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A GNU/Linux Smartphone Running GNOME & HTML5 Web Apps? Priced At $599, Ships In 2019 If The Stars Align

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  • #11
    Sailfish has Whatsapp, both Android app and unofficial native one. (not sure how well they work- never used it). Didn't help much its popularity...

    Regarding this project- 2 years to develop both hardware and all of polished UI software from scratch, all for 1.5 M$ is not realistic. Just getting good drivers for Linux for an ARM SOC with a radio and a GPU will take that much money and time. 15-30 M$ and 4 years is probably a closer estimate.

    If I had to do open-mobile, I'd take Mer base, libhybris and create a new UI and apps on top of it. Or open up and build on Sailfish UI. I would not waste time to develop new hardware or new platform. There's plenty of Android mobiles, and it's easier to agree with existing vendor to ship an existing model with new OS than to develop new hardware.

    There's plenty of space to innovate in UI and apps and services if you need privacy. Of course Android compatibility is a must- probably using smart virtualization. It's been done with Mer/Sailfish, just needs polish and improvements.

    Oh, and what about patents? How far would a company in US doing new mobile OS/hardware get before being sued into oblivion by MS/Apple/Google/trolls? This has to be done outside US for this reason alone.

    Originally posted by andre30correia View Post
    without some app like whastapp it will fail like other

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    • #12
      Originally posted by coder111 View Post
      Regarding this project- 2 years to develop both hardware and all of polished UI software from scratch, all for 1.5 M$ is not realistic. Just getting good drivers for Linux for an ARM SOC with a radio and a GPU will take that much money and time. 15-30 M$ and 4 years is probably a closer estimate.
      I wouldn't be surprised if Canonical spent more than 15-30M to make Ubuntu Touch, and they partnered with OEMs, and it still failed. I'm positive Mozilla spent more than 30M on Firefox OS, and it failed too.

      I wish them all success, but I'm not investing in the project.

      If I was going for a Libre smartphone project, I'd just throw in with Replicant. I think that's the smallest amount of work on the software side. (Edit: You would still need device drivers, and that's huge. But your user interface would be done, end users would know how to use it without learning something new, and application developers would know how to write applications for it.)

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      • #13
        I've seen a lot of crowd funding. I backed the OUYA when it came out.

        I think with crowd funded technology people just have to learn to manage their own expectations. Tech development is hard and full of unexpected schedule risks. The people running these projects tend to be open, but overly optimistic when it comes to everything. I assume anything I fund will be at least 6 months late. And being that the backers get stuff at the test phase of the schedule it will probably be a good run of time after it arrives before all the instabilities are worked out. And that is assuming there is enough momentum to keep the project together past HW release. It's why I wish more of these projects would focus on getting their HW working with stock community supported SW stacks. I think the biggest mistake of OUYA was not just getting Cyanogenmod running on there HW and then creating an OUYA app, or set of apps, that could run on any android device and were installed by default on there HW. They could then just have a very small part of their team focus on working with the Cyanogenmod team to keep a stable baseline OS and have there main SW team focus on the store which they could let others sideload onto their devices. They could have been the Steam of Android games if they knew what their product was(the app store) and focused on getting that out there.

        One of my biggest concerns for a project is when it gets too big for the team. There is a big difference in logistic between making 100 of something and 10,000. You see this a lot with projects where one person intends to hand assemble something really cool.

        The Gemini PDA currently carries my OS cellphone hopes. It "will" support dual boot between android and linux. I'm hoping I can get lineageOS and debian on it.

        https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/g...device-phone#/

        I think I got carried away here.

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        • #14
          If this ends up with an IMX6, it will be a failure. Seriously, Cortex-A9 (and A7 for that matter) needs to die already.

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          • #15
            Really, no thx.

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            • #16
              I wouldn't be surprised if Canonical/Mozilla spent more either. ~30M & 4 years is the minimum amount of resources I'd even consider taking on such a project and producing a usable prototype.

              Read some more about Mer and libhybris. Hybris effectively allows you to use existing Android drivers on existing Android devices to run normal Linux. It's pretty damn smart, and a decent platform to built on unless you have a vendor who's 100% on-board with open Linux drivers for everything. It runs on a number of devices as well, and quite well.

              Regarding Replicant- it's still Android. All of UI is Android, and app engine is also Android. I'd rather have normal Linux ecosystem with Wayland and QT (or GTK) apps. Pretty close to what Sailfish does, but their UI is still closed-source. And not too many native apps, and it could use more features & polish. Otherwise you'd rather run Replicant- no reason to develop own OS...

              Originally posted by Michael_S View Post

              I wouldn't be surprised if Canonical spent more than 15-30M to make Ubuntu Touch, and they partnered with OEMs, and it still failed. I'm positive Mozilla spent more than 30M on Firefox OS, and it failed too.

              ...

              If I was going for a Libre smartphone project, I'd just throw in with Replicant. I think that's the smallest amount of work on the software side. (Edit: You would still need device drivers, and that's huge. But your user interface would be done, end users would know how to use it without learning something new, and application developers would know how to write applications for it.)

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              • #17
                Originally posted by L_A_G View Post
                Don't get me wrong, I wish them best of luck, but to me it seems like the era of big crowdfunding projects seems to be over thanks to too much hype and too many failures.
                I'm going to call bullshit on this one, I routinely see game projects (RPGs or board games, or even fucking dice sets) getting swamped with money on crowdfunding.

                Like say this https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...15/description that raised 12 millions.

                It's just a matter of being niche.
                Last edited by starshipeleven; 08-24-2017, 12:03 PM.

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                • #18
                  Originally posted by GruenSein View Post
                  How many of these types of projects have amounted to nothing or flatout failed now? Not even Canonical could make it work. I, for one, am pretty pessimistic about it. Even if it ends up with a production ready device it will probably be less usable than a standard Android phone because without Google-like manpower it can't be as polished.
                  Canonical made so much bad and a-hole choices that it isn't even funny, I wouldn't take them as an example here.

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                  • #19
                    I'm glad they are planning for a standard GNU/Linux stack.

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                    • #20
                      Would be lovely to finally see a Linux-Phone (and mobile might be a better usecase for the gnome-UI :P ), but as written, i doubt that the targeted money is enough by a long stretch...

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