Why the 12/15/2020 build is no where near a daily driver yet
#1
Update 2: Convergence does work. A user pointed out to me that I need to drag the application onto my screen. I was under the assumption that I would see the main interface on the screen. There is one small problem with it though. It doesn't handle anything outside the main browser window very well. For example, on Firefox if you click a menu button the mouse pointer does not line up with the actual menu. You may have to go  a few pixels down to highlight the option you want. Another example, if you download an extension a dialog pops up asking you to give it permission to add the extension and you can't see the Add button on the dialog. You might be able to see the very top of it only. 

Firefox browsing: I think this had to do with the 12/15 build, but in the 12/28 build it's much faster.

Chatty App: This has to do with the phone waking up from a deep sleep if you have WiFi turned on. It doesn't wake up properly and disables texting. If you turn off the WiFi, I have noticed it wakes up more gracefully for me and the texting works. 

Update 1: Issue 1 is no longer an issue. I flashed the Pine Phone with the 12/28 nightly build and the software app now updates the packages under the "Updates" tab. However, if you go to the "Explore" tab in the software app and press any of the categories the software app crashes. 

Back in the summer when I received my new Pine Phone I had high hopes that it could be a daily driver so I could break free from Samsung/Apple. Of course, this was a pipe dream as none of the Linux OS's for Pine Phone were even close to being acceptable as a daily driver. So I came back just now in December to see the progress of Mobian over the last 3 or 4 months. 

Unfortunately, I think Mobian has gotten worse over the last 3 to 4 months as an overall product with the December 15th build with the exception of the battery life. I think they've done great work there as I can now go a day with normal use on one charge. That is great improvement over what it used to be 3 or 4 months ago. 

Here is a list of major things I noticed without even looking.

1. The software app is a disaster. You go to updates and let it find new updates for your phone and then you try to update it and you get an error about some package that isn't installed. What makes it worse is that the package name is in black and can't be read so I don't even know which package it's talking about.

2. The chat app, which is how you send/receive texts, is a disaster.
     a. I received a text that wasn't in my address book. I then tried to add the contact from the chat app, but that option did nothing.  
     b.I then went to the command line and updated this app to the latest version to see if they fixed functionality to add a contact and it erased all my texts and then  
        it wouldn't even let me create a new text!

3. The web browsing experience is beyond terrible. I'm sure everyone knows about this already, but browsing the web with either the included Gnome browser or Firefox ESR takes FOREVER. This would have to improve by 50% to even be usable on a daily basis.

4. Convergence still doesn't work for me. I have read that it works for some people, but when I plug in my monitor all I see is a blank screen with only the wall paper of my phone showing. There are no apps for me to click. This is actually an improvement from 4 months ago because 4 months ago I didn't even see anything from my phone. My monitor wouldn't even get a signal. This is very disappointing because I dream of one day using my phone for almost all day to day tasks which include some development and creating docs.


This is not a comprehensive list, as there are many smaller bugs that aren't even worth talking about yet. If the people developing Mobian can focus on items 1 thru 3 first, I think it will be in a state where people can start using it as a daily driver. Until then, the state of the OS is not very good. 

I don't mean to be harsh and I really do appreciate all the work being put into this project. I know this is a very difficult project to undertake. I'll be back in 3 months to see how things are going and give another review at the end of March. 

Thanks
#2
Trying to understand the purpose of this post. Are you taking to time to point out all of the reasons why you are disappointed that a bunch of volunteers working on their own time for no pay haven't done enough to make your device all that you hoped it will be? If so, I don't think you need to do another review in 3 months. I don't think anyone is working for your approval here and your tone oozes condescension. Trying to understand what you are trying accomplish here or how this is helping make linux on mobile better.
#3
it'll probably be more helpful to submit any issues with Mobian to their issue tracker vs here https://gitlab.com/mobian1/issues/-/issues
#4
Agreed with both of the above comments. A better use of time is detailing each of the above issues in full. Don't spend a few paragraphs whining while only briefly describing a few issues in two or three sentences, where at least one sentence says "{some feature} sucks". What did you specifically do? Run through those steps. Record any errors or outputs. What displays have you tried for convergence? Have you tried running any commands to get it working? Have you tried different docks, cables, etc? As is, while there might be some good intention in your post somewhere, what you've written can be summarised with a "My Name is Karen" sticker.
#5
(12-28-2020, 11:10 AM)Zoomzit Wrote: Trying to understand the purpose of this post. Are you taking to time to point out all of the reasons why you are disappointed that a bunch of volunteers working on their own time for no pay haven't done enough to make your device all that you hoped it will be? If so, I don't think you need to do another review in 3 months. I don't think anyone is working for your approval here and your tone oozes condescension.  Trying to understand what you are trying accomplish here or how this is helping make linux on mobile better.

There are 2 purposes of the post:

1. To warn others not to waste their time installing the latest build if they are looking for a daily driver.  Mobian is in a state that is mostly unusable. 

2. To hopefully steer the volunteers to focus on some important issues rather than non-important issues. I mean, it's nice that we have an installer that you can set your password with, but that is not something to focus on. 

Is there anything in the original post you disagree with? I don't understand why you are taking this so personal. 

Your response really adds nothing except to attack me personally. My post offers some insight into the state of the build that others may find helpful.

(12-28-2020, 11:30 AM)tophneal Wrote: it'll probably be more helpful to submit any issues with Mobian to their issue tracker vs here https://gitlab.com/mobian1/issues/-/issues

Thanks you, sir. That is very helpful information and I will do so if they are not already there.

(12-28-2020, 12:33 PM)patrickmollohan Wrote: Agreed with both of the above comments. A better use of time is detailing each of the above issues in full. Don't spend a few paragraphs whining while only briefly describing a few issues in two or three sentences, where at least one sentence says "{some feature} sucks". What did you specifically do? Run through those steps. Record any errors or outputs. What displays have you tried for convergence? Have you tried running any commands to get it working? Have you tried different docks, cables, etc? As is, while there might be some good intention in your post somewhere, what you've written can be summarised with a "My Name is Karen" sticker.

I will submit these bugs to the bug tracker if not already there.

I think the only Karens around here are the people taking offense to my post. I mean, have you guys used the 12/15 build? You can't tell me with a straight face that it's usable for a daily driver. I understand the effort that goes into Mobian and appreciate it, but lets not sugar coat things and say this is a good product at this point. It's not. It's not even in a beta state at this point and that's ok. The post was simply giving the state of the project. Mobian should only be downloaded if you are developing for it. For people that just want to use it then it's a waste of time to download it at this point. My hope is that some day it will be usable as a daily driver.
#6
(12-28-2020, 01:12 PM)TheLastDon Wrote: 1. To warn others not to waste their time installing the latest build if they are looking for a daily driver.  Mobian is in a state that is mostly unusable. 
I beg to differ: there ARE people using it as daily driver, I don't think they share your opinion... "Daily driver" means different things to different people, don't judge only according to your own definition of what "daily driver" should be.

(12-28-2020, 01:12 PM)TheLastDon Wrote: 2. To hopefully steer the volunteers to focus on some important issues rather than non-important issues. I mean, it's nice that we have an installer that you can set your password with, but that is not something to focus on. 
Why not? The installer brings device encryption, which is an absolute requirement for a significant number of users. Even though, it wasn't a feature we worked on until one member of the community stood up, offered his help and made the bulk of the work required to get there. Days are still 24hrs during which we have to sleep, eat, earn a living, spend time with the loved ones, and have a life...

You should also keep in mind that Mobian is just a distro, we try to make a solid base system and ensure all packages work as nicely as possible on the devices we support, but we're not actively developing any user-facing application. Very little of the work we accomplish can ever be visible to the user, but it's not less essential.

(12-28-2020, 01:12 PM)TheLastDon Wrote: Is there anything in the original post you disagree with? I don't understand why you are taking this so personal. 
Maybe because your original post is rude and harsh? I get that it probably wasn't your intention, but that's the feeling I had while reading it.
#7
Quote:I beg to differ: there ARE people using it as daily driver, I don't think they share your opinion... "Daily driver" means different things to different people, don't judge only according to your own definition of what "daily driver" should be.

If their aim is to use their phone as a flashlight then it could be a daily driver. I used that app this morning when I dropped something in a dark room and it works well. If their aim is to browse the web and text then it's not a daily driver at all. The texting app literally doesn't work after you update it to the latest build. Try it yourself, sudo apt upgrade and you will see that it simply stops working. I immediately took my SIM out after I discovered that and put it back into my Android phone. Who knows how many texts I missed. 



Quote:Why not? The installer brings device encryption, which is an absolute requirement for a significant number of users. Even though, it wasn't a feature we worked on until one member of the community stood up, offered his help and made the bulk of the work required to get there. Days are still 24hrs during which we have to sleep, eat, earn a living, spend time with the loved ones, and have a life...

You should also keep in mind that Mobian is just a distro, we try to make a solid base system and ensure all packages work as nicely as possible on the devices we support, but we're not actively developing any user-facing application. Very little of the work we accomplish can ever be visible to the user, but it's not less essential.

The installer isn't a bad thing, but it definitely comes below getting a working text app on the distro.

I know it's a distro, but when I download a distro I expect the apps the distro chooses to somewhat work. The web browser you chose takes MINUTES to load a page over wifi. That is an app you chose that does not work with your distro. Also, the software updating app literally doesn't work. That is 100% on the distro to ensure their delivery method of updating works. 



I realize this is a very hard project and has many dependencies that are difficult to figure out, but the state of Mobian on the Pine Phone is NOT good at this point. That is just the reality. I don't have any ill will toward you or anyone else working on this project. You are doing your best and it will take a lot of time to get it to something that is ready to use for most people. I was encouraged by the battery life work that has gone on the last few months. That's a big improvement over how Mobian was 3 months ago. That is definitely a priority 1 item and you guys made strides with that.
#8
^ LinAdmin3 confirmed.
@a-wai thank you and the community for the hard work that goes into Mobian. I hope you don't allow a grumpy user or two under your skin. You guys rock, and I can't emphasise that enough.
#9
(12-28-2020, 01:12 PM)TheLastDon Wrote: ...
1. To warn others not to waste their time installing the latest build if they are looking for a daily driver.  Mobian is in a state that is mostly unusable. 
...

You are welcome to your opinion.

I disagree.

I use my PinePhone for my phone calls (in & out, VoLTE when in LTE signal, I don't have a landline), SMS (in & out and the basis for a vehicle security application), Telegram chats, email (evolution which also populates all my contacts and will be where I bring my calendar when I get the urge), RSS feeds & podcasts (liferea), web browsing (FireFox-ESR) and terminal work as necessary. Let alone printing various bits that I need, occasional music (via lollypop) and videos (via mpv). The camera is good enough for me to record bits and in fact takes OK pictures if there is sufficient light. Battery life is fine for me - for sure needs to be charged every night but that was the same with my last Android. Equally 3-4 hours browsing and video download/playing will probably require a charge earlier than bedtime.

When I am home my mobile phone subscription is my only internet gateway and provides tethered internet access for my desktop work via an RJ45/ethernet connection in a USB-C hub that plugs into the phone. (In the same way I am unenthusiastic about FAANGS I am underwhelmed by WiFi.)

For sure loads of things I wish for but my basics are well covered. I used to have to reboot several times a day - now I reckon I am running 3 or more days between boots. (My current system log is at 95918 seconds which isn't too shabby considering the clock stops effectively in CRUST mode.) I don't believe I have any special skills to get this usable - but for sure several years using linux on my desktop is invaluable.

And yes I do have a third/Android phone. It was last switched on on 25 December for a Signal video call (in fact I can now do Telegram calls if I use version 2.4 in Arch), previous to that about 15 December for a stupid loyalty app I have as well as a COVID locator app that keeps my government happy.
  • ROCKPro64 v2.1 2GB, 16Gb eMMC for rootfs, SX8200Pro 512GB NVMe for /home, HDMI video & sound, Bluetooth keyboard & mouse. Started Bionic minimal - now "groovy", Openbox desktop for general purpose daily PC.
  • PinePhone BraveHeart now v1.2b 3/32Gb daily driver, dual boot via p-boot with Mobian/f2fs/Phosh on eMMC, Arch/f2fs/Phosh on SDcard
  • PinePhone v1.2a 2G/16Gb that needs USB board replaced
#10
i also had the same hope of freedom from Samsung/Apple when i got my pinephone this year. I have not been disappointed since i came upon Mobian though.   While you are posting about 12/15/2020, my uname -a is the Dec 13 version, and updated up untyil yesterday.  i've been using my pinephone as my daily driver for the last 3 months at least.  While, like you said, the battery life vastly improved recently, my firefox ESR had been fast, playing videos, podcasts, what have you. (the initial opening is a few seconds but ON once it's on).  USB tethering, something that i really needed started  working after one of the november updates and has been my internet connectionfor my laptop ever since. The calling and sms have been right on. i don't think it can handle call waiting yet but thatmay have been a fluke.  a lot of he initial difficulies w weren't all due to mobian, but with the cellphone provider's service problem, some proprietary, some growing pain. (t-mobile usa). 
you have provided a snapshot of what happened when you tried the 12 15 20 install, which has its merit, but it does not represent my reality.  i am not but a tourist-level with linux, meaning i can follow instructions, (sometimes to somewhere way beyond my skill set) from the amazing volunteers who choose to offer their knowledge and expertise, so that i can earn the freedom from Samsung/Apple.


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