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Thread: Will Ubuntu save my now unsupported android tablet?

  1. #11
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    Re: Will Ubuntu save my now unsupported android tablet?

    I have need to google neither 'nix nor GNU.
    Please read The Forum Rules and The Forum Posting Guidelines

    A thing discovered and kept to oneself must be discovered time and again by others. A thing discovered and shared with others need be discovered only the once.
    This universe is crazy. I'm going back to my own.

  2. #12
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    Re: Will Ubuntu save my now unsupported android tablet?

    I may be wrong about this but it is my understanding that the Android developers do not update devices with Android as the OS. The responsibility for upgrading a version of Android to a newer one rests on the manufacturer who made the device and install Android on it. Which does not happen or only happens rarely. It explains how it happens that devices are sold but are not supported in the sense that Linux users understand support.

    The mobile OS that Ubuntu developers were working on was called Ubuntu Touch. When Ubuntu developers dropped the project a small group of developers took it upon themselves to continue the project and porting Ubuntu Touch to various devices. Success is varied.

    https://ubuntu-touch.io/en_GB/


    https://ubports.com/

    https://ubports.com/supported-products

    https://devices.ubuntu-touch.io/

    Regards
    Last edited by grahammechanical; April 13th, 2024 at 01:59 PM.
    It is a machine. It is more stupid than we are. It will not stop us from doing stupid things.
    Ubuntu user #33,200. Linux user #530,530


  3. #13
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    Re: Will Ubuntu save my now unsupported android tablet?

    Yes that is a good point, you are right, the manufacturer of my tablet is actually some weird company you've never heard of, but it's a verizon tablet, with android os. So it's a verizon tablet, with android 7.1 or something, and so I looked at verizons resources and androids resources to see if I could get any system updates when I discovered that my applications were suddenly broken, other than all of the google apps.

    So consider that it's a device that cost several hundred dollars, received updates for I can't remember honestly, maybe 4 years, and with Verizon as the management of my operating system I am suddenly without recourse to fix it, other than to what's called jail break my tablet, and flash the rom with a new os, and could use android or some other system that's developed.

    I just want to point out, that I am amazed personally, at how useful these devices actually are, just like smart phones, they do everything a computer can do, and between google play store and the internet I was watching movies, downloading movies, downloading books, reading books, browsing the internet, playing video games, and doing basically everything one could expect with that tablet, that we can do with computers...

    What's really interesting isn't how with Verizon as my operating system manager, I stop receiving support, and am directed to buy entirely new systems, despite having brand new quality hardware still, but how for a system that 100% hasn't changed at all, is fully updated, the apps on it are suddenly broken, after simply so much time has passed.

  4. #14
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    Re: Will Ubuntu save my now unsupported android tablet?

    @hyperlinxe

    It may be worth looking at UserLAnd in the Google apps store, gets good reviews.

    I'm going to try it on an old tablet (once it's charged &#128514

  5. #15
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    Re: Will Ubuntu save my now unsupported android tablet?

    Quote Originally Posted by hyperlinxe View Post
    100% no changes whatsoever. All of the sudden apps start breaking. Ideally I'll find a linux OS to fix it? Maybe not? Same problems there?
    Maybe the apps didn't change on your device, but the rest of the world did change. Protocols used changed. Versions of java changed. They aren't often backwards compatible indefinitely.

    Will a program written for WinXP run on Windows11? Nope. Most will not. Android device official lifespans are measured in months. If you do stuff 100% locally on the tablet, I bet all that would work with the factory shipped programs and OS. When you need to touch the outside world, that's where changes impact you. For example about 5 yrs ago, lots of CA Certs were updated to new, different, ciphers for security reasons. Older devices weren't built with those newer ciphers in mind, so some devices stopped working and couldn't connect to web and email servers any more. There was a long period where new and old ciphers were supported, but eventually the older ciphers were deprecated and a few years later, they were removed to protect everyone.

    On low powered devices, often certain things are performed in hardware because the CPUs aren't strong enough to do the task without hardware ASIC support. Most of the time, we see this in video playback. Originally, all video codec decoding was done by the CPUs. Then we got hardware decoding by the GPU for mpeg2 streams. A few years later, mpeg2 and h.264/AVC/vp8 streams had hardware decoding. The streaming world wants to ship us h.265/HEVC/vp9 streams now, but not all devices support decoding those video streams in hardware, so playback of them isn't possible.

    Where I live, our TV broadcasts are in mpeg2 still. Our tuners support mpeg2, not h.264 and certainly not h.265 encodings. A new standard has been pushed to allow h.265 and later video codecs to be supported, but the govt isn't mandating support, so only early adopters are bothering. These new tuners are 3x more expensive than the current mpeg2 tuners and many of the new channels broadcasting have DRM that doesn't work universally. As long as the DRM doesn't "just work", and work without an internet connection mandated, nobody will switch. When that switch does finally happen, perhaps in 10+ more years after multiple failures first, h.265 will be extremely out of date and our old tuners will become bricks with power supplies.

    The world moves forward, not always at the pace we might like. Sometimes it is much too slow. Sometimes much too fast. Seldom is it just right for our individual desires.

  6. #16
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    Re: Will Ubuntu save my now unsupported android tablet?

    No, I actually would like to understand the problem in depth. It's not simple browsing system files, like here with linux, where we have everything at our fingertips, but basically this is the situation as I understand it...

    It's a Verizon tablet, with Android 7.1 OS.
    Had it fully updated, until they stopped supplying updates.
    Everything was working.
    Google play store, drivers, firefox, vlc, pdf viewers, everything I used it for.
    Left it off, in it's original box even, never touched it, it was fully off,
    and then turned it on one day to play around with it, remembering how much fun I had had with it,
    and while thinking of all the fond memories of what was once a perfect system, I opened firefox
    and found firefox couldn't get to webpages! I could change settings on firefox, but couldn't get to a
    webpage, and every time I tried, firefox would completely freeze, and crash, tried reverting it to default settings,
    same problem, tried using google chrome, (it's basically a google operating system) and google chrome
    worked perfectly. Tried getting system updates, which ran in an infinite loop searching for updates , but
    never accomplishing anything, looked on android forums, verizon forums, verizon customer support, searched
    for a third-party android update tool, discovered it was for a different android system, and finally managed to update
    firefox from the google play store, which didn't work earlier, and it had the exact same problem.

    edit: I could do a factory reset, but then I don't even think I can update the system to it's newest possible state, I think the updates for that version are discontinued completely! So I really don't have good options...as far as I can tell to fix it.
    Last edited by hyperlinxe; April 13th, 2024 at 04:07 PM.

  7. #17
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    Re: Will Ubuntu save my now unsupported android tablet?

    So after trying UserLAnd on an ol' tablet and paying £1.99 for the privilege I can confirm it sucks. You get a desktop environment and open terminal, no apps installed and doesn't seem able to install any.

    I think someone has already suggested a factory reset, if that doesn't work then it looks like a new tablet 😞😞

  8. #18
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    Re: Will Ubuntu save my now unsupported android tablet?

    Programs have versions. Those versions have requirements - call them minimal environments. The tablet you have doesn't meet the minimal requirements for the new versions of the programs.

    I've had 3 tablets. In 2010, an Acer 10inch tablet. It was high-end at the time. I hadn't learned of a good use for tablets back then, so what I wanted were things that it didn't do well. I used it to listen to music, read some websites and read some ebooks. The screen resolution at the time wasn't great for any tablet and the battery life was less than 6 hrs. Also, not great. Fortunately, work bought that tablet to help development of a special project for a client. Everyone on the team had a slightly different tablet, so we could ensure compatibility of our work across a few different tablets. I was writing the back-end video server which would feed tens of thousands of curated videos that our client was selling to movie studios. They were switching to 4K resolution videos. At the time, no tablet could playback anywhere near 4K video. Heck, our tablets struggled with even 720p resolution videos. My Acer tablet handled the highest resolution at the time - about 600p - without artifacts or stuttering.

    I left that company, but they didn't want any personal use equipment back. I did return a few servers, since I was running the company infrastructure.

    I remained friends with the others on the company board and we'd have lunch occasionally. One of them had an Amazon Fire 8 HD tablet. He was addicted. In 2017, I picked up the same tablet, just the 7th-generation. I came with android 4.x from Amazon. As an Amazon device, it felt extremely limited to me for the first few days. Slowly, I removed all the Amazon-specific advertising and programs, then side-loaded some apps that would hook into my personal servers. This made the tablet much more useful to me. Example servers the tablet connected into were nextcloud, kodi, Plex, Firejail, wallabag, calibre, and all my internal network storage using sftp. I loaded the openvpn client on it, so I had access to everything while traveling too. I ran an openvpn server for about a decade, before switching to wireguard. Around the fall of 2022, that fire8 tablet stopped working one day. It just stopped. No boot. No factory reset. It was dead. The day before, it was working perfect like it had for years. The tablet was sitting on the nightstand - I read before going to sleep. It wasn't dropped or even out of the room between the day it worked and the day it didn't work again. Over those 5 yrs of use, I became addicted to it. Of course, it wasn't perfect but for $50, it was an impressive tool that I used daily. Around 2019, I stopped taking a laptop when I traveled. The tablet was sufficient for my needs.

    I lasted about 3 days before I ordered a replacement. Found a less expensive, new, 8in Samsung tablet. It was around $120. Besides being newer - faster CPU, more RAM, newer Android version, I planned to use it nearly the same as the Fire8 Tablet. There was 1 major difference which had always bothered me about the Fire8 tablet. The Samsung has a real GPS, so navigation tools work with it, unlike the Fire8. Also, it has USBc for charging/power. The Amazon tablet was the last actively used mini/micro-USB computing device I have. I still have older devices with mini/micro-USB - my older cell phones, a rechargeable GPS receiver and a rechargeable screwdriver. I keep the older phones working without SIMs by powering them on every 6 months and topping off the battery. They leak charge about 10% per month, it seems, even when powered down completely.

    My desire for a GPS was the main driver to leave Amazon's Fire tablets, but getting a more current Android release was in my mind too.

    The samsung tablet has never been connected to google, so there's no way to use the google app-store. It connects to my servers and I use f-droid for applications. This alternate "store" is something that normal end-users probably don't know. Google likes to track us all. Android does have google ties inside it, but I don't have to bridge the gap between the tablet and the real world.

    Most people don't know this, but google created Android phones as a way to connect our fake, virtual, online personas to our real names and most importantly, our bank accounts. That was their main goal. Before Android/iPhones, nobody used their real names online.

    It isn't hard to find my real name, but I won't spoon feed it to Google and other tracking companies.

    If it was me, I'd recycle the tablet, try to get some credit at an office-product store, perhaps $10 off per item recycled, and move on. While there are very expensive tablets on the market today, there are also some excellent values for less than $130 from well-regarded companies, not just random companies from Shenzhen. There's a point when old hardware isn't useful anymore. The more connected a device is to outside systems, the faster those devices will become less and less useful as the outside world keeps going. GSM cell networks have all been turned off here. 2G networks at nearly all gone. 3G will be gone next year. 4G and 5G appear to be around, perhaps 5 more years, before they will be replaced too. Progress keeps moving ... even when it isn't really progress.

    We've gone far from the original purpose of this thread now. Sorry. I'll go away. Sometimes I feel like a record saying the same things over and over and over, just to slightly different people.

  9. #19
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    Re: Will Ubuntu save my now unsupported android tablet?

    Oh no, I'm going to hack it, in order to fix it. I love that tablet. I was playing morrowind on it with tablet touch screen controls, and downloading HD movies with torrenting software. I had that google tablet doing god mode level operations, like it was any other computer. Right now firefox is broken, but everything else as far as I can tell should be working. Updates are meaningless to the software/hardwares functionality, if I can fix them independently.

    It just so happens, that I'm mad about the situation, because I understand firefox shouldn't be broken the way it is, crashing in an infinite loop opening websites. That is not a typical software bug, that is something along the lines of what many people call BS. Firefox is the browser that has dark mode, and the capability to add security extensions that actually protect my tablet unlike google, so the fact that it's broken and not google, is very frustrating to me.

    I'm definitely going to fix it. They call it jail-breaking for a reason btw, it's not because of some great mystery, google, and google operating systems are extremely manipulative of their users. It's an open secret, except drowned in their advertising that consumes the entire internet.
    Last edited by hyperlinxe; April 13th, 2024 at 05:03 PM.

  10. #20
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    Re: Will Ubuntu save my now unsupported android tablet?

    I always wondered if there were some uncomplicated way to use the screen of a tablet as an auxiliary screen for one's phone. My somewhat dated tablet has a seven inch screen, probably four times what my phone has.
    Cheers,


    The Linux Command Line at http://linuxcommand.org/

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