UBports on pine phone?
#11
(08-31-2023, 01:29 PM)gregb49 Wrote:
(07-09-2023, 09:30 AM)gregb49 Wrote:
(07-03-2023, 09:45 AM)robb777 Wrote: hi, I managed to install ubuntu touch on pine phone, thanks amigos

How are you getting on with it?
I found it excellent on a Nexus 5, but for calls and texts, on the PPhone, it was unreliable That was a few weeks ago.

I have a Nexus 5 also. with UBTouch, which has now reverted back to my daily driver as I also found that UBTouch was unreliable on the PPhone. I'm using archlinux-phosh but the updates fail and the volume is a bit low. 

Can anyone recommend an OS that works well?


None.

It's been nearly 4 years since Pine Phone has been released and there is nothing yet.

I don't see how other companies can put out software which functions well on their product, and still generate a profit, but Pine64 expects others to make software for them with generally no financial incentive, then proclaim they are "non profit."
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#12
You are really comparing apples and oranges there.

Android phone makers can rely on 1. a fully developed userspace from the tech giant Google, 2. drivers developed (as proprietary blobs that the phone maker can just ship as is) by the component chip manufacturers, and perhaps most crucially, 3. lots of profits from high-volume unit sales, which can be used to fund software development. That is what being part of the mainstream gains you. Mobile GNU/Linux is not a mainstream platform, so Pine64 gets none of all these.

There is only one competitor in this niche market, developing one comparable product. Yes, that competitor does invest money in software development. But as a result, their phone costs so much that you can get multiple PinePhones or even PinePhone Pros for the price of one of the competitor's phones. (Assuming that you can even get one of the competitor's units shipped at all. They have a long waiting list, apparently due to liquidity issues because they spent so much of their money on software development.)

Think what you want of Pine64's business model, but it appears to be the only way to produce affordable GNU/Linux smartphones.
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#13
(08-31-2023, 07:06 PM)Kevin Kofler Wrote: You are really comparing apples and oranges there.

Android phone makers can rely on 1. a fully developed userspace from the tech giant Google, 2. drivers developed (as proprietary blobs that the phone maker can just ship as is) by the component chip manufacturers, and perhaps most crucially, 3. lots of profits from high-volume unit sales, which can be used to fund software development. That is what being part of the mainstream gains you. Mobile GNU/Linux is not a mainstream platform, so Pine64 gets none of all these.

There is only one competitor in this niche market, developing one comparable product. Yes, that competitor does invest money in software development. But as a result, their phone costs so much that you can get multiple PinePhones or even PinePhone Pros for the price of one of the competitor's phones. (Assuming that you can even get one of the competitor's units shipped at all. They have a long waiting list, apparently due to liquidity issues because they spent so much of their money on software development.)

Think what you want of Pine64's business model, but it appears to be the only way to produce affordable GNU/Linux smartphones.

That is completely not true.

You are forgetting Apple which was considered late to the Cell Phone Market. People are paying a premium for those phones and the OS which comes with it. And you know what? People who purchase the PinePhone (PP) or PinePhone Pro (PPP) are paying premiums also for those phones and not even getting a fully functional OS. Last year, I bought a Samsung Android based phone which blows away the specs of PPP, but for the Price of the PP.


Then Microsoft finally caught up in the mobile OS space with their Windows Phone 8. A really nice OS which finally gained some ground. Companies had been paying Microsoft a huge licensing fee to use that OS, and one could still get a phone with equal or better specs than the PP or PPP for the same or less price. I have a Windows 10 phone from 2016 (Alcatel One Touch Plus - even has a VoLTE modem) which I still use where I paid around 2/3 the price of the PP with specs which are a little better than the PP.

The tech from the PP is well over 10 years in age now. When is a price drop coming after nearly 4 years, and still no OS?


Oh, and  here is Wyze (not a tech giant - and for profit) with a fully functioning smart watch for about the same price as the Pine64 watch.

https://www.wyze.com/products/wyze-watch-44mm

How long has the Pine64 watch been out, and still no fully functioning OS?
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#14
(08-31-2023, 10:02 PM)KNERD Wrote: That is completely not true.
Your denial is not going to make market realities any less true.

Note that I do not get any money from Pine64 (nor any discount on their products) for writing this. I am just a user.

(08-31-2023, 10:02 PM)KNERD Wrote: You are forgetting Apple which was considered late to the Cell Phone Market. People are paying a premium for those phones and the OS which comes with it.
Wow, that is now really apples to oranges, or should I say, Apples to Pines! Apple did not start the iPhone coming from nowhere. They were already a tech giant, with loads of money from their huge sales of Mac(intosh) computers for decades, when they even started it. They had the hardware designers, operating system and user interface developers and a reputation for building user-friendly interfaces that helped attract users. They also found a completely empty market, since smartphones had not really taken off yet at that time. Now they make enough money from the iPhone sales alone to fund development of new models, even without all the other things they sell. Not to mention the app store monopoly enforced by locked-down hardware which is a huge source of profits (publishing fees, commission on each sale) for which Apple has to do very little work (just some censorship, everything else is done by the ISVs), a business model that is inherently incompatible with the openness Pine64 is propagating.

(08-31-2023, 10:02 PM)KNERD Wrote: And you know what? People who purchase the PinePhone (PP) or PinePhone Pro (PPP) are paying premiums also for those phones and not even getting a fully functional OS. Last year, I bought a Samsung Android based phone which blows away the specs of PPP, but for the Price of the PP.
That, too, is an unfair comparison. Samsung produces its hardware in much higher volumes, so they have much lower production costs. Ask any company trying to produce hardware in low batches (be they Open Hardware companies, semi-open hardware companies such as Pine64 (which publishes some schematics, but not under a Free license, and whose hardware is unlocked for any software you may want to install), or just startups producing completely closed, but not (yet) mass-marketed hardware) and they will all tell you the same: It is really hard to get a foothold into the hardware market if you are not already an established player, because the smaller the batches, the more expensive per unit they are, but you cannot really preproduce huge batches if you have neither the spare money to anticipate production before even selling the first unit nor any idea how many of those devices are actually going to get bought. So some of those small companies accept only preorders, others like Pine64 produce a first batch for those who have preordered and then small batches to maintain a small stock without sitting on it for too long (which is more likely to work than a strict preordering-only policy if they want to sell to risk-adverse customers like me). Only the likes of Samsung can afford to mass-produce huge batches in advance and can expect to actually sell those fairly quickly. That is the main reason the Samsung phone has a much better value for the price, if you are happy with a more or less locked down phone with proprietary drivers.

And the last sentence brings up another reason that partly explains the price difference: Android phones can use pretty much any component designed for smartphones, because pretty much every component vendor has a proprietary driver blob for the Android kernel. Pine64, on the other hand, has to design with components that have FOSS drivers available (only the firmware is in some cases proprietary, the kernel and userspace drivers are all FOSS), which limits the choice of components and drives up the price.

(08-31-2023, 10:02 PM)KNERD Wrote: Then Microsoft finally caught up in the mobile OS space with their Windows Phone 8. A really nice OS which finally gained some ground. Companies had been paying Microsoft a huge licensing fee to use that OS, and one could still get a phone with equal or better specs than the PP or PPP for the same or less price. I have a Windows 10 phone from 2016 (Alcatel One Touch Plus - even has a VoLTE modem) which I still use where I paid around 2/3 the price of the PP with specs which are a little better than the PP.
Yet even Microsoft had to give up against the Apple/Google duopoly! Except for Apple, all the mainstream smartphone companies ship Android (or some fork of AOSP, i.e., of Android). Microsoft has discontinued Windows Phone.

(08-31-2023, 10:02 PM)KNERD Wrote: The tech from the PP is well over 10 years in age now. When is a price drop coming after nearly 4 years, and still no OS?
When masses of people buy the phone so that hardware can be produced in larger and cheaper batches. Which is not going to happen with the low customer satisfaction that can be seen on this and other forums. Chicken&egg problem.

This is sad, but it is just how capitalism works, unfortunately.

(08-31-2023, 10:02 PM)KNERD Wrote: Oh, and  here is Wyze (not a tech giant - and for profit) with a fully functioning smart watch for about the same price as the Pine64 watch.

https://www.wyze.com/products/wyze-watch-44mm

How long has the Pine64 watch been out, and still no fully functioning OS?
Again, apples and oranges. The Wyze watch includes a completely proprietary OS, not hackable at all. There is no custom firmware for it, let alone a FOSS one. The Pine64 PineTime's whole point is to run a FOSS firmware.

If you do not care about Free Software and just want a working OS (even if it is proprietary and maybe even tries to lock you into a monopolistic app store), then Pine64 products are not for you. So please stop complaining and let those of us actually in the niche buy and use our Pine64 products. I can tell you that the PinePhone is by far the cheapest and easiest to obtain GNU/Linux smartphone I have ever seen. All the others were/are way more expensive and basically preorders-only (be it the old OpenMoko stuff or now the Librem 5).

I would also suggest that we stop this off-topic discussion here.
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#15
But Kevin Kofler I believe that it is a useful discussion because you have made many good points.

I bought a PPhone and a PineTab2 on the basis that I had used Pine64 SBCs in the past and found them very good. They came with basic but functioning software and innovative design features and left others to build more fancy OSs. Therefore I expected basic but functioning software with the other products but do appreciate what you say in that FOSS drivers do not exist for these more complex products.

I feel the shortcomings should be made clearer to the prospective purchaser. It is in Pine64's interest to do so, as it pushes the boundaries forward.  For instance, I wasn't concerned that the camera didn't yet work on the PineTab2 and that was made clear. I would not have bought it if I had known that the WiFi did not work even though it is a very nice Linux tablet in all other respects.

I know that such posts as this are seen, sadly, as just whinging, but I feel they are helpful. Some great work is being done by developers, but we should not be scared of airing shortcomings. I just wish I was competent enough to assist apart from trying out things. I shall continue to play with other OSs for my PinePhone until, one day, I feel it is safe enough to use without missing calls and texts.
PinePhone Beta 2GB/16GB Postmarket OS v23.06.1 Phosh 0.30.0 (not in use)

PineTab2 Arch Danctnix 6.4.2
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#16
Well, yes, an SBC has less hardware to deal with and is also less of a niche product. (There are several other manufacturers of GNU/Linux SBCs, starting from the very popular Raspberry Pi.) The thing is, the PinePhone is actually very reliable as an SBC (and that is what it basically is: a version of the Pine A64 SBC with a touchscreen, an IoT modem, two cameras, and an earpiece). But people expect the touch UIs to be perfect, phone calls and SMS to work bug-free, and other things that they would never expect from an SBC. (That said, IMHO, the software quality has actually improved over the last 2 years. There are still some annoying bugs, e.g., the feature Plasma Mobile has recently introduced to allow accepting calls from the lock screen instead of requiring you to unlock it first unfortunately tends to crash the phone about every other time, but several bugs I had run into have been fixed.)

Since this is the UBports thread, another thing to keep in mind, if you compare the PinePhone to other phones supported by Ubuntu Touch (including the ones Canonical used, by getting them shipped with Ubuntu Touch, to feature Ubuntu Touch back in the day), is that Ubuntu Touch is not the typical GNU/Linux distribution. Instead, Canonical decided to piggyback on the Android ecosystem, using Android kernels with proprietary Android drivers through the hack called libhybris that allows mixing the Android bionic libc with the GNU/Linux glibc. This hack not only restricts, e.g., upgradeability (because you can only upgrade to a newer kernel if you have matching versions of the proprietary driver blobs), but is also not supported by several of the mobile GNU/Linux components and distributions that have decided to target only mainline or close-to-mainline kernels (because they found it impractical to support two completely different stacks and decided to desupport the partly proprietary one), such as ModemManager and Plasma Mobile (components), and PostmarketOS (distribution). See https://plasma-mobile.org/2020/12/14/pla...ical-debt/ and https://wiki.postmarketos.org/wiki/Hybris. So you will have a hard time running a regular mobile GNU/Linux distribution on those phones. Ubuntu Touch is more of a hybrid between the Android and the GNU/Linux worlds, see Halium.

Conversely, porting anything that expects the Android stack, including Android itself and Ubuntu Touch, to the PinePhone with its close-to-mainline kernel (where some drivers are still maintained out-of-tree, but use the same licensing (GPLv2.0) and offer the same interfaces (APIs) as the mainline in-tree drivers) is also difficult. GloDroid and UBports are actually doing a reasonably good job considering that. They do not have all hardware working, but the same goes for GNU/Linux ports with a close-to-mainline kernel to Android phones, see, e.g., PostmarketOS's device feature matrix.
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#17
Thanks Kevin Kofler. I'm learning a lot today.
PinePhone Beta 2GB/16GB Postmarket OS v23.06.1 Phosh 0.30.0 (not in use)

PineTab2 Arch Danctnix 6.4.2
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