Canonical Clarifies Ubuntu Phone State: Nothing Really Until Snap-Based Image Ready
For those that shared your hopes for Ubuntu Phones in 2017, some of you were right: those that guessed nothing or very little. There isn't going to be any new Ubuntu Phone releases or major OTA updates until there is a Snap-based image down the road.
From all the frustrated Ubuntu Phone users begging for answers on the Ubuntu-Phone mailing list, Canonical's Pat McGowan has responded to some of the comments.
Pat shares that the Click-based Ubuntu Phone images are indeed on the way out, there will be no new Ubuntu Phone models until there is a "Snap image", and they don't plan to do an OTA-15 feature release. Canonical doesn't plan to land any new features to the current stable PPA, but they will be providing security updates for important components.
Canonical will be spending their time now working on transitioning to Snap as well as bringing Unity 8's desktop up-to-par with Unity 7 before focusing more on mobile features. Canonical does still plan to use Unity 8 as the default shell on Ubuntu, according to Pat.
You can read Pat's comments from this morning on the ubuntu-phone list. Long story short, it looks like 2017 will be very boring for anyone who bought an Ubuntu Phone/Tablet up to this point as Canonical works more on plumbing with Snaps and getting Unity 8 ready for the desktop. For Ubuntu Phone, the switch from Clicks to Snaps isn't trivial and will certainly take some time; hopefully it will be successfully reached and that Ubuntu Phone just doesn't go the way of Ubuntu TV and other failed past projects. They still are aiming for Snaps and Unity 8 by default on the desktop with next year's Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, unless it gets postponed yet again.