The next version of Ubuntu Touch is scheduled to launch on March 10, and the folks at UBPorts are looing for testers willing to check out the latest features, bug fixes, and more. The developers of the ExpidusOS smartphone Linux distribution that uses the Xfce desktop environment have outlined a roadmap for the next six months. And not all of the free and open source operating systems designed for smartphones are based on Linux.
One developer has announced plans to build a FreeBSD-based operating system for the PinePhone. And the folks at the /e/ Foundation have been de-Googling Android software for years. Now you can buy a phone with /e/ OS pre-installed and have it shipped to the US or Canada. Previously their phones were only available in Europe.
Here’s a roundup of recent open source phone news.
- Potabi will be a smartphone OS built on top of FreeBSD [@Fivnex]
There are a growing number of Linux distributions for the Pinephone and other smartphones. Potabi may be one of the first mobile operating systems to use the FreeBSD kernel and Lomiri desktop environment. It’s still in the very early stages of development though.
- Now you can buy smartphone with /e/ OS in the US and Canada (Android phones stripped of Google services) [Liliputing]
Android is the world’s most popular smartphone operating system, and Google releases the source code. But most phones that ship with Android also include proprietary Google apps and services including the Google Play Store, Gmail, YouTube, and Google Maps. The /e/ Foundation develops a Google-free fork of Android that’s available for installation on many existing phones. Since 2019 the organization has also sold some refurbished phones with /e/ OS pre-installed, but only to customers in Europe. Now you can buy refurbished Samsung Galaxy S9 series phones with /e/ software and have them shipped to the US or Canada.
- Call for Testing: Ubuntu Touch OTA-16 [UBPorts]
Coming in the next major release for Ubuntu Touch is a move to Qt 5.12 which should bring faster app startup times and better long-term support. There’s also an updated Morph web browser with a new downloads dialog and menu item for re-opening the most recently closed tab. And an Anbox installer is now pre-installed by default, which means you’ll be able to set up your phone to run some Android apps on devices that support Anbox.
- ExpidusOS 6-month roadmap (PinePhone Linux distro with Xfce desktop environment) [@drago_senpai]
When I first took this new distro for a spin earlier week, the basic user interface was in place, but there was no support for wireless connectivity and very few apps. In the coming months developers of ExpidusOS plan to fix boot issues, build an application store, and begin adding user services.
- Demo: PinePhone with Sailfish OS 4.0 with video playback in the browser [@adampigg]
Sailfish OS 4.0 was released recently for some devices, and while official images for the PinePhone haven’t been released yet, one developer has it up and running, and things look promising.
— Adam Pigg (@adampigg) February 26, 2021