The number of people who just want a phone to call and text is I'd imagine vanishingly small now. It won't replace anyone's proprietary smartphone like that.
Historically the case has often been "well it can do wifi and browse the web, has some built-in chat apps, it's just a bit slow to scroll around, cellular data kinda works sometimes ... not worth trying to call with it, maybe next rev will have better modem support". Without calls and texts you really need another phone, so the project never gets a big enough community.
I owned an OpenMoko and a N900, too - but sometimes you just need to get stuff done.
There's a trend of people opting for feature phones instead of iPhone/Android. That is what I'm going for next if something like Librem doesn't make it out soon. Now is the time to just get something out, while people are weary of the whole corporate-controlled smartphone thing, because, if that trend fades, no one outside of the Linux community is buying a Linux phone, no matter what it comes with. Just get it out, no gimmicks, not even a camera (one less thing to secure), sell it at a premium price and let the community figure out where to go from there.
This is more about providing freedom in an otherwise totally un-free market instead of competing with the latest iPhone.
People need maps, a browser, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Instagram. They consider these absolute basics of a phone these days. Before you say 'all I use my phone for is phoning' well that's not what most people do by any stretch.
The core features people care about on this device is open source firmware, encrypted messaging, open source OS, replaceable parts, headphone jack, and sd card slot.
This is the phone for the people who are not being represented by all the devices made for "most people"
Getting Facebook sandboxed can be a great reason to get an open phone. It's certainly more reasonable than displaying video out.
One of the biggest selling points for me is the external monitor support. Of course this phone isn't going to have features like carplay/android auto (and coming from carplay, I would be very sad to lose this functionality) but since this phone has a way to connect an external display, I plan on doing something to plug my phone into my car's head unit (via hdmi) and have it display GPS maps and possibly media player (through kodi).
Looking forward to having the freedom to do whatever I want (hopefully) with this phone!!
Devices are fast enough today where previous attempts to do this were not. This is only a software problem needing solving now.
A litmus test for any phone's success including this will be whether it can deliver a great (not good, not excellent) camera experience. The Essential was a great phone, minus the camera. While librem may not be a mainstream play it will be able to capture some power users.
I have a pixel instead of another andoird phone for ease of updates and excellent photos. I may not take the most photos but take far more than I used to... And imagine those who take lots of photos (social, family, etc) would value it.
Essential was able to have a decent camera, but the imaging software was rough and didn't improve quickly enough.
I'd like to believe there is someone who's worked on the closed source software for cameras who will learn how valuable their work actually is.. And might freelance to build the OSS code that may be needed.
Isn't this just the dev kit ? I would find an HDMI port on an end-user phone to be a little odd but very useful for development ...
I'll be watching the project and hopefully all of my concerns about stability and bugs will be resolved. However, I think it's very likely I'll wait for the next gen of the phone.
This is definitely my instinct too, but I worry that there may not be a next gen version if we don't buy the first. Would hate to see it abandoned because initial sales were so dismal and they took such a loss.
Pair that to a smart watch that doesn't require a phone, a mini tablet, and the ability to hand off calls to the watch or tablet.
I don't have need for 2000 botnet apps.
That said, if it works it works.
USB-C support on Linux is still pretty odd. If I disconnect my displays from USB-C and then re-connect them, Wayland treats them as new displays, ie. disconnecting DP-1 and reconnecting it turns it into DP-2, etc.
In the past the Android phones weren't fast enough and the software was lacking.
While Samsung's desktop experience is improving.. Samsungs inadequate commitment to regular (and up to date) patches on a monthly basis will remain to be their Achilles heel at a professional and consumer level.
I prefer my Galaxy Note to a Pixel but can't compared to a phone that is honestly and regularly updated.
The dock is nice. The software-driven desktop experience is extremely subpar, and I'm confident that the Librem OS will be vastly better than that.
The only other new device that captured my attention little was the essential, but their camera did their phone in. I hope Librem can get past that.
The sooner adoption happens, the sooner the edge cases will be worked out.
Why's that? Genuinely curious as I always have the exact opposite experience.
I've found both gnome wayland and sway matching neither x11's features nor performance
: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/mutter/+bug/177856..., I reported the bug
Also, rigid dongles are not compatible with tiny connectors. I'm sure that's why all the Apple adapters have tails. Too much leverage otherwise.
It's a great and noble idea, but really hard to pull off.
Also, there's no final specs for the Librem 5 yet they have a 4/2019 ship date. Sure...
Hats off to them if that actually happens.
Does anyone have a Librem dev kit? Thoughts?
I like the Linux distro + e2e encryption support and would consider this in the future when they ship.
With Librem I feel it's a bit more straightforward. There will maybe be also Necuno Mobile with similar software stack, but cheaper hardware. So it's just maybe more realistic this time?
It's already possible to port software to the smaller screen using a QEMU image they provide https://developer.puri.sm/Librem5/Development_Environment/Bo...
That's part of the reason why I still didn't test the dev board.
What really helps for hand assembly is interactive BOM viewer plugin: https://openscopeproject.org/InteractiveHtmlBomDemo/
As soon as I can figure out a way around this I'm going back to a feature phone.
My dreamphone is iPhone 3gs sized, has gps and maps, Hotspot and the app I mentioned before.
A well configured OS is magic, and with Lamby on the purism team, I'm sure it's going to knock socks off.
Have you got some notes or a blog post about that? I would really really be interested. TY in advance!
Late reply I know.
I think I'm going to research the android in container solution cause I'm leaning more and more towards remoting in to a PC for all my needs not being met by a purism librem.
The dev kit is essentially a late-alpha version of the hardware, capable of running the software.
Doc Source: https://developer.puri.sm/Librem5/Apps/index.html
But yea by default it appears most stuff is c and gtk right now.
Longer answer: Worldwide. Purism sources component parts from China, Taiwan, Japan, and the United States. Purism builds, assembles, quality control tests, and delivers all our hardware from our South San Francisco facility, USA. Purism has employees, contractors, and volunteers from around the world.
Purism is going to ship the Librem 5 without the ability to do calendar, notes app, calculator app, and PDF viewer. My question is why? Why is this a good idea?
Reference their site: "Upon initial shipment of the Librem 5 in 2019, it will offer the essentials: phone functionality, email, messaging, voice, camera, browsing. The featureset will expand after shipment and over time to more free software applications. Your user experience will improve as we incrementally add commonly requested applications and features (such as calendaring, notes, calculator, PDF viewer, etc.) while keeping performance in mind."
At the same time, the whole point of free software is that you can hack on your own computer. If you need some missing feature, you can just port it over from Gnome. That can be either exciting or annoying, depending on whether you have a hacker mindset or a consumer mindset. They are banking on enough people having a hacker mindset.
I'm sure I'm not alone. I rather imagine that (as with the early 8-bit era) such a device will be adopted quickly by thousands of us. It's just so ... BASIC. To hell with tollbridges.
Upon initial shipment of the Librem 5 in 2019, it will offer the essentials: phone functionality, email, messaging, voice, camera, browsing. The featureset will expand after shipment and over time to more free software applications. Your user experience will improve as we incrementally add commonly requested applications and features (such as calendaring, notes, calculator, PDF viewer, etc.) while keeping performance in mind.
And since they're building on existing open-source systems like GTK and Flatpak, if you don't want to wait for them to port a calculator to the device, you could presumably port one yourself. The source for GNOME Calculator is right here: https://gitlab.gnome.org/GNOME/gnome-calculator ;-)
Everyone is different, but for me, 90% of my phone usage is: phone calls (I have no landline phone at home), text messages, and maps/navigation.
If there's no maps, I'd pass on this phone.
Calendar, notes, calculator, etc. are relatively unimportant for me.
Other apps are relatively unimportant to me. I don't use Facebook or other social media on my phone. I don't use ride-hailing services. I don't rent bikes or scooters. I don't use my phone to make retail payments. So none of that stuff matters to me.