Proprietary apps for PinePhone/PineTab
#1
Question 
Hello everyone,

I know it's a controversial subject. I would just like to put the idea out there and hear what you think and whether anyone would be interested (or not).

Whenever I talk about the Linux phone to friends who know what Linux is, I get the same answer: apps, apps, apps! What about Snapchat? Instagram? Bleh! I have zero interest in having Instagram for Linux, but I would like to have a wide selection of apps that appeal to geeks and non-geeks. I would also love it if indie developers could make a living developing Linux apps full-time. 

So imagine we have closed-source apps sold on an app store. Those apps could be cross-platform (also sold on iOS and Android) for wider appeal, compatibility and profitability. A worker cooperative could own the apps and run the back-ends when needed (a pain point for free software I think). The same or another coop could run the app store. With the right public statutes, this organization would give everyone confidence that the developers are compensated fairly and that only ethical software is being sold. It would also be possible to prevent acquisition by a tech giant. 

So what do you think? Worth discussing further?
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#2
(11-28-2019, 04:11 AM)Benoit Wrote: So what do you think? Worth discussing further?


Pine64 isn't directly doing a phone OS, so this is probably the wrong forum.

Have you checked out the policy in ubports app store, they do allow closed source apps.
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#3
(11-28-2019, 05:00 AM)evilbunny Wrote: Pine64 isn't directly doing a phone OS, so this is probably the wrong forum.

Have you checked out the policy in ubports app store, they do allow closed source apps.

The reason I posted here is because I expect that the PinePhone will soon be the most popular Linux phone around. So I would like to hear the opinion of early adopters and developers planning to make apps for it (as well as for any Linux phone of course).

Thank you for the info on UBports, I'll check it out.
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#4
(11-28-2019, 04:11 AM)Benoit Wrote: So what do you think? Worth discussing further?
I'm not yet sure how much I want to integrate with proprietary  services, but phone calls.
Any way the first quarter main effort will be concentrated on make the phone fully functional. Then I would bet on Open Source applications stack. Ideally (imho) it should create pressure to go Web or OSS for every one. Big Grin
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#5
(11-28-2019, 04:11 AM)Benoit Wrote: Whenever I talk about the Linux phone to friends who know what Linux is, I get the same answer: apps, apps, apps! What about Snapchat? Instagram? Bleh! I have zero interest in having Instagram for Linux, but I would like to have a wide selection of apps that appeal to geeks and non-geeks. I would also love it if indie developers could make a living developing Linux apps full-time. 

This is mostly a phone for tinkerers and not likely to appeal to the average Joe. Why would any proprietary application developer port their app to a 0% user base -Sad.
Even Linux desktop has the same problem.  At least the Linux desktop has some appeal with developers. Which explains  its 3% usage.
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#6
(11-28-2019, 07:04 PM)Vasant Wrote: This is mostly a phone for tinkerers and not likely to appeal to the average Joe. Why would any proprietary application developer port their app to a 0% user base -Sad.

Two reasons (at least):
-the profit motive is not the only nor even the main reason to develop apps (obviously, with all the great FLOSS out there), but earning some money could make it easier
-there may be billions of Android users, but also millions of scammy apps to compete against. Smaller user base, but less competition and more motivated users.
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#7
I hear flatpak is planning on creating a payment system for paid apps. I could easily imagine proprietary apps being distributed in isolated + sandboxed flatpaks.

Also you could always install a android OS on the phone when one is finally ported, or use anbox and run proprietary apps through there.
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#8
I think it's true that people are often attracted by contrasts (whatsapp on pinephone!? BLEAH! but I think it might be interesting for someone).
For the rest I spent a lot of time looking for opensource versions of the android apps I could use, and now that there's the pinephone I'd like to think that opensource software will no longer be an exception.
So not for me, and I don't really like seeing mixed repositories either (I'd rather see non-free repositories separately)
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#9
I would say that the main reason proprietary banking and other apps exist on phones is because most mobile browsers are usually crippled. But imagine if you had a fully functional Firefox in the palm of your hand, just like you would on a computer. Maybe then we wouldn't need those apps after all, because it would be handled in JavaScript.
*.*.* PinePhone BraveHeart edition w/ distro: Debian + Phosh // GuixOS, Debian, Arch // pocket linux enthusiast // washed up sysadmin *.*.*
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#10
@Benoit, sorry for my long reply, I'm just trying to make a point.

Which is "desktop firefox style" containerized web apps should be the way to go, all the way. This is the only thing I'd trust as of now.

Before app stores where all the rage, phone users created icon aliases on main screen for shortcuts to preferred web pages. That worked. Probably Firefox OS was just a few years too early before Pinephones.

Apps are, and were really developed as, user traps. Where convenience meets milking people's dry. And that's just plain unacceptable. And that's one of the main reasons we now have Pinephones.

The main issues here are trust, and value system. Unless I cannot 100% trust the product I'm using will only perform what I need it to perform, or unless I'm fully satisfied about the underlying intentions behind some organization's culture, or unless I'm fully compensated for being treated as a guinea pig, I will not trust.

For now, I somehow trust Pine64, Firefox, the FOSS community as a whole, and some independent developers. Then for me, the holy grail would be a trust less system that works, including laws with teeth forbidding anyone to fiddle with anyone's data, as data equates $. One can dream.

Therefore, I will unconditionally trust anyone and everyone with any of my data only the day dollars become either useless or free for all.

I will add that no musical artist ever decided its musical catalogue was to become free for anyone to download, as no software developer ever chose to solve 1 and 0 problems for everyone without proper retribution. Everyone adapts to the situation, and in the end, no matter the amount of stress put on creator's back, people will create, and find ways to profit from their own creations. Which is no problem at all. Problems often start only after some interested third parties are being invited to the party.
Creating is Everything
Away
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