Purism Developing "Chatty" For SMS Support On The Librem 5

Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 29 August 2018 at 03:23 PM EDT. 5 Comments
Purism shared today about the work they are engaged in on supporting SMS messaging with their in-development Librem 5 smartphone.

For handling SMS messaging, Purism is developing an application they -- at least for now -- are calling Chatty. This Chatty code will effectively serve as a plug-in for libpurple (of Pidgin instant messaging fame) that interfaces with ModemManager. Libpurple of course supports many different messaging platforms/protocols and is most often associated with Pidgin but could be adapted by other clients.

Purism also shared they intend to support XMPP with OMEMO encryption as well as SMS on "day one" while support for other protocols like Telegram may be added later.

At the moment, Chatty can perform "some basic (and arguably most difficult task of) send and receive operations with SMS via ModemManager and a SIMCOM modem, as well as with XMPP/OMEMO messages via libpurple and the lurch plugin."

They still need to work out the user-interface, support storing messages / histories, integrate the SMS/ModemManager code into the libpurple plug-in, support interfacing with their contacts database, and all of that more advanced functionality.

Their latest development report on Chatty for the Librem 5 can be found on the Purism blog.

Notably not mentioned in this GNU/Linux smartphone update is the state of their developer kits. They had originally planned to ship the Librem 5 developer kits starting in June and then was delayed to August. Now at the end of August, there are no indications the boards have begun to ship -- thus looking like at least September. This and other factors are really ramping up the likelihood that the Librem 5 will be delayed well past its goal of beginning to ship in January 2019.

While this phone will still be able to cater to its privacy-minded audience, unfortunately the further it's pushed back from its launch target, the hardware specs will only feel more dated. Their latest talked about specs for the phone have been an i.MX8M SoC, 5.7-inch 720x1440 display, 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi, SIMCom modem, and 2~3GB of RAM.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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