TELEports, Ubuntu Touch already has a native Telegram client


In case you do not know, if I am not a happy owner of a PineTab it is because it has not reached me yet. One of the reasons I decided to buy it was to try Ubuntu Touch without making a big outlay, and the PINE64 tablet is priced at less than € 90 if we don't count the shipping costs, so in June I jumped in and ordered one. From what I have investigated, Ubuntu Touch is a system with many restrictions, but more and more apps are available, such as TELEports which available in the OpenStore in beta phase.

Before continuing to talk about TELEports, I would like to answer the question (s) that some of you may be asking: what restrictions does it have? Ubuntu Touch and why have I bought the PineTab if so? UBports is developing the operating system with caution, and this means that it does not want the devices that use it to stop working due to carelessness on the part of the user, among other things, such as the two security systems that Miguel Menéndez explains in the comments of this article. For this reason, the store that you use to install apps is the OpenStore, where many of the applications are webapps. On the other hand, we can install packages from the official repositories through Libertine and other operating systems, such as PostmarketOS or Neon Mobile.

TELEports, an unofficial Telegram client for Ubuntu Touch that arrives in beta and as a native app

Explained the above, UBports posted an article in which he talks about TELEports, which is nothing more than an unofficial Telegram client that they have created side by side with those responsible for the famous messaging app. Unlike this other option, TELEports it is a native app which can be used as such or as a web version. UBports says that currently the web version has more features because it is more up-to-date, but that the native version offers the most features and is better integrated with the operating system.

Among what we can do right now, in v0.8.1 that is labeled as BETA we have:

  • Logically, the possibility of entering / identifying ourselves using our telephone number. Otherwise nothing would make sense.
  • List of conversations, channels and even groups, something that has been available for a few months. Conversations with pending messages will show the balloon with the number in the same way that we see in the rest of the versions of Telegram.
  • Stickers. Right now, it only supports fixed ones. The developer says that we must enter the web version if we want to see the animations. The stickers that we can use will be the ones that we have synchronized with our account, but remembering that the animated ones will not work until some future update.
  • Saved messages. This is where we keep personal messages, very useful also if we want to send files from one device to another.
  • Contacts.
  • Night mode. They do not mention exactly what it is, but everything seems to indicate that it will change the color of the interface from light to dark.

Created by UBports with advice and help from Telegram

If you enter the UBports information note and look at the captures, you will see that they are all in perfect Spanish. That's because the original article has been written by Miguel Menendez (@mimecar - here), but we can already confirm that Spanish speakers will not have to worry about the translation at any time.

Although TELEports does not yet include the latest features, such as video calls, something logical if we consider that they have not even reached the web version, yes includes the latest version of tdlib, that is, of the libraries that Telegram provides to develop. This means that the functions will be arriving and using the app in Ubuntu Touch will be more and more similar to what we see when we chat in the desktop app. If it were not, and as I have said, you can install Telegram Desktop using Libertine, but be careful with this: the apps in the repositories are not as well adapted to touch screens, and less well adapted to phones, as are the apps of the OpenStore.

As a Telegram user and future owner of a PineTab, I am happy that UBports is developing TELEports, but it annoys me a bit: now I am more looking forward to receiving my tablet.

Updated article with part of the information that Miguel has provided about TELEports. You have more information and links in the comments of this article.

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  1.   Jose luis mateo said

    Hello friend:

    In relation to the Pine Tab, the only question I have is whether Ubuntu Touch is in Spanish. This question was also asked by my son who is behind getting a Pine Phone and of course, he has doubts about how to install the OS and the language.

    If you could clarify these points for me, I would appreciate it, greetings

    Jose Luis

    1.    pablinux said

      Hello Jose Luis. I can not give you a sure answer about it, but already in Ubuntu Touch 16.04 I have seen interfaces in Castilian, so it must be. I don't want to spam, but look here

      A greeting.

    2.    Miguel Menendez (mimecar) said

      Hello José Luis

      The PineTab will be able to use Ubuntu Touch in Spanish. At the moment the adaptation (the port) is under development. The system starts with the basics but there is still work to do. When you get the tablet, everything should be more advanced. Ubuntu Touch depends on a layer called Halium (to be able to use the Android drivers). As the PineTab does not need it, you have to remove that layer and for that reason it is costing them a bit. You can be more informed in the unofficial PinePhone group on Telegram:

      A greeting.

  2.   Miguel Menendez (mimecar) said

    Hello Pablinux.

    There are some things that I wanted to comment on this entry (since I appear mentioned). I also add several links that explain some things in more detail to complete the post.

    Ubuntu Touch has two levels of security: confinement and application permissions. Permissions work similar to Android. Confinement means that even if you have a malicious application, it cannot access your user data.

    TELEports was published last year and the UBports team participates in it with many people. I am not the author of TELEports. I just wrote the post explaining how it worked. This entry, like the previous one, is translated on the UBports blog.

    In the OpenStore there are many WebApps, but you also have native applications. There is a difference between the OpenStore and the repositories: the applications are adapted to a phone or a tablet. You can have an application from a repository and it cannot be used due to hardware limitations.

    Libertine is fine for desktop applications on a tablet or with a connected display. It is not practical to use on a phone. The menus are not adapted and the controls are based on the fact that you have a mouse and keyboard.

    A greeting.

    1.    pablinux said

      Hello Miguel. I have modified what was less precise related to TELEports, added some links and mentioned that there is more information in the comments of this article. Reading your name at the beginning of the UBports article and seeing the screenshots in Spanish, I thought you had something to do with development.

      If you read this comment, and even if you are not part of UBports as I thought, do you think that in the future, even if it is distant, more powerful apps (like GIMP) will reach the OpenStore?

      A greeting.

      1.    Miguel Menendez (mimecar) said

        Hello Pablinux.

        Nothing happens. Sometimes it is easy to get lost with so many things. First was the article on my blog and then the translation.

        Applications such as Gimp or Firefox can now be used within a Libertine container. The most important limitation is that they do not adapt to the device. On the M10 they work without problems, on a phone they cannot be used. Those applications can be installed using the Ubuntu repositories for ARM.

        For an application to reach the OpenStore it would have to be adapted. I suppose that if at some point an adapted version of Gimp or Firefox is created they could appear there.

        A greeting.