We’ve been asked several times by some of our readers what’s going on in the Ubuntu Touch world, the operating system that powers the Ubuntu Phone and Ubuntu Tablet devices.

Well, the truth is that not much happened lately for Ubuntu Touch, except of various small changes and fixes that are being prepared for the next OTA. Some of you out there might already know that Canonical is currently working on the OTA-12 update for Ubuntu-powered devices, as well as of the fact that it will be more about fixes than features.

So far that’s pretty accurate, but the Meizu PRO 5 Ubuntu Edition smartphone will get a new feature, fingerprint reader. Yes, that’s right, biometric authentication will be automatically enabled on the physical button of the device immediately after users will upgrade to the OTA-12 software (watch the video at the end of the article to see it in action – thanks Alan Pope!).

Other than that, there should only be a bunch of improvements and numerous bug fixes implemented in the upcoming OTA-12 update, which looks quite ready for landing, as the Ubuntu Touch team prepares this week for spinning a few snapshot-based candidate images, then, if all the changes are in place, send it to Ubuntu QA for final testings.

OTA-13 preparations begin

In the meantime, it looks like preparations for the next OTA update after OTA-12, the OTA-13, have already started, and the first major change is about to land soon. It’s a new power manager for Ubuntu Touch devices, called repowerd package, which comes as a drop-in replacement for powerd, designed to offer users better power management on their Ubuntu Phones and Tablets, which automatically translates to longer battery life.

“We have already opened up the landing gates for OTA-13, but so far only one landing was been prepared and signed-off for the next milestone: the repowerd package, a new power manager for ubuntu touch devices (replacement for powerd) – which will land to the overlay as soon as their packaging bits get reviewed,” said Łukasz Zemczak, Canonical Foundations.

With that in mind, we’re looking forward to the OTA-12 release notes, which should be available in the coming days, as the update could arrive for all supported Ubuntu Phone devices, as well as the Ubuntu Tablet sometime next week if everything goes well with the testing and no new regressions are discovered. Next week, we should also prepare an in-depth review of the Meizu PRO 5 Ubuntu Edition smartphone!

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