open source

Linux phones need to succeed and it isn’t just about privacy

Linux phones need to succeed and it isn’t just about privacy

Android and iOS may be the mobile platforms today but there have always been attempts to push other horses into the race. Most of them used the Linux kernel just like Android but a few were more direct efforts to bring some of the Linux desktop stack to mobile in one form or another. Thanks to changes in the industry, particularly in electronic components and production, there has been a steady rise of such attempts to create true Linux and truly open source phones, with Purism's Librem 5 and PINE64's PinePhone leading the way. These are primarily targeted at a small hobbyist market and at users that value privacy and security above all else. But while those are valid and desirable goals, it's actually important that these Linux phones become more mainstream in order to cultivate a healthier and better mobile market in general.

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PinePhone Linux phone can somewhat run regular Linux desktop apps

PinePhone Linux phone can somewhat run regular Linux desktop apps

When smartphones first arrived, it was perhaps not that strange that the devices ran programs that were vastly different from the ones our computers. The portable bricks were different enough to bypass our expectations of computers and we were perfectly fine with having disconnected experiences between the two. These days, however, both devices and users have changed and some do want to have the exact same apps on both their smartphones as well as computers. Neither Android nor iOS have been able to fully accomplish that but one still experimental phone is close to making that geek dream come true.

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webOS Open Source Edition 2.0 keeps Palm’s spirit alive in cars and IoT

webOS Open Source Edition 2.0 keeps Palm’s spirit alive in cars and IoT

Palm's name may have recently been revived in a small way, quite literally, with a tiny companion Android phone. Ever since it got bought then sold by HP, however, Palm has been nothing more than a historical footnote in the consumer tech market. That's not to say its legacy doesn't live on today and at least one effort is trying to keep it on life support thanks to version 2.0 of the webOS Open Source Edition.

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PinePhone Linux smartphone pre-orders start next week

PinePhone Linux smartphone pre-orders start next week

Linux users keeping tabs on the smartphone market may have long been wishing for an honest to goodness non-Android Linux phone. That almost came to be with Ubuntu Touch but Canonical sadly saw no profit to be made there. That mission has then been left to smaller companies that prize principles over profits, manufacturing and selling computing devices that value security and privacy more than anything else. One of those is PINE64 whose PinePhone is just a month away from becoming reality.

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Google Cardboard is now open source to keep the mobile VR daydream alive

Google Cardboard is now open source to keep the mobile VR daydream alive

In 2015, Google launched its formal entry into the world of mobile-powered virtual reality. Cardboard was revolutionary in the way it empowered VR experiences with nothing but, well, a makeshift cardboard headset with special lenses. But while headsets were relatively easy to make, the software behind Cardboard stagnated to the point of being forgotten. Now Google seems to be stirring things up a bit by trying to breathe new life into Google Cardboard, mostly be handing off its upkeep to the open source community.

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Samsung Linux on DeX is dead, here are open source alternatives

Samsung Linux on DeX is dead, here are open source alternatives

Over the weekend, Samsung sent a relatively small number of its customers an email that they probably didn't want to read on a weekend or on a weekday. The company was put its Linux on DeX beta program to rest and not because it was graduating to a stable release. On the contrary, Samsung was ending the program completely. It may have had a small number of users but LoD, as it was known, was well-loved by those because of what it enabled. Fortunately, there are other ways to carry on that promise in a hopefully more sustainable and more future-proof way.

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PineTime is Pine64’s upcoming stab at an open source smartwatch

PineTime is Pine64’s upcoming stab at an open source smartwatch

There have been attempts at making and selling source open source-friendly devices, from desktops to tablets to, of course, smartphones. There are even open source and privacy-oriented smart speakers. All that's missing is a smartwatch, one that's not just a smartwatch OS slapped in proprietary hardware. Rising to that challenge is Pine64, creators of a line of ARM-powered open source friendly computing products. While it says that PineTime smartwatch is just a side project, interest could catapult it to an actual product in the very near future.

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PinePhone Linux phone prototypes to ship to developers this month

PinePhone Linux phone prototypes to ship to developers this month

It seems that the dreams of an open source Linux phone are starting to pick up steam again. Purism has just announced its batched schedule of Librem 5 shipments and now the folks over at PINE64 also have some good news for Linux fans. Although a final product is far from ready, prototypes will be shipped to a limited number of Linux developers soon, not only proving that the PinePhone does exist but also to get the ball rolling towards a 2020 full product launch.

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postmarketOS now supports 139 abandoned phones and tablets

postmarketOS now supports 139 abandoned phones and tablets

Android has the lion's share of the smartphone market partly because of the wide variety of devices available and the wide range of prices they carry. There may also be one other factor influencing those numbers: early obsolescence of devices. Android phones are guaranteed two to three years of software updates and that is if they're lucky. If you have a five-year-old or older phone that's still working, you can only hope there's an Android ROM for that or, if you're more adventurous, support from Linux-based postmarketOS.

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Purism Librem One offers “ethical” chat, email, social media services

Purism Librem One offers “ethical” chat, email, social media services

News today is filled with stories of how Big Tech, companies like Facebook, Google, or Amazon, repeatedly violate their own users' privacy, intentionally or otherwise. One big problem, however, is how we've become so dependent on their apps and services that it's nearly impossible to break free. And while there are indeed more privacy-focused alternatives, setting those up sometimes feels like you need to be a computer scientist first. That is why Purism, a startup whose business is providing "ethical" laptops and software, has launched Librem One, a suite of services to do all of the dirty work for you. At a price, of course.

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What the Linux desktop must have to become mainstream

What the Linux desktop must have to become mainstream

Linux runs the computing world. It is by far the most used operating system on servers and perhaps the only OS on supercomputers. It has taken over much of the mobile world thanks to Android and is on the cusp of taking a majority share in education via Chrome OS.

The one area where it has had difficulty expanding year after year is the desktop. Not because it's terrible at it but because it needs a few missing pieces that will stop the Year of the Linux desktop from being a running joke.

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Reasons to Abandon Windows For Linux

Reasons to Abandon Windows For Linux

Had enough of Windows 10's hassles? Unless you plan to install Windows 7, which is going to lose support from Microsoft on January 14, 2020, or have the cash to spare for an Apple device, there aren't many other options for a computer operating system except some flavor of Linux.

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