O Ubuntu Touch a converged operating system for smartphones and tablets. Developed and initially maintained by Canonical (the company responsible for creating and maintaining Ubuntu), Ubuntu Touch from its inception has always been an ambitious and innovative project. As mentioned earlier, the idea was for the system to be convergent, thus being an operating system for mobile devices, which could also be used with mouse and keyboard when connected to a computer monitor. The original purpose of Ubuntu Touch was to be the standard operating system for Ubuntu Phones, however, for the reasons that you can check in this article, it was discontinued by Canonical at the same time that the company also abandoned the Unity project.
But when it comes to Open Source, when discontinued software does not necessarily mean that it is forgotten, lost in time. As we all know, by having your code open, anyone or team with the necessary knowledge can take over the project for themselves, and continue it as they see fit.
This way UBports was created. A non-profit foundation created by Marius Gripsgard, Ricardo Mendonza, Jan Sprinz, Florian Leeber and Ewald Pierre with the initial goal of continuing the Ubuntu Touch project. Without giving up the idea of future also open or even create other projects.
UBports has been maintaining Ubuntu Touch since then, which can now be installed on various models of officially supported devices. However, until recently, the system was only available in its 32-bit version. This reality has just changed.
The video below is the record of a live stream made by three of the project developers, in which the availability of ARM 64 images is officially announced.
For those with a busy schedule who do not have time to watch the official announcement, or for those who do not have a good understanding of English, here is a summary of what has been announced. According to UBports:
64-bit ARM devices have been around for a relatively long time, but since Ubuntu Touch was created, it has always worked only at 32 bits. We recently realized that having a 64-bit ARM version is much more useful than previously thought. And not just when it comes to devices with more than 4GB of RAM.
UBports also released the native Ubuntu Phone version of the apps. TELEports 0.6.0, and Telegram. It was also announced that the user interface Unity 8as well as the display server Mir 1.x, are already available in the Ubuntu Touch development release. Most likely, it will arrive in the stable version later this year.
While this is obvious, it is always worth noting that testing the development version of Ubuntu Touch, as well as any other software, is intended only for users who are willing to help with bug reporting, and do not expect great system stability.
Finally, I think that Ubuntu Touch, with each update, is increasingly becoming an excellent operating system. However, for several reasons, the main one being the low availability of apps, I don't think Ubuntu Touch will be popular. At least in the next few years.
Still, I want to test it as soon as possible when I have an extra smartphone, as I really don't want to install it on my main smartphone, at least for now.
Have you tested, or are curious about testing Ubuntu Touch? What do you think about the news, and the path that the project has been taking? Tell us in the comments!
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