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Gadgets

PinePhone KDE Community Edition Is Now Available

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KDE
Gadgets

We are pleased to announce that the KDE Community Edition (CE) PinePhone is now available for pre-order. This edition of the PinePhone ships with a tailored build of Plasma Mobile built upon Manjaro Linux, and it is the culmination of ongoing efforts to bring the popular Plasma desktop environment to the smartphone.

To learn more about Plasma Mobile please visit the project’s website. To better understand your options for running Plasma Mobile on the PinePhone and the current state of development (at the time of writing) I encourage you to read the development team’s blog post on this subject matter.

This community edition will ship in a custom presentation box designed by the Plasma Mobile team, and the PinePhone itself will feature a KDE logo on the back-cover (see renders for reference).

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Freedom-Centric Mobile: Librem 5 and 'Edge' postmarketOS

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GNU
Linux
Gadgets
  • A Media Center in Your Pocket – Purism

    While the Librem 5 is a phone, it’s also a general-purpose computer. This allows the Librem 5 to act as a media center, game station, server, ultra-mobile PC, or whatever you can personally imagine.

  • postmarketOS in 2020-11: Edge & Donations

    Two weeks ago, a wlroots release was pushed to Alpine that caused Phosh to crash. This is a good example of things that can go wrong when using the edge channel of postmarketOS (as opposed to stable). The bug was reported to the postmarketOS issue tracker (precisely the right move!) and within the next eight hours until we could close that issue, it was pinned down to the wlroots 0.12.0 upgrade, Phosh developers were informed, log messages were analyzed but were not useful and eventually the "offending" commit was found with git bisect. It turned out that the commit was a feature and not a bug, it made wlroots terminate connections if some API protocol was not followed as intended whereas it would just ignore this previously. An issue was created in the Phosh tracker, and a patch was submitted to Alpine edge to revert that specific commit until Phosh follows that specific API as it was intended (likely soon).

    The story told above was certainly not worth writing a regular blog post about, it was so quickly resolved that if each time we dealt with issues like these it would be hard to find the proper blog posts among these edge breakage reports. But still, it would be nice if there was something like a second blog where people running postmarketOS edge can quickly find information about such issues while they are ongoing. The solution we arrived at is a second blog, which will only have such breakage reports from postmarketOS edge.

The Original Jolla Phone turns 7 today

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Gadgets

The first one is always the first one. Most Sailfish fans remember the first ever device to run Sailfish OS, the original Jolla phone, or Jolla 1 as we sometimes like to call it. This device, a trailblazer in its own field at the time, was first launched on this very rainy November day in Narinkkatori, Helsinki exactly seven years ago. HAPPY BIRTHDAY Jolla phone!

Launching the Jolla smartphone back in 2013 was a truly memorable event for many of us in the Jolla team, but also for the hundreds of fans queuing to get their hands on the first ever Sailfish device. For me, as one of the founders of Jolla, launching this iconic device was undoubtedly one of the most exciting moments in my life, which I’ll always remember. I trust many others share the same feeling with me.

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Video: Megi’s multi-boot image for the PinePhone (with 17 Linux distros)

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GNU
Linux
Gadgets

The PinePhone is designed to make distro hopping easy. Whether you order a model that comes with Ubuntu Touch, postmarketOS, Manjaro, or KDE Neon pre-installed, the phone is designed to boot first from any properly prepared microSD card.

That means you can install an alternate OS on a card, insert it, and turn on the phone to try a different operating system. If you like it, you can use JumpDrive to install it to the phone’s built-in eMMC storage, which should bring at least a modest boost in speed.

Just want to try out a bunch of different operating systems without committing to one or constantly flashing microSD cards? That’s where Megi’s multi-distro demo image comes in. The developer offers a single image with a bunch of different operating systems pre-installed.

Megi released a new version of November 23, 2020 and it has 17 different operating systems crammed into a 6GB disk image.

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KDE Announces PinePhone KDE Community Edition with Plasma Mobile

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Linux
Gadgets

The KDE project and Pine64 announce the availability of PinePhone KDE Community Edition with the Plasma Mobile operating system.
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Manjaro ARM Beta2 Phosh for PinePhone brings better performance, HDMI output

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Gadgets

Less than a month after releasing the first public beta of Manjaro ARM Phosh for the PinePhone, the developers of this mobile version of Manjaro have released beta 2.

Among other things, the latest release brings support for 60 fps graphics on the phone, and HDMI output for when you want to use an external display. The Torch feature also now works, allowing you to trigger the LED camera flash light on the back of the phone from the quick access menu.

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Precursor open mobile hardware up for pre-order for $450 and up (crowdfunding)

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Hardware
Gadgets

Developed by bunnie Huang and Sean “xobx” Cross, the Precursor designed to be a pocket-sized, mobile device that gives owners complete control. If you have the technical know-how to inspect the code or program the device, you don’t have to trust that the chip designers, OS developer, or anyone else is protecting your privacy – all code can be inspected, and you can “compile your CPU” from source using the FPGA.

That said, the Precursor probably isn’t powerful enough to use as a replacement for a modern smartphone. It has modern features like a USB Type-C port, but out of the box the FPGA will work like a 100 MHz, 32-bit RISC-V processor. It can be configured to operate like many other older chips, but with a top speed of 100 MHz, the Precursor has the computing power of a 15-year-old smartphone, PDA, or handheld game console like a Palm Treo 600, BlackBerry 8700, or Nintendo DS.

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PinePhone 3GB/32GB upgrades are now available for purchase

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Gadgets

There are two pricing options: customers who purchased a PinePhone “BraveHeart” edition or a PinePhone UBPorts Community Edition phone can pick up a 3GB/32GB mainboard for $80, while customers who have purchased a more recent version can buy the ne w board for $105.

A brand new PinePhone sells for $150 to $200, depending on whether you opt for a 2GB/16GB model or a 3GB/32GB Convergence Pack version, which also comes with a USB-C dock featuring Ethernet, HDMI, and USB-A ports.

So replacing the board will cost about half as much as buying a new phone. Keep in mind that you’re not just paying for a memory and storage upgrade, but a whole new mainboard featuring an Allwinner A64 processor, SIM and microSD card slots, and headphone jack.

The PinePhone’s modular design makes this upgrade possible – in addition to replacing the mainboard, you can easily repair or replace most key components including the back cover, display, cameras, battery, and USB port with just a screwdriver. Replacement parts are available at the Pine Store.

Software for the PinePhone is still very much a work in progress. While there are at least 19 different operating systems that can at least boot on the phone, many are still buggy or incomplete. But developers are making rapid progress on things like camera support, 60 Hz display support and other features that are bringing the PinePhone closer to being useable as a daily driver. Cellular support is still a little iffy, and battery life is still pretty lousy.

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Cosmo Communicator’s Linux OS gains new cover screen features

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GNU
Linux
Gadgets

The Cosmo Communicator is what you’d get if you crossed a smartphone with a pocket-sized laptop computer. Unfolded it looks like a tiny laptop with a keyboard inspired by the design of the classic Psion Revo PDA. Fold it and you’ve got a smaller cover screen that you can use for phone calls, notifications, or other simple tasks.

Aside from the clamshell design, the phone has another unusual feature: it typically ships with Android, but can also support alternate operating systems including Debian Linux and Sailfish OS.

Developed by Planet Computers, the Cosmo Communicator went up for pre-order through a crowdfunding campaign in late 2018 and began shipping to backers in mid-2019. Now Planet Computers has announced an update for the Debian Linux software that runs on its phone, bringing support for a bunch of new cover screen features.

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PostmarketOS update brings HDMI support for the PinePhone and PineTab

Filed under
OS
Gadgets

When the PinePhone postmarketOS Community Edition smartphone began shipping to customers in September it came with a version of the operating system with one important feature missing: HDMI output.

So when my phone arrived a few weeks ago I was able to spend some time familiarizing myself with the operating system and I could plug in the included Convergence Dock to use USB accessories including a keyboard, mouse, and storage. But I wasn’t able to connect an external display.

Now I can.

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