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 listened to a few linux podcasts recently and they always bring up the app gap. Usually they cite the lack of whatsapp and banking apps as deal-breakers for them.

I look at it from another perspective, ie I don't want an always-connected social presence or spend time endlessly checking various apps. All I need is a phone with a desktop browser so I can use it like an ordinary pc rather than a lifestyle accessory.
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#6
(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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#7
(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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#8
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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#9
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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