Compatible smartphones can now install the Ubuntu Touch OTA-4 update. This update includes some essential features that we expect from smartphone operating systems, including the ability to hide the contents of lock screen notifications.
UBports Foundation announced the OTA-4 update in a blog post. This is the fourth stable release of the modern Ubuntu Touch operating system, which is based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. Development seems to be quite rapid, as the OTA-3 update rolled out just over two months ago.
We’ve already mentioned Ubuntu Touch OTA-4’s best new feature: users can finally hide notification content on the lock screen. You’ll still receive lock screen notifications when this setting is toggled, but your incoming text messages won’t be advertised to the world. Dive into “Settings,” open the “Security & Privacy” panel, and head to “Locking and unlocking” to get this set up. Oddly, notification contents can’t be hidden in the quick settings shade. So, when you disable lock screen notification content, you may also want to disable quick settings on your lock screen.
Charge time estimates also make their debut in Ubuntu Touch OTA-4. After plugging in your phone, you’ll see the remaining charge time at the bottom of the lock screen. And the Ubuntu Touch dark mode can now be activated from the “Background & Appearance” settings panel. Dark mode previously required a third-party app.
Ringtones and vibration get a few improvements in Ubuntu Touch OTA-4. If you want to assign unique ringtones to each of your contacts, you can now do so. Just fill out the “Ringtone” field when editing or adding a contact. Custom vibration patterns, which are utilized by some apps, are now supported by Ubuntu Touch.
Naturally, this update includes some critical bug fixes. Accepting a phone call won’t turn off your LTE connection, Bluetooth headset connectivity is more reliable, and double-tap-to-wake settings will be retained after rebooting your phone. Website pop-ups should be more reliable in the OTA-4 release, though UBports says that some websites will still be troublesome.
All in all, this is a pretty significant update for Ubuntu Touch. Those who are already using Ubuntu Touch will find the update in “System Settings.” If you’re interested in trying Ubuntu Touch, check that you have a compatible phone and download the Ubuntu Touch installer. Note that this is one of several open-source mobile operating systems. Other options include Sailfish OS, Plasma Mobile, and PinePhone.