It would be fantastic if there were a way to run Android apps. Even if they need to be rebuilt for the platform, at least not requiring developers to re-write their app would be a huge start. Also getting support into things like React Native would be good. Most developers I know (including myself) are willing to build apps for different platforms, but aren't necessarily willing to make big code changes or do rewrites/ports that involve lots of effort. Whatever can be done to help make it easy for devs to get their apps running would likely be a good investment. Developers, developers, developers!
> Anbox scales across different form factors similar like Android does. It works on a laptop and a mobile phone.
Additionally in the README.md on their Github page (https://github.com/anbox/anbox):
> Anbox ... can be used on mobile operating systems like Ubuntu Touch, Sailfish OS or Lune OS too.
So conceivably something like this could be a great start.
That being said, if we managed to run windows games on linux, I'm pretty sure we can find a way to run android apps without a VM.
I know that's not quite the same thing, but it's not like they're inventing a new OS platform from scratch: apps developed for Linux will run on the phone, and apps developed for the phone will hopefully repay their developers' time by being compatible across many Linux devices, especially when/if other full-Linux phones become available.
(A caveat - I don't know how much of this is hardware-dependent, e.g. the CPU.)
Stuff like Facebook and Instagram can be used in browser but are missing basic features on their mobile web versions and constantly yell at you through popups to use to the app instead. Hopefully the popups at least don't occur on platforms that don't have the app available. Facebook for example recently removed Messenger from their mobile web version to make people install the app.
Telegram is nice, works everywhere, the protocol is open, clean and relatively easy to implement.
I also will make the rest of the family switch to Telegram. I am sure that as long as they are able to write message to each other, they will be fine with it.
Quite frankly, the main advantage of Whatsapp over Telegram is that it is more widely adopted. But beside that, not much.
Considering that the libre 5 will be the first matrix native phone, maybe get them to switch to matrix instead, which is actually open source in both clients and server and has encryption with an actual security assessment.
still no stickers though...
Thing is I (and I guess most people) don't want to do app evangelism, but just use the existing communication protocols my peers use. People in your network will have their own networks, and so on, and telling them to quit them networks or to add another app to their phone is going to annoy them.
Regarding my other contacts' networks: I certainly do not impose other people what app to use, but at the same time I have no interest in doing something (e.g.: running an app I honestly don't like) just because everybody is doing it.
In all honesty, if someone has something to tell me or I have something to tell someone, we will surely find a way to communicate. Keep in mind that, at least for now, all mobile phones can make phone calls and send text messages (at least to negotiate other means of communication).
Although, it's obviously not done yet.
I'm very surprised that the phone will have an open GPU. I've been looking for a laptop replacement for ages that has an open CPU and GPU. While I can avoid Intel like the plague and go straight for an ARM CPU, the GPU always tends to be a closed source binary blog.
If Purism can crack this and get a full open source phone, I hope they build a lightweight laptop using the same sort of specs. This could mean avoiding the whole ME cleaner requirement for their Librem laptop range, removing the spyware  from all Intel chips.
If you want a non-Intel desktop, you could also look to any of the high-performance AArch64 or Power boards with PCIe slots in them, and slot Radeon in.
The chip they're using is from the i.MX line with Vivante GPU. The reason this chip has open source drivers is because of the etnaviv project, which was funded by bunnie and the backers for his Novena project. So in a sense, the laptop you want already exists and in fact came first. It's just a little pricey and kind of rough around the edges.
Are there actually open ARM CPUs? My very vague understanding was that ARM claims that their ISA cannot be implemented without infringing some patents on some instruction encoding tricks they hold.
So yes, I guess the hardware isn't open, but all the software/firmware on can be (for example the RK3288 ) (of course with the exception of the GPU).
I love the idea of running Arch Linux on my phone, it would vastly simplify the harsh divide between my workstation and my smartphone. There's also a distinct possibility of running OpenBSD on my phone in the future, which is where I'm increasingly going.
The thing could probably run Android applications anyway, if it really needs to. There are projects out there that let you do this on desktop Linux today.
How would this happen? Is OpenBSD working on it? Is someone porting OpenBSD to the Librem 5?
i.MX6 support was added in September 2013. I don't think there's i.MX8 support yet, but it's probably not a herculean task to get it running.
We just passed the $1M mark!
Nevertheless, as a guy who used to be active part of Openmoko, OpenPhoenux and Neo900 communities, I wish them luck!
How powerful are these going to be? I guess asking how they compare to current phones performance-wise is not the point of this phone, but it would be nice to know where this stands.
Also, if it's not too early to make predictions, how long will the thing last battery-wise? Iirc the laptop situation in Linux had some stuff like powertop which helps, but it's still tricky.
GTA04 project has had (and still has) a massive aspiration to upstream all the kernel changes and drivers, but they're still not done after many years (although close), because a lot of things that actually make the mobile device usable are device specific hacks that rarely are accepted upstream. Now it boots on upstream kernel (or not, it changes from release to release), but if you really want to use it as a phone, you still have to use Goldelico kernel. Which is of course completely open, just not mainline. Earlier, with Neo Freerunner, the situation was similar, aside of the fact that amount of non-upstreamable hacks were much higher and there was no stuff like device tree back then, so nobody made any serious progress on upstreaming.
Also, booting is one thing. Getting everything in shape to be usable as a every-day device with small battery is another. The road from "booting on mainline" to "workable smartphone on mainline" isn't doable in a year or two, when you also have to design and produce the device during that time.
However, that's not a big issue at all. Mainline eventually will get better and better, and if you have active community and try to minimize the deviation from mainline, rebasing isn't that hard. What can be an issue is power and thermal requirements of used chipset. I don't know about any mobile device that has used it before (but that's doesn't mean it doesn't exist), and I've already seen projects rejecting them as "not for mobile", that's why I'm eagerly waiting for more info about this SoC's performance.
Why do you need device specific hacks, and what about the hardware is inappropriate? Genuinely interested to know.
I'm still looking for a non-commercial BeagleBone Black image that includes the TI HW accelerated GPU drivers.
I'll be placing my order in a few hours using Monero (this changed my mind from "maybe" to "definitely"), but I have a question:
In the hopefully-unlikely case that the goal isn't met, how will you refund people who paid with either Bitcoin or Monero?
Releasing the $599 Librem 5 phone with the outdated i.mx6 CPU (quad core Cortex A9, ARMv7-A from 2011, like the Samsung Galaxy S3) would be a disaster.
I so want this project to succeed.
In my case, I want my phone to make calls, send texts, and browse the web. It'd be nice if it had some apps, but I probably don't need more than a dozen or two. If you don't need a giant rival ecosystem as your definition of success, it's much easier to succeed on a smaller scale.
If the hardware is good enough and open, a lot can happen. They will need very good integration with PWA because this will likely be the best source of apps.
I would argue the use of the word "tried". Canonical really just dipped their toe into the waters to test it out and backed out immediately. Look at threads about the Ubuntu phone, and the one complaint everyone had about it was "I still can't order one". They just didn't have any in stock for a large part of it's lifetime. Furthermore, the OS was not production quality, it was still very much beta (note that I say this despite Ubuntu Touch being my favorite phone I've ever had).
So a phone that they rarely had in stock, with beta software quality is absolutely going to fail. I think that if they actually "tried", they would have been at least more successful, if not actually successful.
If you are refering to the content: the negligence of samsumg is appalling.