Boisterous Blog (Device Status Update) – October, 2018

Hello! Hola! Hallo! Salut! Marhaban! Привет!

Welcome to the mid-October edition of our semi-regular Aquaris-dev device updates.

September and October were especially busy for all of us, and we hope that the numerous changes we’ve brought, and are planning to implement, will be welcome news to all of you.

We are aware of a few hiccups here and there and we will go into details in each device’s segment below. This time around, the stars of the show are the BQ Aquaris X, X Pro, X2 and X2 Pro. Android 8.1 was a huge upgrade for us, probably one of the largest and most complex upgrades so far, and we’re very proud of the work we’ve done. We think that 9.0 will be much easier once 15.1 is ported, as they are very similar.

LineageOS General News

The central LineageOS developer team posted their 20th blog update mid-September. While we won’t get into the details too much, it basically includes a slew of changes, as well as multiple devices being added to the LineageOS roster.

Device Statistics

As of the 13th of October, 3945 BQ phones are running LineageOS. This excludes users who did not update recently, who use a custom build or decided to opt out of issue reporting, since these numbers are actually based on the download count. You can find more device-specific info on the LineageOS stats page.

Devices, ranked based on number of users.

  1. Piccolo - 1017
  2. Paella - 1001
  3. Vegetalte - 656
  4. Gohan - 367
  5. Tenshi - 282
  6. Bardock - 259
  7. Bardockpro - 228
  8. Chaozu - 135

Top 10 countries, ranked based on number of users1.

  1. Spain - 1161
  2. Germany - 750
  3. Portugal - 113
  4. Morocco - 60
  5. France - 59 (including 1 user from Guadeloupe)
  6. UK - 34
  7. Italy - 33
  8. Russia - 33
  9. Ukraine - 29
  10. Austria - 25

Aquaris X2 / X2 Pro - Status (zangya/zangyapro)

zangyapro-pic

Last month, we started working on the zangya and zangyapro devices. To date, it was our fastest port yet. We officially have LineageOS 15.1 running, with full hardware support, that we have fully tested. Next week, test builds will be available for advanced users on our Slack.

If you just can’t wait, you can build from source right now, since the source trees for the devices have officially been forked to the LineageOS repositories. For these devices, LineageOS was mostly developed by Brinly, with contributions from guest developer marcan.

Official weekly builds should start within a couple of weeks, and they will be released each Sunday. Join us in Slack for more information!

We have also prepared a very short example video, in case you wanted to get a sneak peak at the new device in its full glory.

Aquaris X / X Pro - Status (bardock/bardockpro)

This month we mostly continued to work on bug fixes for these devices on the 15.1 branch that we missed during our testing. Thanks for all your bug reports via Slack. We’ve listed a bunch of fixes below. Upcoming improvements, that we are working on, include multiple changes by our own Eloi (haptics/vibration) and guest contributor Quallenauge (power and general kernel improvements) and a patch to enable call recording (where applicable2).

Changes:

  • Fixed the APN bug, that is only present in the 17th Sept. build, by removing QTI-Telephony.
  • Default vibration intensity was lowered from 2000 to 1000.3
  • Fixed WiFi Hotspot and USB Tethering, by adding rndis usb pathways.
  • Disabled bluetooth hfpclient, in order to match stock firmware and resolve a bluetooth issue.
  • Fixed Screen recording, by disabling hardware composer virtual displays.
  • Removed double-tap to wake vibration, as it caused random vibrations during a call.4
  • Fixed the in-call audio volume issues, by updating the audio platform info file.
  • The Light Service coding for the LED was heavily optimized.
  • LED is now adjustable through Settings.
  • Removed the default on/off time for LED.
  • Removed a debug flag in the thermal engine, to reduce developer logging verbosity.

Known bugs:

  • OGG files do not play, if they are above a certain length.
  • Some selfie sticks, that use the 3.5mm audio jack to operate, do not work.5
  • The quality of voice messages, recorded and sent via Facebook Messenger, is low.6
  • The proximity sensor is not taken into account for double-tap to wake.
  • Some users have reported higher battery usage, compared to stock.7
  • Some users experience WLAN problems when phone switches from one router to another.- we suspect it’s an issue with the Qualcomm Prima firmware. Contact us if you know more.8
  • NFC Payments aren’t available, due to the unlocked bootloader. Because of SafetyNet, this can not and will not be fixed within LineageOS.

Things we need help testing:

  • 256GB SD Cards
  • GALILEO

Aquaris U / U Plus - Status (chaozu/tenshi)

This month we didn’t really have that much time to work on chaozu and tenshi, but we are still asking for contributors to help us with porting to LineageOS 15.1 and 16.0, to help speed up our progress. If you have a camera sensor that doesn’t work on LineageOS, we ask that you join our Slack channel to help us debug it. Camera malfunctions are typically due to a new sensor being used by BQ, that is not supported by the drivers we have included in our builds. This is a relatively quick fix, as long as users reach out when they encounter such problems.

One of the upcoming changes you can expect is a minimum dtb being built for these two devices. What that means is that we are currently working on removing an incompatible motherboard from the dtb, which would mean very slightly faster booting for these devices.

Aquaris X5 Plus - Status (gohan)

This month we didn’t really have that much time to work on gohan but hopefully we will have some time soon. If you have a camera sensor that doesn’t work on LineageOS, we ask that you join our Slack channel to help us debug it. Camera malfunctions are typically due to a new sensor being used by BQ, that is not supported by the drivers we have included in our builds. This is a relatively quick fix, as long as users reach out when they encounter such problems.

Hopefully we will have more time next month, in order to focus on porting LineageOS 15.1 or 16.0 for this device.

Changes:

  • Numerous changes that fix vulnerabilities, by Morlok and other guest devs.
  • Qualcomm Pronto WLAN Driver was updated, based on LA.BR.1.3.6.c2_rb2.28.
  • Reverted using the emmc serial, if serial was set to ‘1234567890ABCDEF’.

Aquaris M5/X5/E5 4G - msm8916 devices - Status (piccolo/paella/vegetalte)

Numerous changes were merged today from guest contributor Aymen, part of building LineageOS 15.1.

We will work on helping him finish this port as soon as possible. When it is complete, there will be an official announcement on this blog and in Slack, and then the 15.1 builds will be enabled.

Known LineageOS 14.1 bugs:

What’s next?

Our current plans for the future can be divided into two categories - security and porting newer LineageOS versions.

As far as security, we’re planning on making numerous changes, in the form of security patches, to most, if not all of our supported devices.

Concurrently with that, we are also working towards LineageOS 16.0. Our present priorities are set towards first porting the zangya, zangyapro, bardock and bardockpro. After we have successfully delivered a working and bug-free LineageOS 16.0 for these devices, we will concentrate on the older devices.

Do keep in mind that the jump from 15.1 to 16.0 is far easier than porting a device from 14.1 to 15.1 or even 16.0. This is because 15.1 and 16.0, based on Android 8.1 and 9.0, are fairly close as far as coding and structure, hence we are giving priority to devices that already run LineageOS 15.1, as it will take us less time to port for them.

We expect that we will successfully port Android 9.0, in the form of LineageOS 16.0, before BQ.

How you can help us

If you are a developer, then there are multiple ways in which you can help us. For instance:

  • Update existing LineageOS ports of BQ phones.
  • Port LineageOS to new BQ phones.
  • Contribute code or features.
  • Fix bugs in LineageOS.

If you are a user, with no background in Android development, worry not! There are still many ways that you can help us bring you a better LineageOS experience. These include:

  • Reporting bugs to JIRA.
  • Reporting bugs on our Slack.
  • Creating log files, in order to fix bugs and general problems.
  • Testing bug fixes and/or LineageOS beta versions.
  • Helping out new users in our Slack.
  • Promoting our LineageOS ports.

Notes:

  1. The 1489 users, listed as ‘Unknown’, are not included. 

  2. Even if it’s enabled, LineageOS does a secondary check, based on your SIM Card, on whether call recording is legal in your country. Even if it is illegal or dubious, if there are precedents that prove that it might be used in some situations, you can submit changes to the LineageOS gerrit, in order to mark your country as one that can pass the secondary check. 

  3. This change was merged, because some users’ phones would rattle when they vibrated. 

  4. This was decided after users voted through our Slack. 

  5. These bugs are very hard, or even outright impossible, for us to fix. These are problems that are situated within the closed-source parts of BQ’s stock low-level firmware or the Messenger app itself. Because they’re closed-source, we have no way of fixing these problems on our own without a huge amount of reverse engineering work. We are waiting for fixes by these vendors. 

  6. Check 5

  7. Because of the more sophisticated coding that has been created for the bardock and bardockpro LineageOS builds, the devices will use, on average, around 5-7% more battery per day. Anything above this can be viewed as a bug or a problem with your installation. Please be aware, that modifications like Xposed and Magisk are not supported by us. If you report a bug, make sure it appears on a clean installation of LineageOS, that has not been modified in any way. 

  8. This is a known stock firmware issue, which seems to only happen with specific routers used in Germany. 

  9. If this is a bug you experience, please contact us immediately for testing and fixing. 

Written on October 16, 2018 by Arekusu