My LG Nexus 5 Arrived Yesterday | Here's What I Think
So I installed UT yesterday on a brand new Nexus 5.
I'm happy to report that phone calls, video recording, selfies, photos -- all the basic stuff that a phone is supposed to do works well, to an acceptable standard,
After spending yesterday evening and most of today (It's 3:30pm now) investigating other stuff that I might need, I'm disappointed about these things:
- There's no working video chat messenger.
- Viber (my favourite messenger) doesn't work on it.
- GPS doesn't work. I tried both Unav and Puremaps (while inside and outside/in my car). Although this isn't a deal breaker, as I can just use a Garmin or Navman or something.
Although I'm happy to see Mattermost working. That's an app I use daily, for work.
Slack also works, which is something I use daily. Nice!
So at the end of the day, I'd rate the development to be in line with the functionality of a flip phone. You can call, sms and take pictures/video.
However, I can see the potential. I can't use this phone as my daily driver yet, due to the above bullet-pointed reasons. I'm still pretty impressed though.
I actually purchased 4 of these phones. I was hoping to give one to my mum, on to my dad and one to my wife. But after testing it out today and yesterday, I realise I'm prolly going to have to go the AOSP route, because I need to video chat. The main reason I am attracted to a Linux phone is to get away from Google, tracking and privacy issues.
I actually COULD use this Nexus phone as my own phone -- if I didn't have any family or friends and just wanted a phone in my pocket -- but with all this Covid BS, and the fact I didn't see my family for a year, the ability to be able to video chat is paramount. So again, I think it's gonna have to be AOSP for me (for now).
And having said that, I REALLY want to use Linux. There's just something cooler about running a Linux phone than AOSP. I'll keep playing with this one though.
*An anecdotal side note: I switched to Linux full time 2 years ago, and I haven't looked back. However, I'd been "trying" Linux every year for 13 year before that. For a decade, I considered Linux a toy -- something that couldn't be used as a daily OS. But on the 14th try, everything just clicked, and I realised I could FINALLY use Linux as my daily OS. I actually work for an IT company, doing digital marketing and web development -- and I am using Linux with absolutely NO hassles now.
I see Ubuntu Touch the same as I used to see Linux in general. It's a fun toy; or a great phone for a recluse); but I cant't see mass adoption until at least ONE (privacy respecting) video chat app works.
Who do we have to pay to get that to happen?
So that's my 2 cents after a 24 hour play around with UT.
I'm still HIGHLY impressed. For what it is and what it does UT is pretty awesome.
@mrlen just asking, which video chat messenger would be the one you would love to see? Overall, the problem here is not a technical limitation, but lack of work force to make this happen. I would estimate a working video chat integration is worth 2 people-months of work, maybe we can find someone who is interested.
@flohack Definitely Viber, without a doubt.
..and it's widely adopted and just an awesome video messenger.
You can sync the desktop with the phone. It's intuitive, functional, simple and useful.
If Viber worked on UT, I'd become a one eyed advocate overnight.
That would be the catalyst that would cause me to make the change.
I just contacted Viber with this message, and directed them to this thread:
Ubuntu Touch is a Linux OS with a growing following. It's a FANTASTIC OS, but there's not one video chat messenger working on it. If you guys get involved and get Viber working on Ubuntu touch, Ubuntu Touch and Viber grow exponentially together, in the Linux community. You guys have the resources to make this happen. You already have a Linux version -- the programming required to get it running on Ubuntu Touch would probably be quite minimal. Please see this thread: https://forums.ubports.com/topic/5404/my-lg-nexus-5-arrived-yesterday-here-s-what-i-think?_=1609838329266*
@mrlen Well, at least they responded quickly:
Thanks for reaching out.
We have decided to put any updates for Linux on hold until further notice.
There are no version releases planned in the foreseeable future.
I apologize for any inconvenience.
We hope that you can still enjoy Viber on our other platforms!
Viber customer support
@mrlen I responded with this:
With respect, that's a huge mistake.
Linux is the future.
But thanks for the quick response.
Looks like Viber is no longer my favourite messenger. I'm going to look into a FOSS, Linux video messenger and see if there's something we can adopt. I'm willing to chip in to make this happen; even if we have to build one from scratch.
@mrlen The fundamental problem with a messenger is you need to run a central service, even if its federated, there must be operational service nodes on the internet, that occupy maintenance resources, and cost money to run.
So any FOSS messenger falls short of a reliable, 24/7 worry-free structure that is free of charge (I wonder if people would be willing to pay for a service thats actually privacy-focused. Probably majority would say no, why I should pay for open source).
Creating a piece of vide chat software is a smaller problem than runing the infrastructure for it.
The only option that I have for you is to motivate Telegram people to help us, since there we already have a good working base, plus they are publishing their client as OS library already. We would just need to add the call provisioning, and all the video capture and render stuff.
Linux ubuntu and derivatives is probably less of a secure sieve than windows, android (for smartphones if you use Android anyhow). Linux and derivatives are very reliable and offer a wide choice of software for computers but this does not represent the majority of users.
As for 'linux' phones, they are still suffering from a lack of software or are still too dysfunctional to convince outside enthusiastic developers/users, and therefore commercially not very valuable because they are not reaching enough people to generate a knock-on effect in investments and developments to be deployed.
Alas! My point of view
@flohack There's a certain type of person that's perfectly willing to pay for open source apps/programs. I'm one of them. I don't use Linux just because it's free. Although that is great. I use it because I like the idea that it's open source and generally not run by greedy, faceless monopolies. I am currently paying for pCloud, because I don;t want to use Google drive or OneDrive. I have various other subscriptions I am paying for online, such as Fastmail for example -- because I refuse to use Gmail.
People will pay. Most people won't, bit there will always be some that will. Linux has a massive supportive community. If word gets out that it's not free (because it simple can't be, due to costs), more people will be encouraged to chip in.
All that's required is some good marketing.
P.S. You know how Bill Gates made his billions? He plagiarised the work of enthusiasts wrapped it all up and packed it and sold it at a premium. Just sayin'..
GPS works on my Nexus 5 and, as far as I know, on all others on this forum. Be aware that the first fix could well take 30 minutes, or even more in some circumstances. Later fixes will be faster though never as quick as a car satnav.
PureMaps and Unav both work, though I prefer the former, and will even give navigation directions if you want. To use either of them off-line you need to install OSM Scout Server first, then download the maps of your chosen regions. Start OSM before starting your map application.
stanwood last edited by stanwood
@mrlen I also use a Nexus 5 as daily driver and very happy with it. I also use an Iphone 8 beside for whatsapp, banks apps, IoT and other stuffs that I need.
However GPS works right on my Nexus 5, 1st signal acquisition may take up to 15 min. You must be on the outside (clear environnement) Also ensure that localization is well activated on the top bar menu.
I consider as well that adding in the future a VoWiFi possibility (or voice/video chat), wireless printing spooler as well as a decent Anbox integration would make Ubuntu Touch absolutly irreplaceable.
That's why I try to support the fundation as best as I can.
@flohack Now, granted, I'm a newbie here I have not gotten into the "guts" of my Nexus 4 (and I am still waiting for the toys to make it my computer) but I get from reading stuff here that FluffyChat and Linphone have the infrastructure for video chat capabilities latently but they haven't been developed because there might be an issue for some phones vs others. I'm just curious. Would that be the easiest way from point A to point B? Working to build on infrastructure that is more "familiar" and then moving on to different chat platforms?
I also use a Nexus 5 as daily driver and very happy with it. I also use an Iphone 8 beside for whatsapp, banks apps, IoT and other stuffs that I need.
Then you're not using it as your daily driver I don't think daily driver means what you think it means. lol, but jokes aside.. okies, I'll have another go at the GPS. I'll try outside in a clear environment, but if I can't actually use it inside my car -- then that would be kind of pointless.
@mrlen You definitely can. You just need to get the fix outside, but after that, it runs smooth in a car. What I do (well did, before offline maps stopped working on pure maps) is I open the window, get the phone close to the opening for sometime, get the fix, then close the window, and off we go ^^
@totalrando Sure both could be enhanced with video calls, its jsut that we need a few ppl experienced with C++ and Qt/QML... Go find some
Actually, Slack kind of almost half works. I tried to call my wife's android from my Nexus 5 UT and it actually rang. I accepted the call, but then UT went back and crapped out. Something tells me it's probably got most of what it needs to run. Maybe just needs a bit more work.
@mrlen But Slack is neither an Open Source App, nor is it native App for UT. Are you using Anbox with it? The device consumes too much battery with Anbox, too much background activity etc. So its not ready for daily use.
@flohack Yeah, I don't like that it's not OS. I am not using Anbox. I put my phone out under the sky several times yesterday -- probably for 45 minutes all up. I couldn't get GPS to connect. I wonder if it's because I am in Australia?
stanwood last edited by
@mrlen In theory the GPS coverage is uniform over the entire planetary surface. It could therefore be a hardware problem.
However, you can try as following:
. Ensure localization is well activated in top bar menu
. Grant localization access to the application
. Prevent the application from going into sleep mode (Use UTTT to activate the status)
. Reboot Smartphone
. Ensure to be in a unobstructed location, open the app and leave it on during 15 minutes.