I want to donate to a linux phone. I believe in linux and I want a linux phone. Maybe we can use one in very few years as a normal daily driver. It’s getting closer and closer every month.

I want to donate that we get there sooner. But which project? I’m following postmarket but I’m not sure if they are the most promising. What’s your stance on this? To which project would you give your money to accellerate it?

Edit: I don’t want to buy a phone. I want to support the phone os devs. Sorry for the bad wording.

  • BaumGeist@lemmy.ml
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    None. The sad, infuriating truth is that the makers and devs are a lot like this comments section: focusing on how good of a computer it is (or what apps it has).

    You do a little digging and beneath all the hype there is a line buried in every review, so as not to raise suspicions, that says something like “now the call quality isn’t perfect, but…” and what they mean is “it will sound like your friends are playing a full concert on a kazoo trying to talk to you.”

    Time and time again. Every linux-based, privacy-respecting, freedom-loving phone team out there seems to have conveniently neglected to make the phone good at being a phone.

    • spacemanspiffy@lemmy.world
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      Anecdotally, I have been using my L5 for almost a year now and haven’t had complaints of call audio quality once.

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        What is a review if not just an anecdote from someone who got paid to write it.

        It’s good to know, as the Librem 5 was one of the ones I’d seen the aforementioned practice of burying the lede in reviews of.

    • Niquarl@lemmy.ml
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      Is that because of a shitty microphone and speaker in the phones? Couldn’t just use some headphones to solve this?

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      There’s a large ecosystem in the Android space. Right now F-droid and Lineage os are making leaps and bounds.

  • GolfNovemberUniform@lemmy.ml
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    In my opinion postmarketOS is the most promising mobile Linux OS now. But the phones? Only OnePlus 6 is good. PinePhone is a project to look at as well but the hardware is not as good from the regular user’s perspective

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      Pine64 has also had terrible communication for a while now and their site has had technical issues for a month. They have not filled me with confidence as of late.

      postmarketOS is great though.

      • Deckweiss@lemmy.world
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        Well, I can at least say that any of my recent orders promptly arrived in perfect working condition, even though the communication is absolutely very lacking.

      • UNWILLING_PARTICIPANT@sh.itjust.works
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        Fairphone looks really cool, but I feel like too big for my weak little hands

        I’d probably just refurb an old old Android phone. Would love to buy hardware that is more ethically sourced though

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        Ubuntu Touch is almost dead, Sailfish is proprietary and many many phones have that kind of postmarketOS support. I’m talking about things that are already usable

        • sab@kbin.social
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          Why do you think Ubuntu Touch is almost dead? The development community is pretty active. They recently finished the huge task of upgrading to 20.04, and are hard at work getting up to speed with 24.04, at which point they will have paid back a lot of technical debt.

          Ubuntu Touch on a supported device is probably the most usable experience you can have with Linux phones as a daily driver at the moment, especially as Waydroid runs quite well on many devices to fill the gaps.

  • Pantherina@feddit.de
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    5 months ago

    Tbh GrapheneOS.

    Android is Linux.

    And unlike desktop Linux it was able to spread secure and private standards

    • every app is sandboxed, not some opt-in like Flatpak
    • apps start with no permissions (or at least very little), everything is opt-in
    • it is like 99% unbreaking, immutable, it just always works while my desktop Linux broke all the time
    • there is a webview, which can be hardened. Not Electron, which is insecure and bloated
    • energy saving etc work like a charm. 1% battery loss over an entire night!
    • hardware security with trusted element is decades ahead of desktop Linux (Ubuntu is just now getting TPM encryption support)
    • it is a unified platform, with tons of apps, many of them essential (as the platform is so secure), like 2FA, Banking, public services etc. you can have a full FOSS phone though

    I am sure excited for other operating systems but they are just toys. GrapheneOS does amazing work that is a 100% alternative today, for real phones with normal prices, good performance and outstanding security.

    • FreeBooteR69@kbin.social
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      When i think of Android i don’t think of it as part of the gnu/linux ecosystem, but a heavily modified linux kernel turned against the user.

      • Pantherina@feddit.de
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        How is it turned against the user? Androids Linux is highly restricted in that it doesnt support a lot of things, but that makes it extremely stable, while this doesnt mean that apps are also “stable” like in Debian

        • scratchandgame@lemmy.ml
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          They don’t expect users to do development on android.

          (Phones should be used like telephones lol.) I’m going to buy a landline phone

          • Pantherina@feddit.de
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            No a phone is an end device. But I dont think GPL or whatever says you need to be able to modify the code on that device.

            Makes no sense.

            Btw as I only said this in another comment, afaik android runs a tailored LTS linux kernel. It is not as bloated as regular linux as it contains device drivers and also doesnt need all the random drivers for whatever hardware to run on a specific phone.

            So you can say android restricts freedom in exchange for security, but “linux kernel turned against the user” makes no sense. Their kernel is just fine.

    • rah@feddit.uk
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      Android is Linux.

      It runs Linux but it isn’t a “Linux phone” in the sense used here.

      • Pantherina@feddit.de
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        Yes I know but the Term is simply incorrect. I dont have a better one though.

        And even though I am excited to use some Linux Distro on a phone I own, it will be way worse in stability, security and crucial app support than Android / GrapheneOS.

        • Captain Beyond@linkage.ds8.zone
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          I dont have a better one though.

          I just say non-Android Linux systems. GNU/Linux if I’m talking about that type of system, but there are some like postmarketOS that are strictly not in that group (it’s based on Alpine)

          • Ook the Librarian@lemmy.world
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            Is this seriously your takeaway from a well-thought out post? This the smugness of reddit that I really don’t miss.

            edit: I am refering to the root comment, as that isn’t clear.

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      how are you only getting 1% battery drain overnight? my pixel 7 w grapheneos drains 10% overnight and battery saver makes it worse somehow

      I would like to know your secrets

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          The 6 series was when google introduced the tensor which is where the stereotype for worse battery life, worse performance, and less efficient radio come from.

          I have a 6a too and for the price it’s fine, and I think a lot of the battery concerns are overblown, and for a budget phone competing with other budget phone devices tensor was great. That said the things that would make the tensor in the 7 bad are as present in if not more so in the 6a.

          • Pantherina@feddit.de
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            I dont know. I had a 7pro and that thing got hot and was like a tablet. I 100% cannot reproduce this on a 6a. Its battery life is better than my 4a and before my Nokia 7plus.

    • Lettuce eat lettuce@lemmy.ml
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      On GrapheneOS right now typing this, love it! I switched over about 2 years ago to Graphene and never looked back. Rarely have any issues, solid battery life, all my apps work, life is good and private.

    • Captain Beyond@linkage.ds8.zone
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      Android is Linux.

      This should be repeated in every “Linux phone” thread.

      It’s also possible to install a full GNU userland using Termux, and nowadays a graphical interface is even possible with Termux.

      • Zamundaaa
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        It is repeated in every single damn “Linux phone” thread, and in every single thread an answer like this is needed: No, it fucking isn’t. You know exactly what everyone means, stop being a dick about it.

        • Captain Beyond@linkage.ds8.zone
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          It is repeated in every single damn “Linux phone” thread

          Good. The more people pushing back against falsehoods, the better.

            • Captain Beyond@linkage.ds8.zone
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              “Android isn’t Linux,” of course. This is a very obviously false myth that is debunked very easily by simply looking at any Android device or the source code. It is not a myth spread by people who are technologically literate. Yet, this easily verifiable fact upsets Linux fans so much they resort to downvotes and ugly language (I have my ideas why, but it’s probably a waste of time to elaborate in this thread).

              Of course, the more savvy among the Linux fandom will admit that Android “contains Linux, but isn’t real Linux” - but “real Linux” is yet another myth; that is, the myth that there is more to Linux than an operating system kernel, a myth that leads to further myths such as the myth of fragmentation, or the myth that distributions are worthless and we need a “unified app store.” It’s a myth that clouds history and assigns the wrong motives to the wrong people and meanings to things that don’t need or deserve them (the misunderstanding that that “Linux” is “about openness” or “against corporations” for example, when large companies are the main contributors to and users of the Linux project). Linus Torvalds himself says he only cares about code, not about freedom or openness or any of that stuff (that’s Richard Stallman’s thing)

              The fact that this myth is widely believed is not relevant. We don’t live in a world where a falsehood becomes true if it is widely believed; people used to believe the sun revolved around the earth, for example. Also, a falsehood being widely believed doesn’t mean it deserves to stay unchallenged.


              The point of reminding Linux fans that Android is based on their beloved kernel isn’t meant to be a well-actually or anything. It’s a reminder that much of what a so called “Linux phone” can do is already possible without having to switch to an operating system that in many respects is not ready for general use. For example, you can run xfce in Termux - I hope this is enough to disabuse one of the silly notion of “not real Linux.” For some reason. people looking for so-called “Linux phones” desire Android compatibility, and it turns out that because Android itself is Linux, it is far easier for Android to run so-called “Linux apps” than it is for so-called “mobile Linux” to run Android apps.

              Android is Linux and that’s a good thing. I should point out that it’s not my preferred Linux operating system - I was a Pinephone early adopter and used to daily drive Mobian, I would prefer that or GNU Guix over Android. Still, not only is it a Linux based operating system, it also has its own rich free software ecosystem backed by F-Droid. It’s very usable once you cut out the Google crap and stick to free software only (or as much as possible).


              I wrote more on the “real Linux” myth here in case anyone’s interested in more reading material.

              • rah@feddit.uk
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                “Android isn’t Linux,”

                Nobody here has said that. What’s been pointed out is that the phrase “Linux phone” is being used by OP to refer to non-Android phones running GNU/Linux, which is a common use of the phrase.

  • jabjoe@feddit.uk
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    The main problem is political not technical. The market had been allowed to become a duopoly and too many critical things now need an app on an Android or Apple phone. The worse I know is banks needing an app for authentication for their online banking. No separate security device anymore, those are ewaste apparently.

    Public EV chargers where you can only control them from an app.

    Riding book at theme parks. The cases are growing. Even the app is just wrapper of hidden web page!

    Frankly I think regulation is required to get competition in the market. Not the only tech one either. Why is it so hard for law makers to see monopoly in tech?

      • jabjoe@feddit.uk
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        Increasingly lots of stuff won’t work without all of the Google services. Banking apps won’t run on root devices or anything odd they detect.

        Even without that, I can say how seamless it is.

        • rah@feddit.uk
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          Banking apps won’t run on root devices or anything odd they detect.

          Banking apps will run in Android emulation layers on GNU/Linux.

          • jabjoe@feddit.uk
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            That’s good, though I still think it’s a problem they exist. I mean a lot of apps are a webpage wrapped in an app anyway, so why not just a webpage and skip the platform dependence.

  • ExLisper@linux.community
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    AOSP. Sad but true.

    When first pinephone came out I really believed it’s heading somewhere. It thought that it will be kind of like raspberry Pi (fun, cheap platform to play with) and that we’ll quickly see copycats and it will slowly grow the way Linux on desktop did. AFAIK nothing like this happened. You still can’t get a phone with decent Linux support which for me shows that we’re stuck with android. I think most people that would help Linux phone happen are simply satisfied with LineageOS so there’s no incentive to put as much effort into it as it requires.

    • Possibly linux@lemmy.zip
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      AOSP is dying as Google is killing off all the apps in favor of proprietary Google ones.

      Lineage os is slowly becoming its own thing as they are maintaining basically all of the system apps at this point.

      • MigratingtoLemmy@lemmy.world
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        I like the security measures that Google takes for Android.

        I don’t like how Google fucks everyone over in everything else

        • Urist@lemmy.ml
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          Yeah, I love having to use a custom ROM to get security updates and subsequently root my phone to be able to pass safetynet so I can use banking apps on my phone. Else I have to do as designed: Buy a new phone every 2-3 years :))))))

          Not Google’s fault alone, but the way Android and ARM both have proprietary components combine into a delightful piece of hot crap that stifles users freedom and innovation.

          • MigratingtoLemmy@lemmy.world
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            For some reason everyone is assuming the worst out of my comment.

            For reference, I was talking about the change in the system certificate store in Android 14, to which even root cannot directly write to now. This seems like a massive bug to people but this is actually an unintended byproduct instead of intentionally fucking everyone over.

            I don’t think people realise the amount of work Google puts into Android. I hate their policies as much as the next person, but I can never fail to respect their efforts towards Android. You think A/B would be reality if we left it to Samsung? It would become another locked garden like Apple.

            Unless the day comes that we absolutely cannot run custom ROMs (and this is a problem specifically in America because of carriers, not Google or any other OEM), I will never fail to acknowledge the great benefits that Google has brought to Android.

            Your problems stem from capitalism and not from Google’s code

    • aluminium@lemmy.world
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      I 100% agree.

      Love it or hate it, Android is extremly fast, polished, stable and easy to use, not to mention it has gigantic library apps that are built to work perfectly with a touchscreen.

      I honestly don’t really get what there is to gain by using “Desktop Linux”. I mean sure some proper Programs offer way more features than Apps but using them on a 6.5" Touchscreen sounds like pain.

      • ExLisper@linux.community
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        I honestly don’t really get what there is to gain by using “Desktop Linux”.

        More freedom I guess. I remember my n900 and how fun it was to just ssh into it and dig in my home directory, install apps with packet manger, edit config files with vi and so on. It really felt like having small Linux machine in my pocket. With Android everything is definitely more locked up but then again, I’m not sure what would I do if it was more open. Writing apps for Android is easier than for desktop (or just as easy), there are no more hardware keyboard phones so using terminal on them is terrible anyway and phones just work anyway so there’s no need to mess with the configuration. Personally I mostly gave up on the ‘Linux phone’ idea and if I need any new features I will simply write cross platform app that runs on Android (for example with tauri).

        • aluminium@lemmy.world
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          Sounds a lot like the Android 4.X and 2.X days. Its unfortunate that Google over time has locked down Android more and more. I mean having the option to do wild stuff is better than not having it.

          The only real usecase I could see is with a proper Desktop Mode like DEX on High end Samsung phones or Motorola’s ready for. Where you can plug your phone into a Monitor and attach a physical keyboard and mouse. In that case, yeah it would be neat to break out of the Android jail.

      • fine_sandy_bottom
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        I honestly don’t really get what there is to gain by using “Desktop Linux”.

        I don’t think anyone actually want’s desktop linux, just a free & completely open source phone OS, the only hope for which is a linux derivative.

        It doesn’t need to be competitive with a flagship phone experience. I think device capabilities have plateaued somewhat… I’ve been playing around with a 4 year old phone the last few weeks and it’s supremely adequate for everything I need to do.

        There are a myriad of potential uses for older devices.

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        Actually regarding the app department (caveat is that I have an iPhone looking to switch to android), there has been a huge wave of developers making apps for mobile Linux or making their apps compatible. So much so that someone like me (I download everything that’s shiny) has more than had his app needs met and exceeded by what has been released.

        Actually my main reason for wanting mobile Linux to succeed is because these apps look and work so good. Especially the gnome ones, the app ecosystem alone makes mobile Linux desirable.

        Honestly, even more so when you consider how mobile linux could potentially get Apple levels of cross-device integration (without the baggage), and the ability to have the same UI on your phone and computer. I want to use gnome and libadwaita apps everywhere lol.

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        @aluminium @ExLisper i mean technically, apple is unix based and android is too, the unix-based OSes have clearly overtaken all the other proprietary systems that popped up in the last 30 years, so there’s that

    • smileyhead
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      The benefits are there, some of ideas out of my head:

      Better networking for administrator, access to /etc/hosts file, not being tied to a single VPN slot.

      Using old mobile phone as a simple server, having access to firewall tools and normal remote control.

      Installing simplier graphical interface for eldery people.

      Lifetime updates for many system components that are not device specific.

      Simple backups and cloning with standard tools like rsync or borgbackup instead of Google Drive. Also backing up whole system.

      Everyone can add a feature, you can make a difference, no need to mess with Google’s Android developing pipeline.

      Making native apps for mobile and desktop at the same time, no need for bloated web-like abstraction layers.

      Apps made in Python, C, Rust… No need to fit into Android SDK. And no forcing Android SDK and Android Studio!

      Customizations of the interface look via CSS files (Phosh have it to some sort).

      Someone give more ideas?

      • ExLisper@linux.community
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        Yes, it’s all true but the issue is you can already do a lot of those things with a lot of cheap hardware that is is simply easier to support than old phones. And when it comes to phones being phones Android is really good and has a lot of apps. I think the problem with Linux phones getting more popular is that the overlap between desktop/server and mobile is very small. I mean I use my phone only for phone things and a lot of things I do on my phone I can do only on my phone (e.g. charging an electric car is basically impossible without a Android/iPhone). Having a phone that can do some things desktop/server can do but can’t do a lot of things a phone can do is pretty much pointless at this point.

        When we’ll get a proper Linux phone with full Android apps support and convergence it will be really awesome but I just don’t think there’s enough interest to get there at this point.

        • FreeBooteR69@kbin.social
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          The problem with Android is it is very invasive and in my opinion untrustworthy. How many of these Android OS’s from various vendors are not kept up to date, with unpatched vulnerabilities because they dump support to force upgrade their customers to the next model, when your phone should still be functionally viable. How many apps in the Android ecosystem are just info vacuums? It’s a very predatory ecosystem and i would prefer a libre solution to these scumbag predatory corporations. It blows my mind how people are so numb to the abuses of these companies, they won’t even consider alternatives. Iphones aren’t a viable alternative either unless you’re into joining abusive cults. I have both a Pinephone and a Librem 5, and they work fine if you don’t mind horrible battery life, i just wish we had more alternatives and I’ll put my money towards that endeavor.

          • ExLisper@linux.community
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            Yes, Android has issues but what I’m saying is that so far Linux on phones really hasn’t been able to compete. No one want’s a phone with no camera, no GPS, no apps and terrible battery. Making Linux phones is just super difficult and sadly I don’t see it happening anytime soon. Android is a good platform with lots of hardware and apps. You have Fairphone offering long tern support, f-droid offering privacy oriented apps and LineageOS offering stable OS. Getting more phoes to support it is a better bet than getting Linux to properly work on modern phones.

            • smileyhead
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              This is a problem with the current industry, smartphones are conceptually no different than any other computer. It’s Qualcomm not publishing proper documentation and tools, propietary bootloaders, drivers being baked as Android packages, no specification how main processor can talk to a modem…

    • rah@feddit.uk
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      An Android phone isn’t what’s referred to when people say “Linux phone”. What they’re referring to is a phone running GNU/Linux, typically running one of the GNU/Linux phone shells/desktop environments.

      • ExLisper@linux.community
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        I know and what I’m saying is that all those project are moving very slowly while projects like GraphneOS/LineageOS already offer open, privacy oriented phones with good hardware and lot’s of apps. This is simply where more effort is going, where we’re seeing more progress and our best chance at getting “Linux phones”.

        • rah@feddit.uk
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          I know

          Apparently not.

          projects like GraphneOS/LineageOS … our best chance at getting “Linux phones”.

          To repeat myself: an Android phone (for example, running GrapheneOS or LineageOS) isn’t a “Linux phone”.

      • Possibly linux@lemmy.zip
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        Not necessarily, F-droid combined with Lineage os or other free software ROM gives you the same freedoms are the Linux desktop does.

        • rah@feddit.uk
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          What you’ve said here doesn’t contradict what I said. A phone running Lineage OS is explicitly not what people are referring to with the phrase “Linux phone”.

        • smileyhead
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          You can’t even compile any of those FOSS apps without running propietary build of Android SDK. No one managed to build current versions of Android SDK from the source code yet.

          Android is like one big blob and changing anything in it require giant effort. Meanwhile making new feature for a Linux phone with common Linux tech stack is super easy and any mid-tier developer can change something in Phosh for example.

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              5 months ago

              Which one? Android SDK source is under Apache licence, but binaries are under EULA. There were some efforts to properly package it under free licencje, but currently no one do it.

              As for Android being giant blob, maybe not the best word but it really is barely available to change. If I want to add a new feature to the UI, I need to build whole ROM again and deal with Google’s developing platforms. While on Linux you can get the code for a component from some GitHub/Codeberg and modify/reinstall just that component.

  • aksdb@lemmy.world
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    5 months ago

    There is a commercial phone linux: SailfishOS. IMO also the most polished one.

    If those fuckers at Microsoft hadn’t intervened with Nokia, we might have these things on much more devices. Meego was so promising 😔

    • kureta@lemmy.ml
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      5 months ago

      Maemo on Nokia N900 was awesome. But even before Microsoft Nokia and Intel decided to rewrite a perfectly working phone OS from scratch and stopped development for years while trying to build Meego. At the time android didn’t have multi-tasking, but on Maemo you could play a video on vlc on the background, and it kept playing while switching windows, inside the list of little windows. It used qt for ui and you could even write native looking apps in python. It had full access to the camera api, people were writing crazy scriptable camera apps for the thing, such as the frankencamera. Why would you throw away a perfectly working os and waste time trying to rewrite the exact same thing for years Nokia!? why!? it could have been an actual Linux phone revolution years ago. and no, I don’t think Android is already Linux phone. fight me.

      • inverted_deflector@startrek.website
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        5 months ago

        At the time android didn’t have multi-tasking

        Android always had multitasking. Part of the issue with android 1 and 2 was that it didnt have any way to properly manage the task managers which lead to people installing task killers(which had utility in those days) and auto task killers(which due to how android handles caching just lead to a cycle of killing, thing popping up, killing, and etc). My g1 with a swap partition was probably my best android