SMS only device - Printable Version

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SMS only device - calcmandan - 10-13-2019

Hi folks,

I lurk on here more or less. I bought the original pinebook. It worked for about two weeks and then I couldn't ever get it to boot up again after the battery died while running. But that's a different story for a different day.

I am a rare type of consumer who was an early and eager adopter of smartphones and pda's and now see them with disgust. For PDAs, I am still a loyal palm pilot user. On the phone end I used a variety of palm treos. Jumped over to the palm pre (what a disaster that was). Followed that horse for a few years and jumped to android at the galaxy s2 > s4 > s7 > grand prime > blackberry keyone (best smartphone i ever had) > j2

A year ago, my growing disdain for where the industry has gone (along with the internet) has driven me to abandon smartphones for a flip phone. It runs a locked down android that has a hotspot feature. Thing even comes with a media player and a radio tuner (internal fm hardware). While I find myself not missing the smartphone one iota, one thing I dislike on the flip phone is the old style texting. Most people I know prefer to text over talk and I often find myself going days without actually talking on the phone but will send/receive hundreds of sms/mms messages. Sometimes, if the conversation is complicated, I'll email my phone the message and forward it to the person I'm talking to because it's easier to use a keyboard.

Which brings me to this post. I'm brainstorming methods in which I can create a mms/sms-only device complete with a qwerty hardware keyboard, a small non-touch screen with a high enough resolution to display images, software for decoding video and software for playing them (received via text), usb-c for file transfer/storage/charging. Virtual keyboards suck hard. I don't really care how cheaply it's built either. The case can be 3d printed for all I care.

It should be easy enough to start with stock android and trim it down to only the basic sms/mms, carrier (3g/4g/etc), power management components (like my flip phone). 

I am considering the pinephone and adapting the hardware to make it appear somewhat like my old peek. I could tear apart my old peek and jam in pinephone guts. Problem is, last I checked the pinephone won't work with my one major constraint which is the carrier (Sprint). I'm on a family plan so, that's the one static requirement. I considered doing a pairing situation but that would require a phone everywhere I go to make that possible.

Ultimately, this project would simply be a fun endeavor and, if successful, would yield a device that fits my lifestyle.

[Image: 20191012_230211.jpg]

SMS only device - calcmandan - 11-01-2019

Discovered the Gemini PDA. Ordered it yesterday. Woot

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