Ubuntu Touch is still relevant and the development team behind the project today released the latest version of the alternative operating system for smartphones.
Ubuntu Touch 20.04 OTA-3 is now available for compatible smartphones (list at the end of the article). This phone-focused version of Ubuntu Touch features a number of stability improvements, support for new keyboard layouts, user interface improvements, enhancements to Waydroid (allowing some Android apps to run on Ubuntu Touch), and much more.
The biggest update that OTA-3 brings is official support for Pine64 devices, including PinePhone, PinePhone PropineTab and PineTab 2. Previously there was a PinePhone-specific version of Ubuntu Touch. This update brings Pine64 mobile devices to the official version of Ubuntu Touch.
PinePhone and PinePhone Pro are smartphones designed to run a number of Linux distributions modified to run on a mobile phone. Although still considered niche devices by most, Pine64 has actively supported these devices and worked with developers to get stable, modern Linux software running on these devices.
UBPorts, the team behind Ubuntu Touch, has stated that the OTA 3 update is still considered a beta for the PinePhone, meaning it likely contains a number of bugs. The hope is that with official support, UBPorts can improve the Ubuntu Touch experience on the PinePhone (in addition to other supported phones).
Ubuntu Touch 20.04 OTA-3 is based on Ubuntu Desktop 20.04 LTS (Long Term Support) released in April 2020. However, as an LTS release, Canonical supports the desktop version of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS for at least 5 years. This means it will receive updates until 2025. The future of Ubuntu Touch is entirely in the hands of UBPorts, a separate company from Canonical, but it’s likely that Ubuntu Touch 20.04 will receive updates in the coming years.
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Devices compatible with Ubuntu Touch 20.04 OTA-3: