Last time we focused on Camera 2 API changes. It’s so awesome to see how that is moving forward. In addition to Camera 2 API, it’s exciting and inspiring to follow flypig’s blog regarding engine upgrade efforts. All the support that he is receiving is just mesmerizing. If you haven’t checked the blog yet, we encourage to check it. Structure that flypig implemented for Gecko engine esr91 issues is just great. Simple to follow and good. Maybe milestones could be utilized for Camera 2 API as well? Great progress overall.
Thank you community. Let’s keep up with good work! Hope you enjoy reading this newsletter.
There is a lot of activity in mal 's branch introducing camera 2 API, from community members, opening issues for discussion or proposing pull requests for bug fixing or implementation.
nfcd, the daemon for near field communication, slava fixed a memory leak and also added support for MediaType NDEF records. NDEF means NFC Data Exchange Format and is the syntax used between devices and tags.
libcommhistory, the library to access SMS/phone history, neochapay worked on changes to be able to compile this library with Qt 6.
messagingframework, the email Qt framework, dcaliste opened a pull request allowing to use the upstream branch implementing IPC through DBus. This should be used in conjunction with a change in email permissions for
sailjail, since the message server is now using DBus instead of a Qcop socket.
nspr, platform independence for non-GUI operating system facilities like threads, file and network IO. flypig , in his quest to upgrade the browser, updated it to 4.35.
sailfish-browser, the browser application itself, flypig documented his effort to upgrade to ESR 91, creating a list of issues detailing the various adjustments he made for the project to compile and execute. Such noticies have also been created for other projects like,
alsa-utils, CLI tools for ALSA, mal fixed the path to
alsactlin the UDEV rules.
droidmedia, Android media wrapper library, simonschmeisser fixed an issue in exposure compensation setting when used with a locale using something different from the english dot ‘.’ character. thigg is working on zoom implemention and compatibility with older Android base (like for the XA2). All this work is based on the current branch dealing with camera 2 API from mal . Several issues have been opened also to discuss the current status of the implementation.
curl, the command-line tool to access the web, attah updated it to 8.4.0.
In the last newsletter we had a lovely bunch of apps, both productive and fun, and I spent more hours than I should have thrusting molecules across the screen. As always there have been so many app updates in the intervening fortnight that I’m not able to cover them all in the newsletter today. But we will catch up eventually! And in the meantime we have five more apps for you to take a look at. If you’ve been using any of these apps yourself, do share your experiences in the thread.
Even though it’s the same rendering engine it feels very different to the Sailfish Browser in use. When viewing pages there’s no chrome at all, which means you get to see the whole page all of the time. Moving forward and back through the history is achieved by swiping the entire page, which feels quite natural and Sailfishy. Three tiny semi-transparent boxes at the bottom of the screen act as the entire user interface. Select them to go to the main launcher page, change the page configuration and reload respectively.
Before using it I thought Ielig Web would be a bit like using one of the text-only browsers we looked at back in April. But it feels far more luxurious than that. Ielig Web is without doubt a full-featured browser, it doesn’t require any compromises.
Apart from the rendering engine switch hanswf has made many other nice changes, mostly to make the history more robust and to improve the user interface. You can grab yourself the latest version of Ielig Web from the Jolla Store.
Our second app is Lyrics from Andrea Scarpino (ilpianista), build to provide access to the world of musical poetry direct from your phone. Enter the name of a track and artist and the app will search up to four online databases to find the best crowdsourced lyrics for the track. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Lyrics in the newsletter, we previously took a look at it back in June. Since then Andrea has released version 0.2.4 which fixes several bugs, including a Sailjail issue that prevented the app from correctly searching for the lyrics of the song currently playing.
If you go for the version on the Jolla Store you’ll quickly discover that ChartLyrics is the only lyrics database the app supports. While it’s also available on Chum, if you want the full set of all four lyrics databases you’ll have to download it from OpenRepos. It’s a great app and highly recommended.
If you’re reading this in the week of release there’s a good chance you’ll be experiencing the Sailfish Weather Blackout. Due to circumstances outside the control of us users, the Foreca widget and official Sailfish Weather app are no longer playing ball. But if you’re suffering from forecast withdrawal, worry not, for there are thankfully other weather services and apps out there. MeeCast from Vlad Vasilyeu (vasvlad) is one of many available, but will be of particular interest to anyone who still hankers for the classic dark MeeGo aesthetic. The MeeCast app is designed to reflect a similar style and I have to admit it is very… well… stylish! All blacks and greys with a very slight shadow making the icons rise elegantly above the display. There are also several icon options and the ability to restore your ambience background if you want to go more Sailfish and less MeeGo.
Functionality-wise it’s also an impressive app, offering full customisability and access to eight different weather service backends. Great stuff. Version 1.1.35 now has improved Slovak translations and a bugfix for the Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology backend.
The Situations app from Heikki Haveri (hhaveri) deserves a brief mention for an update to version 3.3.287. We already covered the app quite recently so I won’t give the full rundown, but as a very popular app it’s great to see it receiving such regular updates. The app itself allows you to control various features and configuration settings on your phone based on a variety of contextual properties, such as time, location and network. It’s a really super app. An annoying bug in the previous version made it mess with the screen brightness level on start up. This is thankfully now fixed along with other fixes for Bluetooth and Wifi scanning. This latest version is available from the Jolla Store and OpenRepos.
Our final app today is arguably somewhat niche, in that it can only be used with travel cards from Helsinki and Tampere in Finland. But it’s also rather special in that it’s one of the few apps making full use of your phone’s NFC capabilities. Matkakortti (“Travel Card” in Finnish) from Slava Monich (slava) allows you to read off information from your travel card, including balance, validity and details of previous journeys. Although I am the proud owner of a NYSSE travel card, which should be supported, sadly it refused to read any data from it. Maybe it’s too old? Nevertheless from previous experience I know it’s a very useful app. Sadly you can’t transfer the card entirely onto your phone to pay for journeys, so it won’t allow you to dump your card entirely. But it’s a very helpful app and a great demo of what you can achieve with the NFC capabilities of your phone if you know what you’re doing. The latest release brings the app to version 1.1.8 and — perhaps ironically — improves support for unsupported cards. It’s available from the Jolla Store, OpenRepos and Chum, and is recommended, but only to those in possession of a compatible travel card.
That’s it for this fortnight’s app roundup. As always it’s great to see such a bumper crop of apps making its way on to the stores. This doesn’t happen by accident, it requires the combined effort of a small army of designers, developers and translators. Thanks go to them all for their continued hard work.
Hope you enjoyed reading this community newsletter! As always, please do not hesitate to share your ideas, thoughts, or suggestion for future newsletter topics.
Big thanks to everybody to make this newsletter to happen!
Please do also join us at our community meetings on IRC, Matrix and Telegram. Next community meeting will be on the 26th October.