The return of Ubuntu to GNOME meant the discontinuation by Canonical of Unity 8, the desktop environment characterized by offering a convergent experience, being able to convert from a mobile interface to a desktop interface connecting the necessary devices.
The idea was frankly excellent, but like Microsoft's Continuum, it didn't get to success, although in the case of Unity 8 we must also add a development that apparently was very slow.
In spite of everything, a project called UBPorts decided to take advantage of the free software nature of Canonical's technologies to rebuild Ubuntu Touch and continue its development.
Shortly before the end of 2017, we published that UBPorts intended Ubuntu Touch to support containerized Android applications using a technology called Anbox.
We echo that Canonical has decided to donate to UBPorts a total of 38 smartphones that had saved to help the development of Ubuntu Touch. Specifically, the donation was 18 BQ Aquaris E5 HD and 20 Meizu MX4, all using Android as the operating system.
Because the manufacturers of smartphones and tablets don't provide facilities when redistributing their drivers, the support offered by the independent operating systems is limited to particular devices.
Currently, Ubuntu Touch only supports the following: Fairphone 2, Nexus 5, OnePlus One, Optimus L90, BQ M10 HD and BQ M10 FHD, to which added to other older ones that only receive security updates and bug fixes. With the donation of Canonical, it is expected that the BQ Aquaris E5 HD and Meizu MX4 will soon join the list.
UBPorts have not hidden their joy at this Canonical gesture. Will Ubuntu Touch gain a place in the market with UBPorts?
Realistically, it is tough, but in case of success, Canonical may decide to increase its development.