Installing Ubuntu Touch

100DaysToOffload Linux 

After trying out a lot of custom ROMs over the course of 7 years, it was finally the time to test out something different and unique. I use Linux based operating system as my daily driver, but my phone runs on android, which technically is a part of the Linux kernel. When I heard that Ubuntu Touch was available for two of the devices which I own, I said to myself that I need to test it on either one of them, and thus I ended up installing Ubuntu Touch on Poco F1.

Installation Process

In order to install Ubuntu Touch, you need to get UBports installer, which would do the process of downloading and flashing Ubuntu Touch image on your phone. However, the process was not the smoothest for me. I got Ubuntu Touch to install on my 5th try. Let me explain, why it took me so much of time and effort.

I first downloaded the app image of UBports, since I'm on arch based system. In most of the tutorials, they are either using Ubuntu or Windows based systems to install. The downloading of files via UBports was great, but when it came to flashing those files it couldn't finish the process, thus ending up in an infinite flashing loop, which would never start in the first place. After 4 tries, I finally give up that I can't install Ubuntu touch for some reason even after formatting data which is recommended by the Ubuntu Touch For Poco F1 Telegram Group.

As a final nail in the coffin, I decided to boot my Windows 10 instance, and try the process from the start. It took me by surprise, and the whole process finished without any signs of error. Finally, Ubuntu Touch was installed on my Poco F1.

Initial Impression

The first boot up didn't even take 5 minutes, and the setup screen consisted of only the necessary options, which is nice compared to Android. I was surprised that the fingerprint sensor just works out of the box. The UI resembles the layout of any Ubuntu installation. One of the first thing which I did was to install yt-dlp, but it didn't work as it requires python 3.6 and above, whereas Ubuntu Touch is based on 16.04, thus providing support till 3.5.

I have not yet tested the calling functionality, since this is my secondary phone. Also, I tried running android apps on it via WayDroid. It provided Lineage OS under a virtual environment, and the performance of it was decent for lightweight applications. I even tried YouTube Vanced on it, but the waydroid session won't start automatically after exiting, so I had to do it manually via terminal. Thus, I ended up uninstalling it within a day of use.

Talking of battery life on Ubuntu Touch, the standby time is amazing. I don't know what terminology to use for doze over here, but there is hardly any battery drain at night. Overall, the whole system feels smooth and easy to use thanks to its gestures. I got so used to them, that I started swiping in similar manner on my android phone.

Conclusion

I'm really liking the entire experience that Ubuntu Touch provides, even though the project is yet to see the wide popularity that its desktop counterpart has experienced over the years. Ubuntu Touch is a great alternative to Android system, for those looking for a privacy-oriented operating system for their existing phones instead of getting dedicated phones such as PinePhone. The app support is still not there, but I can see that the future of Ubuntu Touch looks great, as more people get to use and experience it.

This is the Day 15 of 100DaysToOffload challenge (Round Two)