I'm about to get a Linux phone, but I have a few questions.

  • Hello everyone,

    That's my first post here and I'm not sure wether I'm in the right section or not, feel free to move my post or to tell me wich section I should post into.

    I feel like it might be the moment for me to move on to a Linux phone. I'm considering several options and my two favorites are UBports on OnePlus One and UBports on PinePhone.

    After taking in consideration the pros and cons I think I want to start with a OnePlus One in order to have a phone that is like 99% functional from what I understand (am I wrong?).


    1. First, is there a specific version of the OnePlus One that works better with UBports or are they all the same? (I'm thinking about batches, serial numbers...)

    2. I listed the Android apps I would really like to keep on my phone an wanted to know if I can get them to work on UBports :

    • Shazam (if I emulate the android app can I stay logged in?)
    • LBRY
    • YouTube (I still use it a lot)
    • Bitwarden
    • Tor (with the mobile UI if possible)
    • Firefox (with the mobile UI, I saw videos of UBports with the desktop UI so I'm wondering why)
    • VLC (with support for .flac and .mkv)
    • Steam Mobile (for double factor authentication)
    • Signal (I heard it's working great except for notifactions)
    • Strava (with GPS function)
    • Arte Radio (a french app)
    • Leboncoin (a french app)

    A big thank you for reading and replying.
    And another thank you for the developers.

  • @opino72
    Most of web site based apps will have their website working on UBports web browser (morph), like youtube or leboncoin. Best app for web sites is web browser.
    For the rest :

    What do you mean by "if i can emulate the androïd app"? Are you talking about anbox?

  • @Keneda English please

  • @opino72 just to complete @Keneda's answer, Yes you can access lbry using the desktop version lbry.TV, arte radio does work on the browser just like le bon coin,
    strava lets you access your activities, your friend activities and I think upload activities from a watch (haven't tried it though) but from what I ve seen you cant record any activities using gps. there are apps on the openstore to track your activities with fps, but I don't know if you can import them in strava

    And if you want to have a shortcut on your phone for these websites you can use the webber app, which allows you to create a web application from a website (0 technical abilities required).
    I successfuly made web apps for all the apps mentionned in this post.

  • @Lakotaubp
    I though we could answer both english and other language. I just said quite exactly the same...

    @opino72 like said @NoelFlantier :
    Here it is : https://open-store.io/app/webber.timsueberkrueb

  • @Keneda OK if I missed the English at the end if the French section I apologize. Perhaps just make it clearer if they ran together.
    Yes we can cope with a clear translation but where ever possible just English is better. Thanks

  • Well, thank you everyone!

    @Keneda yes I was thinking about Anbox as I saw it was used on UBports but if there is an other way to have Android apps tell me!
    So for example if I use Anbox for Shazam will it reset everything or will it keep me signed in? Will it be able to access the microphone?
    Or if I use Anbox for Strava will it be able to access the GPS?

    Is Anbox an emulator or just libraries like Wine?

    @NoelFlantier thank you, I was looking for a program to create webapps!

    And also : no one answered my first question (maybe none of you knew the answer).

  • Hi @opino72 ,
    Anbox can't access any hardware under Ubuntu Touch, so you won't have microphone and gps.
    The apps will work as on Android, you'll need to login the first time and then it will be saved.

    The Pinephone is attractive because it is much newer than the other core devices available and it won't have some of the limitations of the Android ported devices. It is rapidly improving and will reach the same functionality as OPO in a very little time.

  • @opino72 Anbox doesn't have access to any hardware except network.
    An alternate UT app for Shazam is "Music Recognition": https://open-store.io/app/soundrecog.luksus You just create a free account through https://www.acrcloud.com/ to get your key numbers.

  • @opino72
    I don't exactly know what strava does.
    But I guess it's some app compatible with smartwatch for outdoor activities...

    You can record GPX files using Activity Tracker or Utrack.

    Then I guess you can upload the GPX file with the browser.
    Check out the open-store to find apps that may cover your requirements.

    Use the desktop browser so you can easily see if it's a simple WebApp, an advanced WebApp+ or a native app.

  • @opino72 said in I'm about to get a Linux phone, but I have a few questions.:

    Is Anbox an emulator or just libraries like Wine?

    It is neither. It is a tool for running Android in a container on top of a Linux system. However, because of this, and for security/privacy reasons, it does not have access to the hardware currently.

    Anbox on Ubuntu Touch is still a very experimental feature, and may cause other problems on your device.

  • Thank you a lot for you precise answers!

    @Capsia What limitations are you talking about? I thought the OPO was the best phone for UBport right now.
    Also it's more powerful than the Pinephone, cheaper, and doesn't suffer from dead pixels.
    (But yes indeed the Pinephone is still very interesting and the developers are going at the speed of light to support it)

  • @opino72 said in I'm about to get a Linux phone, but I have a few questions.:

    And also : no one answered my first question (maybe none of you knew the answer).

    As far as i know, you don't have to choose a 0P0 in particular.
    Just choose one with lot of space maybe as i believe it doesn't have SD card slot.

  • @opino72 The main limitation of Android ports is that we have to keep the kernel version it comes with. We can't upgrade the kernel because some of the hardware support is working just for a specific version and it will break functionality. The Pinephone uses the latest version of the kernel without needing any proprietary blobs to be updated, because it is made to run Linux phone OSes by default.

  • @Keneda okay thanks! I can get a 64GB, I think it will be enough. My current smartphone has 8GB+16GB SD (Alcatel Idol 3). I love this phone hardware so much, I wish I could have Linux on it.

    @Capsia Okay! Does that mean that it will become obsolete soon? Or will the updated apps continue to work on that older kernel?

    Also, I found this page on Gitlab about what works and what doesnt on the Pinephone with UT: https://gitlab.com/ubports/community-ports/pinephone#what-works-what-doesnt
    But I cannot find one for what works and what doesn't on the OPO.

    For example I'm concerned about hardware accelaration, OpenGL stuff; I don't play games on my smartphone usually but as I'm a game developer if I can create an open source game for Ubuntu Touch it would be so cool, and it would kind of be my contribution to this community.
    Also I can't find if someone reported the UHD 30fps or 4K 24fps video capture to work on the OPO (this is what it's capable of under Android).

  • @opino72 said in I'm about to get a Linux phone, but I have a few questions.:

    @Capsia Okay! Does that mean that it will become obsolete soon? Or will the updated apps continue to work on that older kernel?

    This is yet to be seen, but if the OPO doesn't get any of the big updates (newest QT, and move to the latest Ubuntu LTS) then theres a good chance that you wont get up to date applications, however that might depend on what needs the applications have, and how many users are going to be stuck on 16.04.

    you wont get any of the KDE applications if you dont use an up to date version of QT however.

    Its safer to get a PinePhone because not only does it have one of the newest kernels thats supported by Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, and it makes you feel more snug because you're financially showing your support for linux phones, and $10 of the money you spend, gets sent to the UBports foundation.

    However if you'd rather a OPO, feel free to go for that, I just don't know how long it will continue to receive updates and support.

  • @PhoenixLandPirat
    The question is when 20.04 will come to UBports?

    I have a MX4, one of the first supported device with UT, old and new apps on open store worked for a long time (maybe 18 months) on the old canonical OTA 15 (2017).
    I just switched on UBports OTA 11 two weeks ago, because it was really deprecated, even open store app itself was not able to update, but phone itself and apps already installed was fully operationnal.

  • @opino72 said in I'm about to get a Linux phone, but I have a few questions.:

    Does that mean that it will become obsolete soon? Or will the updated apps continue to work on that older kernel?

    This question has been answered in the latest Q&A 74:

    The blog version is no online yet but you can watch the video there:

  • Thank you for your answers, once again!

    So I'm trying to buy a used OnePlus One to discover Ubuntu Touch and I guess if I fall in love with it I might be ordering a PinePhone soon after because it's appealing.

    Also if someone has anwsers about my questions on 3D acceleration and video capturing on OPO.

  • Another question : does the mobile network operators available differ from one phone to another or are they all supported equally on all Ubuntu Touch phones?

Log in to reply