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MuditaOS And Mudita Center are now fully Open Source (mudita.com)
92 points by khimaros 70 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 60 comments

Pretty cool company, love the manifesto. Excited for when their products ship.

EU tech culture is really intriguing actually, everything from private email services (mailbox.org) to low-power computing (pine64) and a lot of FOSS development. I find myself aligning more with those values than the values we're pushing here in the US--whatever the Venn diagram of Meta/Google/Microsoft/Amazon/Salesforce/Oracle are I don't think it's super inspiring. Maybe it's a little unfair to cherrypick though.

Seems values like sustainability and privacy are at least a little higher priority outside of the United States. I, too, can get behind that.

Pine is Hongkong tough.

That seems to be relatively recent though, originally US based. This is what Wikipedia says about the history:

> Pine64 initially operated as Pine Microsystems Inc. (Fremont, California), founded by TL Lim

> all devices for the Kickstarter campaign were manufactured and sold by Pine Microsystems Inc. based in Fremont, California.

> In January 2020, Pine Microsystems Inc. was dissolved while Pine Store Limited was incorporated on December 5, 2019 in Hong Kong. As of late 2020, the standard form contract of pine64.com binds all orders to the laws of Malaysia, while the products are shipped from warehouses in Hong Kong and Shenzhen, China.


In Hong Kong they can get away with their shoddy 1 month warranty. In USA or EU, not so much.

This means that they can also get away with charging very low prices for their products. PinePhone is the first Linux smartphone that I wanted to buy, simply because it's so cheap and I won't weep if it fails.

I also highly recommend their Pinecil soldering iron, as well as tabletop power supply. Amazing value for the money.

I have and use both the TS100 and the Pinecil. The Pinecil is a bit thicker than the TS100 and takes a few more seconds to heat up, but for the money it would be hard to justify buying a TS100 again.

I got the tabletop power supply. Its nice though itgot easily scratched on the OLED. But if it breaks now (its a few months old) it is bye bye money. Cause that 1 month warranty is for all their products, no matter the price. 400 EUR e-ink notebook and Pinephone Pro included.

At least you get a breakable version of a product, rather than stay locked out of the product category entirely due to the cost.

I get about 2 years warranty and 5 years security updates on my Fairphone, am allowed and able to run whatever OS on it which I want, and I can replace broken modules myself, or upgrade modules.

you'll weep if it fails in a month

Even if it had functioning warranty, it would cost me at least half of the original price to post the item to them for repairs (it's halfway across the world). That's not a win, really.

Whoa I had no idea. I feel like everyone I've seen doing Pine64 things lives somewhere in Europe. What a world.

They actually started as a California-based company before re-basing to Hong Kong back in (IIRC) 2019. Not sure why the change.

Doing business from the US is a minefield today, not at all like it used to be. Almost any other country is better if you just want to focus on running a business, so not so surprising that they relocated.

The previous US administration going to war with China on trade created a lot of uncertainty and concern surrounding tariffs and delays/parts availability.

Through that lens it probably makes a lot of sense to simply move your operation to China, when that covers the bulk of the relevant supply chain for your products. Especially if you have no other barriers deterring the relocation, like language or cultural challenges...

> Doing business from the US is a minefield today

As opposed to doing business from China. Hmm, really.....

If they do business from China or Hong Kong they can get away with shoddy 1 month warranty, simple as that. Nobody's gonna bust those who are behind the company from countries like China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, ...

If that's what the OP meant, yes I agree.

From the site:

> Although we would have liked to only use 2G, the least harmful radio frequency, it is currently being phased out around the world. We spent a good amount of time trying to find a flexible, modern and global GSM module, which could be used for travelling anywhere in the world. With the user’s health in mind, Pure always chooses the lowest spectrum available to limit radiation.

Will this phone also save me from the vax?

2G isn’t a frequency. This is nuts.

Later mobile network generations generally use higher frequencies. GSM goes up to 1.9 GHz [1], 5G up to 52.6 GHz [2].

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GSM_frequency_bands

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5G_NR_frequency_bands

That can possibly be explained by non-native English speaking team. The whole idea of "radiation exposure" is actually nuts, and a pure marketing gimmick (as are meditation timer, and other ethical considerations).

Fair warning for anyone considering the phone: it doesn't appear to support group messaging. If you live in Europe, you might not care. If you live in the US, this is quite possibly a dealbreaker.


Of course, now that it's open source someone could add it, but... too fundamental of a feature for me to start daily driving it in the first place.

That will be because SMS doesn't support group messages and MMS is a different protocol entirely (believe it or not MMS content exchange is done via HTTP, using SMS only for pushing control messages[1]).

So unfortunately group messages are one of those occasions where superficially easy problem becomes a non-trivial feature to add.

[1] > the content is extracted and sent to a temporary storage server with an HTTP front-end. An SMS "control message" containing the URL of the content is then sent to the recipient's handset to trigger the receiver's WAP browser to open and receive the content from the embedded URL. Several other messages are exchanged to indicate the status of the delivery attempt.


Right, I'm aware it uses MMS; my other comment mentions this: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=29176484

Whether it's SMS or MMS on the backend doesn't matter to me as a user, it's still a fundamental enough feature of a mobile phone for me that I can't consider one without it.

Sending SMS basically comes free with a mobile plan in my country. MMS messages still cost just as much as 20 years ago (which is to say, they are priced unrealistically).

It's reversed in the US; MMS is typically free on even the cheapest plans here, data is metered.

Except the little detail that MMS pays per amount of recipients.

In Europe, maybe. Typically not here in the US.

Mudita is a European company though

A European company selling their product to US customers, with (as I understand it nontrivial) US regulatory certifications. They clearly have the US market in mind in addition to the European market.

The key part there is "in addition". The US in addition to the rest of the world. You might have a booming tech industry yourselves that put America's interests first -- and that is absolutely fine for American companies to do -- but please don't assume that every other company in the world should too.

If a European company wants to put a lower priority on implementing MMS knowing that it's both non-trivial and non-free in most of the world -- not least of all their own country -- then I that's a perfectly reasonably thing for them to do.

I mean yes, it's perfectly fine and valid for them to make that tradeoff. I just think it's also reasonable to make potential American customers aware of that tradeoff though, because just about everyone I know of here would consider that a dealbreaker, and they might not realize it otherwise until they've already bought the phone and started losing messages (which can be hard to detect). Hence my post.

The thing is, people had. The majority of the conversation was yourself arguing that their decision is wrong because "America". At times it felt like there was little appreciation from your part that this isn't an American company and their target demographic is going to be much wider than just America.

Interesting. That's a restriction on Tesla's infotainment system as well. I wonder how the underlying standards differ. What makes group messaging so much harder to implement?

I agree it's a pretty key feature.

Of course, there are a lot of other problems with SMS. There's a reason other chat apps are so common, and a lot of it is key features like delivery confirmation and message length.

Perhaps Mudita should offer a cloud service that bridges various chat apps to their phone. If they take a privacy-first approach, it could be a really nice service.

Similarly, I would love to streaming music on this thing. Spotify runs on everything, so why not here?

Maybe I don't totally agree with their product vision though. I like the idea of a slimmed down, privacy-respecting phone. I just don't want to give up ALL the benefits of a smart phone. I would welcome a unified chat interface and a simplified Spotify app.

I would probably be willing to pay a subscription for secure backends to give me a streamlined, integrated experience.

> What makes group messaging so much harder to implement?

Group messaging requires MMS, so you don't get it for free by just implementing SMS. Most up-and-coming platforms seem to stop at SMS - which you do need for MMS as its control messages are sent via SMS, but it's not enough.

MMS is overpriced in all European networks that I know of. This might be why it's not seeing much adoption.

Nice! The picture in the article (all-white minimalistic GUI, except a button which I would make white too) is exactly what I want an ideal OS I would use to look like. I would then use it with a eInk display (AFAIK full-size eInk desktop displays exist although are very expensive, I hope eInk laptops are also going to emerge once we have suitable software) and probably feel very happy.

Aren't the digits-only keys almost useless? Who types a phone number these days? I either call contacts, or click on a phone link, or long-press on a phone number on the web then select Call, or click Call from Maps.

Hope these guys would consider doing an ereader though.

Whenever I need to call a new number (and I do it often - because companies, state etc.) I manually add the country code to it. Because they often don't add it themselves when putting it on their website or in a message. If I use it as it is and don't add the country code, the moment they call/text me back the phone software considers it a different number because the caller ID actually includes the code.

> Hope these guys would consider doing an ereader though.

Why? Can't a 3rd party just make an app? Given you already have the eInk screen, how is a dedicated ebook reader supposed to be different from an eInk tablet with a reading app?

> how is a dedicated ebook reader supposed to be different from an eInk tablet with a reading app?

A dedicated device can be better for avoiding distraction. When reading on my phone or computer I'll often switch apps to look something up or check something, but when reading on a dedicated e-reader I find the friction of switching devices keeps me conscious of the distraction.

If you can stay focused while reading on a multipurpose device, you probably don't need an ebook device. But I happen to appreciate the option.

ereader == Kobo, Kindle. Not an app.

Interesting phone. Have considered for quite some time to move to a dumbish phone, or at least something more minimal. Would like to ditch the mindless and low friction browsing etc.. but OTOH I would miss Signal/Telegram as it is too much of a benefit to me in daily life, as is Maps.

Most of those issues could be dealt with by changing habits/lifestyle (which is the point, to a degree) however for people who have made that plunge... how do you deal with the seeming need for a phone with secure chip for the endless banking and two factor apps?

I would need a second phone with all bells and whistles which defeats the point.

> how do you deal with the seeming need for a phone with secure chip for the endless banking and two factor apps?

I've been without a smartphone for about two years now and would not go back (although sometimes tempted by the false promise that a shiny new product will bring happiness).

It's easy, you just don't treat your phone as secure, do banking on a computer, along with email.

2FA is not magic, it's just another password. Just a password manager like pass [0] can generate 2FA codes, but it's easy enough to do with oathtool [1] that I wrote my own password manager.

[0] https://www.passwordstore.org [1] https://www.nongnu.org/oath-toolkit/

My current employer (long term contract work) and many other company policies simply require e.g. ms authenticator... Can't find any alternative to that. Is there a way to use company issued ms 2fa without a mobile phone (Android/iOS)?

It certainly seems clunky, but you could potentially use something like Bluestacks as a pseudo phone and install Authenticator under it. That wouldn't work for push though (like Duo).

Interesting, but... 369 USD? Really??

Not enough volume to qualify for discounts and less phones to spread out R&D costs.

Exactly. This is a specialized item for people with specific tastes.

You can probably get a older model flip phone without a data plan for $50 or less online, but this is for people who crave aesthetic and have lingering discomfort with some untold aspect of oled screens and 5G waves, or at the very least they want an excuse to not be connected all of the time.

Just want to pause and say how stunningly beautifully & minimalist Mudita's entire brand, website & product offering is, everything's so beautifully Zen.

Interesting: they have a cellphone using it: https://mudita.com/community/blog/october-mudita-pure-produc...

Maybe we'll see a RYF-capable phone?

I love the idea behind this phone and have been following the development for a while, but it's really a drag that it doesn't support group messages.

Which hardware does it run on anyway? Can I install it on a PC? An old Android phone? reMarkable? RaspberryPi? PocketBook? Kindle? Perhaps VirtualBox?

You can always run the OS on the phone simulator which is included in the repo.

This looks really great. Didn't know about this company until now. Will have a close look as the phone seems amazing.

Thanks people post such pearls on HN!

I think what Mudita is doing is AMAZING. Their whole approach to technology is great.

Russians already had fun with Pidora OS. This one may amuse them even more.

Want to buy - but need a private messenger on it.

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