PinePhone



  • Pine64 forum says:

    Some of you may have already heard rumors about the PinePhone on podcasts or read about it in FOSS / tech press. Its true, we're making a Linux-only smartphone called the PinePhone based on the Allwinner A64, and it will strictly be running mainline Linux. Software development on this project has already began - UBPorts, Maemo Leste, PostmarketOS, Plasma Mobile as well as other developers have received early kits to get up to speed on the A64 SOC. Just in the past few days a lot of progress has been made on these early kits (and i mean A LOT!) and, as you will surely see in coming days, some of the aforementioned software is already running on-top of mainline kernel. We will likely have a functional demo at FOSDEM!

    Software-related status debate is beyond the scope of this post - which should be obvious, given that the actual dev kits aren't even available yet - however I cannot resist but to include two pictures of KDE and Unity 8 running on the aforementioned kit, curtsy of Bhushan Shah and Marius Gripsgard from KDE and UBPorts respectively.



  • Interesting days. Also read about the PineTab on the same blog. For me that would be a very compelling device to run UTouch/Unity 8 on, depending on it's specs



  • I don't think they're linked yet from the main page of the Pine64 wiki, but here are the pages for the dev kits:

    Project Anakin - Phase 1 Dev Kit

    Project Don't be Evil - Phase 2 Dev Kit

    Crossing my fingers Phase 3 (the shipping phone) comes to fruition (same with the Librem 5).



  • That is correct @arubislander , they aren't linked yet ... mostly because the wiki articles are for devs and really not meant for users. Clearly the Phase 2 article isn't even finished πŸ™‚



  • Numpty question then: how big, in reality, is the gap between Unity8 and UBports' Ubuntu Touch?



  • @PINE64 said in PinePhone:

    [T]hey aren't linked yet ... mostly because the wiki articles are for devs and really not meant for users. Clearly the Phase 2 article isn't even finished πŸ™‚

    Not surprising, and I figured that was the reason. Since this is a dev-heavy and dev-supporting community, I hope you don't mind my posting the links for those with a thirst to know more. ☺

    Welcome, BTW. Glad to see you here.



  • @kalle-kruse Thanks for the link. It's an impressive post. And it was an impressive stand that they had at fosdem. Also the camera and the tablet looked really nice. But I forgot to try to play any audio or video on the tablet. Can someone comment? Is it Loud enough? Does it sound good?



  • @trainailleur not at all, its not even a secret. Its just because since regular users cannot (and will not) be able to obtain those kits there isn't really a reason to have them in our wiki. Thanks for having us here πŸ™‚

    @doniks glad you liked the stall and the post - I wrote it up, so I immodestly take the credit πŸ˜‰ I only played audio on the PineTab once ~6-7 months ago on a super early prototype, so I honestly cannot answer the audio question. I think that it will be serviceable but won't knock your socks off (as you probably expect). As for video; 720p and 1080p playback will be fine with a dedicated player using HW acceleration. Lets see what devs can do with in-browser playback (in-browser 480p sw rendered will work fine but higher will require hw acceleration - newest cedrus has a vaapi wrapper!)



  • @3arn0wl What exactly do you mean by that question πŸ˜‰



  • πŸ™‚ Hey, @Flohack - thanks for... well just thanks for being, really.

    Ubuntu was always explained as being all one code, in all one language... Which is a fantastic thing... A real strength.

    But UT on the N5 seems to be more advanced than Unity 8... Is that an incorrect perception?

    What I guess I'm asking therefore is: is it a big effort to get Unity 8 working on PinePhone at the same level as UT on my beloved N5? Is it to do with Mir and Wayland?

    And will all the apps in the OpenStore work on Unity8?



  • The challenge to get Ubuntu Touch running is not unity8 I would say, and the click apps will stay. We have to remove the Android container and instead access the hardware directly.

    We still dont know the exact amount of work what will be involved, but yes, the goal is to give the same experience at the end.

    Also we must say here that the hardware specs might not be final and we dont know yet about GPS, sensors etc. And the main CPU is for sure slower than N5.

    But dont judge the phone by its specs. Its a groundbreaking chance to show that we do not need Android hardware and that an open phone is possible. I think thats the huge message we want to get out.



  • @3arn0wl Also watch todayΒ΄s Q&A we might have some answer for you there.



  • @Flohack - It was great to see UT working on the Pine board in yesterday's Q&A. From what Jan has said recently about Google's direction with Fuchsia, the development of a completely Open alternative becomes vital.



  • @3arn0wl Yes I cannot repeat it too often: Android Fuchsia threatens the last part of openess that Android currently has: By removing the Linux kernel they are free to go fully closed source. Even if their microkernel might be open, all high level functions can then nicely be wrapped in closed source modules.

    The idea of a microkernel seems neat for phones, true: Lots of features of a fully blown Linux kernel might never be used on phones at all. But its more about the political decision here than a technical one. So yes, UBports is fully aligned with fiinding alternatives, seeing Android porting as a temporary measure as the underlying problem cannot be fixed at all.

    BR



  • @Flohack said in PinePhone:

    Even if their microkernel might be open, all high level functions can then nicely be wrapped in closed source modules.

    So no different than currently. All the high level stuff in Android is closed. It's why we can't ship the foundation services to be able to hook up push notifications, which are already implemented in most web services for Android, and thus must have our own implementation which almost nobody supports. Beyond that, it will basically not be any different than needing something like libhybris, but for Fuchsia, instead.



  • @dobey said in PinePhone:

    Beyond that, it will basically not be any different than needing something like libhybris, but for Fuchsia, instead.

    The permissive license has potentially vast implications.



  • @trainailleur said in PinePhone:

    The permissive license has potentially vast implications.

    Feel free to elaborate. The drivers aren't going to be any less free, and that's where the real issues are. We've already got overly proprietary drivers with a GPLv2 kernel, so I don't see how having the kernel be Apache 2 is going to make it any worse, considering vendors already don't respect the GPL in most cases. All it does is put Google themselves in the position of not having to worry about the kernel license versus proprietary drivers.

    Beyond that, nothing else is really going to change. Most of the middleware that we do need to run in the android container for UT is already Apache 2 anyway, and that's unlikely to change with Fuchsia underneath.

    Really, all I see is people being hysterical for no reason.



  • @dobey said in PinePhone:

    The drivers aren't going to be any less free, and that's where the real issues are.

    I guess that's why it's important that the Pine and Librem efforts are successful: to demonstrate to hardware manufacturers that there's a strong desire for open devices, to encourage them to produce more.

    There are efforts though to produce Open Source drivers, aren't there?



  • @3arn0wl said in PinePhone:

    There are efforts though to produce Open Source drivers, aren't there?

    Yes, of course, and for the A64 such drivers are quite far along too [video showing open source hw video acceleration] : https://youtu.be/X18JN1pq2H4?t=1
    Then there is lima for the GPU (WIP): http://linux-sunxi.org/Mali

    Not saying that initial releases will not use blobs - they probably will - but in time devs will surely switch over to FOSS drivers.



  • πŸ™‚ Well that's very encouraging news, @PINE64


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