1 week with the Pinephone
#1
Hello forum, this is my first post!

I would like to share my experience with the PinePhone. I ordered the Mobian CE with dock and received it on 1.3.21. I started using it the day after, so a week ago. Short background information about myself: I have never owned what is commonly called a Smartphone, my current phone is an old Nokia E71, and as far as Linux-phones are concerned: I had an Openmoko and unfortunately lost some money in the Neo900 project.

With all this in mind: the PinePhone is great so far! Apart from the announced CNY delivery delay it arrived very quickly too.

Positive points:
-The convergence dock is magic! It's so convenient to have normal wired network! I haven't even tried the other ports yet. I remember the fiddling with USB networking on the Openmoko, this just works.
-Calls/sms/wifi/mobile data/hotspot: just works.
-Disk encryption: just works.
-Youtube: it looks like I was lucky, but worked out of the box after initial upgrade.
-The buttons on the side do what I thought they would!

Things that aren't 100% great yet:
-In general the UI has some rough edges (phosh), but I never got stuck or had to abandon what I wanted to do so far
-Different sound/vibrating profiles don't seem to work correctly yet, and the phone doesn't seem to wake up upon an sms (no flashing LED) - I probably need to spend some more time figuring this out.
-Only US QWERTY keyboard, I'm missing french and german accents and umlauts (again, maybe I haven'd done enough research yet)
-Webapps created according to mobian wiki with firefox -ssb seem to not have network connection after waking up the phone. It starts working once I loaded a site with the normal firefox.
-I need to use the hydrogen webapp for matrix, as mirage cannot connect to my private server (this is of course unrelated to the pinephone)
-The camera app is still in its early stages (it works fine though)
-I cannot use Tidal, due to the widevine DRM not being available for arm64. This is possibly fixable with anbox, but I'm currently hesitant to install it. Maybe one day this will change?

The fact that my PC, my server and now my mobile phone all run Debian is fantastic, I find this extremely convenient. I would not recommend this to someone who doesn't want to ssh onto the PinePhone or who is afraid of restarting a systemd unit via the onboard terminal, but otherwise my expectations are exceeded by far!
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#2
You can change some of the default ringtones and sounds.  They are located in /usr/share/sounds/freedesktop/stereo/
The sound files look like this.  phone-incoming-call.oga is the ringtone.  You can see I backed up my old one to old-*.  You can replace these with ogg files, they don't need to be oga.  Audacity is a good program to make and export sound files.  If you make the file too long or too large, it wont play.

alarm-clock-elapsed.oga        audio-test-signal.oga    dialog-warning.oga                    power-plug.oga
audio-channel-front-center.oga  audio-volume-change.oga  message-new-instant.oga              power-unplug.oga
audio-channel-front-left.oga    bell.oga                message.oga                          screen-capture.oga
audio-channel-front-right.oga  camera-shutter.oga      network-connectivity-established.oga  service-login.oga
audio-channel-rear-center.oga  complete.oga            network-connectivity-lost.oga        service-logout.oga
audio-channel-rear-left.oga    device-added.oga        old-phone-incoming-call.oga          suspend-error.oga
audio-channel-rear-right.oga    device-removed.oga      phone-incoming-call.ogg              trash-empty.oga
audio-channel-side-left.oga    dialog-error.oga        phone-outgoing-busy.oga              window-attention.oga
audio-channel-side-right.oga    dialog-information.oga  phone-outgoing-calling.oga            window-question.oga
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#3
Quote:-Only US QWERTY keyboard, I'm missing french and german accents and umlauts (again, maybe I haven'd done enough research yet)
TL;DR - it should work with recent software.

A few weeks/months/ back I got more virtual keyboards in "squeekboard" after a full upgrade (which I always do) to mobian. And looking at the source code, there's a "de.yaml" file in the keyboard directory, so it should work, though I can't test it at the moment.

Additionally, you can edit the data in the YAML file and replace some symbols, which is what I'm trying to do to fix the bulgarian virtual keyboard at the moment. I've added some missing letters and changed the layout and it worked. The only downside is that the executable got huge and I think it shows when the keyboard is loaded after a restart of the device.
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#4
(03-09-2021, 04:30 PM)Will Welker Wrote: You can change some of the default ringtones and sounds.

Thank you! I haven't gotten to that point yet. I quickly tried vibration-only and it didn't work, and mixed profile didn't work either. I haven't retried with the latest updates, I understand everything is moving very quickly.
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#5
(03-10-2021, 04:00 AM)bosi564 Wrote:
Quote:-Only US QWERTY keyboard, I'm missing french and german accents and umlauts (again, maybe I haven'd done enough research yet)

And looking at the source code, there's a "de.yaml" file in the keyboard directory, so it should work, though I can't test it at the moment.

You're right! I stupidly chose ch_DE in the settings because I could, but that is not available, hence it probably just falls back to the US QWERTY. Now I put de and it's fine. Thanks for the tip! I guess they'll keep adding languages to squeekboard and at some point I can use the "correct" layout.
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#6
(03-09-2021, 05:22 AM)battlegarden Wrote: Hello forum, this is my first post!

Things that aren't 100% great yet:

-Webapps created according to mobian wiki with firefox -ssb seem to not have network connection after waking up the phone. It starts working once I loaded a site with the normal firefox.
-I need to use the hydrogen webapp for matrix, as mirage cannot connect to my private server (this is of course unrelated to the pinephone)
Try Chromium. It's much faster then Firefox and Web apps work very well! They're some bugs as mentioned in the thread with the on screen keyboard but it works well in convergence.

Read the thread: https://forum.pine64.org/showthread.php?tid=13235
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#7
(03-10-2021, 08:52 AM)battlegarden Wrote: You're right! I stupidly chose ch_DE in the settings because I could, but that is not available, hence it probably just falls back to the US QWERTY. Now I put de and it's fine. Thanks for the tip! I guess they'll keep adding languages to squeekboard and at some point I can use the "correct" layout.
I made the same mistake in the beginning by choosing fr-CA. It's a usability issue to offer non-existent layouts in the list... I had to install the French keyboard which is AZERTY, a nightmare for me since I'm used to Canadian Multilingual which is a QWERTY layout with international accents. So I'm frequently switching from one to the other and back.

But I learned something a couple of days ago, you can actually make your own custom Squeekboard layout and put it in your home folder. I have yet to give it a try. See the Mobian wiki: https://wiki.mobian-project.org/doku.php...o:keyboard

But one thing that is sorely missing in Squeekboard is long presses to get alternate characters. KDE Plasma Mobile's onscreen keyboard has this already, just like on Android. I hope that adding this functionality is planned by the Purism people.
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#8
(03-10-2021, 11:34 PM)NormandC Wrote: But I learned something a couple of days ago, you can actually make your own custom Squeekboard layout and put it in your home folder. I have yet to give it a try. See the Mobian wiki: https://wiki.mobian-project.org/doku.php...o:keyboard

But one thing that is sorely missing in Squeekboard is long presses to get alternate characters. KDE Plasma Mobile's onscreen keyboard has this already, just like on Android. I hope that adding this functionality is planned by the Purism people.

Indeed, it doesn't look too complicated to make your own. For now de is fine for me, as it's QWERTZ and has all the special characters I need. It will of course be an issue when I connect a real keyboard, but for now I ssh rather than directly type into the phone. Long press alternate keys would be great; it looks like there's a bug open for that, but it has been open for a while:

https://source.puri.sm/Librem5/squeekboard/-/issues/93
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#9
i wanted to chime in to say that the pinephone is my first smartphone that feels like "mine" and not some place i rent and where the landlord can jump in and do things at random. thanks pine64 and everyone involved
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#10
(03-10-2021, 10:13 AM)C0ffeeFreak Wrote: Try Chromium. It's much faster then Firefox and Web apps work very well! They're some bugs as mentioned in the thread with the on screen keyboard but it works well in convergence.

Read the thread: https://forum.pine64.org/showthread.php?tid=13235

Thank you! I don't have speed issues at the moment - seems I'm a bit daft because the problem I'm seeing is specifically mentioned in the mobian wiki regarding ssb... Sorry! Unfortunately it seems mozilla have removed ssb from firefox, hence alternatives will have to be found... The firefox kiosk mode has what seems to be a similar issue to what you are seeing with the keyboard that is not present.
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