Monday, 09 January 2017 11:14

Firmware updates for Ubuntu phones on hold

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Ubuntu phone users will be stuck with their current firmware for a while as the company has no plans to issue another over-the-air update until it switches package formats, according to Pat McGowan, an employee of Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu.

The last major update was OTA-14 and there have been questions aplenty as to when OTA-15 would arrive. McGowan has now answered that question.

Security updates would continue to be issued as and when needed, McGowan said in a mailing list post.

The format switch will be from the current click packaging to snap packaging, which Canonical claims is superior and easier to build and install.

It is unclear whether earlier phone models which run Ubuntu Touch will be able to run the new operating system when it is released.

When the snap packaging initiative was announced, it was claimed that a single binary package would work on any Linux server, cloud, desktop or device.

It was also claimed that snap packages worked on many Linux distributions like Arch, Debian, Fedora, Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu GNOME, Ubuntu Kylin, Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu Unity, and Xubuntu.

The Ubuntu phones were first released in February 2015, with the first models being somewhat underpowered.

Later models like the Meizu Pro-5 have earned better reviews, as the hardware has plenty of grunt.

There are several things which need to be fixed on Ubuntu Touch, the operating system used on the Ubuntu phone.

For example, there are plenty of documented problems with Bluetooth, making pairing very difficult.

There are also issues with the flaky Wi-Fi implementation that make the connection go up and down like a yo-yo.

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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