that’s why UBPorts community decided to carry on development on their own and released their first stable Ubuntu Touch image for supported smartphones last summer. A phone running Ubuntu Touch is great, but you’d have a very limited set of app to play with, so the developers are now working on adding support for Android apps support. There are various ways to implement such features, but they went with Anbox, as it executes Android apps natively in a container, which does not compromise performance and usability as the …

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UBPorts Project Announces its First Stable Ubuntu Touch Release for Supported Smartphones

Canonical may have stopped working on Unity, Mobile & Convergence for Ubuntu last April, but since then, at least two teams have worked on Unity and mobile convergence alive with respectively yunit and UBPorts projects. There has not been much activity on the former, but UBPorts has recently announced the first OTA-1 stable release for supported devices, minus Nexus 4 and 5 for now. This release brings bug fixes, experimental AGPS support, he UBports Welcome app, the OpenStore, and the Terminal and File Browser are preinstalled.  It should work on OnePlus One, FairPhone 2, Optimus L90, BQ Aquaris M10 HD / FHD, and possibly some other models. They also mentioned work on Halium – a project aiming to standardize the Android hardware compatibility layer between many Linux distributions – has been progressing nicely, and it can now boot both Ubuntu Touch and Plasma Mobile. Convergence still needs some work, but one of the developers demoed it on a Nexus 5 …

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Fairphone 2 “Ethical” Smartphone Gets a Ubuntu Port

Fairphone aims to “create positive social and environmental impact from the beginning to the end of a phone’s life cycle”by designing easy to repair and long lasting phones that can be recycled and reused, and manufactured in good working conditions using conflicts-free materials. Their latest model is the Fairphone 2  5” Android 5.1 smartphone with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, but you can now install Ubuntu on the device as UBports Ubuntu community has released a port for the phone. Let’s go through Fairphone 2 hardware specifications first: SoC- Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 (MSM8974AB) quad core Krait 400 processor @ up to 2.26 GHz with Adreno 330 GPU System Memory – 2 GB LPDDR3 Storage – 32GB eMMC flash + micro SD slot with support for SDHC, SDXC, UHS cards Display – 5″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) LCD TFT IPS touchscreen display with Gorilla Glass 3 Cellular Connectivity 2x micro SIM (3FF) Dual-SIM, Dual-Standby (DSDS); Not shared with micro SD …

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Magic Device Tool Helps You Switch Between Android and Ubuntu on Supported Phones

There have only been a few phones released with or supporting Ubuntu so far, and those phones will normally be able to run Android too since Ubuntu Touch relies on Android drivers, and you may decide that Ubuntu is not for you and switch back to Android, or the contrary, if you’ve purchased an Android phone, you may want to install Ubuntu instead. In order to simplify the task of installing operating systems, Marius Quabeck has developed “Magic Device Tool“. As you can see from the screenshot above, 13 phones and tablets are currently supported. You’ll need a computer with Ubuntu 15.04 or greater to install the tool, and I’ve done so on Ubuntu 16.04: The script will also install phablet-tools if it is not already installed,  so if you are not root, you’ll need your account to be member of sudoers. Once the initial setup is done, you’ll get to choose your phone as shown in the first screenshot. …

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