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we def. screwed up communication as we've been focused lately on finishing hardware. its based on Android 8.1 and the apps are downloaded via play-store normally. We don't white or black list, but rather are going through the most used apps and building easier integrations for them

Will the OS be open sourced? - I'd love to get this on any android phone!

Awww. I was excited when I thought it might not run El Goog's cruft. :(

What's the differentiating feature between the Blloc and all the other black rectangles that run Android?

looks like a custom app launcher and some matching apps for some popular APIs. Still cool, but the reality is a bit of a letdown after the initial good impression. Ultimately, having to rely on your phone maker to keep up with every relevant service's APIs and features seems like a losing game. Seems impossible to meet everyone's expectations here long term. Also, I thought/assumed it was an e-ink display at first -- that would be cool. But the app thing, it's hard. Can't really launch an appstore for a new OS, too much momentum in the established players. Ask Microsoft. Perhaps an Android phone with an E-ink display and a custom display driver/some other cool tech to make every app in the play store work with it would be cool.

...does it do RSS?

I'll show myself out.

What's the expected battery life? I was hoping to see an average and maximum battery life described on the page, but couldn't find it.

this reallly depends on usage, we wanted to send it to the real benchmarking websites when we release. I charge mine every 2 days which was a personal goal (to not get punished if I forgot to charge last night)

I don't think I've ever had a phone I needed to charge daily.

You got into the smart phone game fairly late, or you don't use them heavily.

both apply to me.

Yeah, but they're not talking about bakelite models.

Consider using LineageOS instead. There's nothing 'minimalist' about the crap that Google 'requires'.

How does using Lineage solve this problem?

It's the same OS, and 99% of people that install Lineage install the GApps otherwise the device is barely usable.

well, if you're a die-hard idealist, you could always use microG [0]

if you're not, you can still use Gapps nano or pico. thats basically just the play store and the service api.

[0] https://microg.org [1] http://opengapps.org

How long will you support the phone with software updates?

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