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Gadgets

Cross Compile to PinePhone Part Two

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Linux
Gadgets

So on part one, we managed to compile kalk with emulator, and generated ArchLinux package to install on our PinePhone. However, emulator is slow, and compiling with emulator isn’t cross compile. Today, we’ll be using real cross compiler to build kalk package.

To be able to cross compile, we need cross compiler and target platform’s libraries. On ArchLinux, there is aarch64-linux-gnu-gcc. But it’s sysroot option is bugged so we won’t use the cross compiler from pacman this time. Instead, we’ll grab the toolchain from ArchLinux arm. The link is here. Since PinePhone is armv8, download the armv8 pre-built crosstool-ng toolchain. To keep everything nice and tidy, we store the toolchain in dedicated directory. I’m using ~/Develop/CrossCompile.

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Cross Compile to PinePhone Part One

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Linux
Gadgets

PinePhone has been out for over one year now. In the last year, KDE plasma mobile saw rapid progress. We’ve developed almost all utility apps you’d have on iOS and Android. And actions like flashlight, screen capture also get added to top panel. What’s more, the launch screen and app drawer only get better.

When I started develop apps for PinePhone, I often find myself spent majority of time on PC. Only occassionaly I’d download the Android artifacts from CI and test it on Android(I don’t have access to PinePhone then). Pretty soon pine64 sent me two PinePhones(thank you, pine64!). But even then, I didn’t spent many time on them. Because I’m trying to first get my app running, what it will look on phone is not on the top of my list.

With the priority shifting from new features to stability and usability, bug fixes and UI/UX improvements are the most important things now. While I certainly can run my apps on PC, it doesn’t help with finding UI/UX bugs. Manjaro Plasma Mobile develop image updates everyday, but if you’re debugging an app, there is no other way than compiling your own.

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Primed for PineTime

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Reviews
Gadgets

There’s something about having a watch that’s special. For me, not only is it a good way to tell the time without looking at my phone, it’s also a way to “accessorize” myself (not into piercings or tattoos, gugh…). I’ve owned watches in the past, but I either lost them or they broke after just a few months of having them (the result of buying cheap watches).

These are just standard watches that I’m talking about; smartwatches have the burden of being tied down to a proprietary app on your smartphone in order to get any good use out of them, and what’s more, not only are they generally more expensive than a “dumb” watch, but they also need to be unstrapped from your wrist every week (or maybe every day, depending on what watch you have) and charged so that it can keep telling you the time.

Something about the PineTime struck me though. Not just it’s inexpensive price point ($27 at the time of writing this); but also the fact that this is the first smartwatch I’ve ever seen that’s not powered by Google, Samsung, Apple, or the likes of some other wallet-draining corporation. It’s powered by the community, through open-source software. I can rely on the fact that, as long as the developers stay active, I can keep getting updates to my watch indefinitely, and not have to buy a “second-generation” watch just because the guys at the big corps say, “Well, this watch is two years old now; we have a better model that increases the screen size by about 10 pixels, increases the battery by about 2%, and the vibration is just a hair stronger. You have to buy the new model now because we’re not supporting the older model anymore.”

None of that BS. The beauty the PineTime also has is that it’s not tied down to one specific type of operating system or firmware. I can use different types of firmware depending on my tastes; by default the PineTime ships with InfiniTime (more on that later), but if I want to change to say, WASP OS, that’s possible. Or any other type of firmware/operating system available.

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PinePhone Specs

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Linux
OSS
Gadgets

The PinePhone is a smartphone from Pine64 designed as an affordable device capable of running free and open source operating systems including postmarketOS, UBports Ubuntu Touch, Sailfish, Mobian, and Manjaro.

While it has entry-level hardware, it also has some features that are uncommon on modern smartphones, including a removable battery (which can be replaced with any Samsung J7 form factor battery) and hardware kill switches that can disable the mic, cameras, or wireless features of the phone when you need more privacy.

Aimed at developers and early adopters, the PinePhone is not generally available year-round, but Pine64 makes limited quantities available in batches several times per. You can find more details in the spec table blow, or check out Pine64’s PinePhone website and Wiki.

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4 Best Linux Phones for Privacy in 2021

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Gadgets

As the demand for internet connectivity keeps growing, so has the need for data privacy. In order to efficiently deliver their services, there is a tendency for some companies to collect and store personal data from their users. Sadly, some applications and platforms violate their users' privacy by leaking their data which finds its way to other platforms. This can often lead to users being inundated with adverts or worse still, data breaches

Linux-based phones are built on free and open-source software. Going for the privacy-focused phone will mean that may lose out on some of the first-party applications offered by Google or Apple.

In this tutorial, we have recommended some of the top Linux phones in 2021 that guarantee a user's privacy.

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Pining For A De-Googled Smartphone

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Linux
Gadgets

Last summer in the first swings of the global pandemic, sitting at home finally able to tackle some of my electronics projects now that I wasn’t wasting three hours a day commuting to a cubicle farm, I found myself ordering a new smartphone. Not the latest Samsung or Apple offering with their boring, predictable UIs, though. This was the Linux-only PinePhone, which lacks the standard Android interface plastered over an otherwise deeply hidden Linux kernel.

As a bit of a digital privacy nut, the lack of Google software on this phone seemed intriguing as well, and although there were plenty of warnings that this was a phone still in its development stages it seemed like I might be able to overcome any obstacles and actually use the device for daily use. What followed, though, was a challenging year of poking, prodding, and tinkering before it got to the point where it can finally replace an average Android smartphone and its Google-based spyware with something that suits my privacy-centered requirements, even if I do admittedly have to sacrifice some functionality.

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Libre Software Phones

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Android
GNU
Linux
Gadgets

This article is for you who want to know about free software phones. They are mobile devices with GNU/Linux or Android family operating systems inside with more libre software, less proprietary ones and made safer from surveillance. Today, talking about these also involves talking about the software systems inside. This article lists out several the top of them namely Librem 5, Ubuntu Phones, /e/ Fairphone, PinePhone, NitroPhone and mentions also several related software projects like microG. I write this in twenty twenty one so in the future we would certainly see changes going in and out in the world and this article might become obsolete quick. Nevertheless, I hope you would enjoy this!

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An update on Fairphone 3

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Gadgets

As the saying goes “all good things must come to an end”. After a successful two-year run with the Fairphone 3, we are ending the sale of this phone. But just like what you’d expect from us, we will stick to our longevity promise to provide software and hardware support for five years from the phone’s launch. So, there is no need to worry and no need to buy a new phone or toss your Fairphone 3 into a drawer.

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Powkiddy A20 – An Amlogic S905D3 powered portable Android game console

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Android
Gadgets

Powkiddy A20 is a 3.5-inch portable Android game console based on the same Amlogic S905D3 processor found in Khadas VIM3L SBC, equipped with 2GB RAM, 8GB storage, and supported 18 different emulators for gaming. It could potentially also be an interesting platform to play with AOSP, as we’ll see below.

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Phosh v0.13.1 released (and you can finally dismiss all notifications at once)

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Software
Gadgets

Phosh is an open source user, mobile-friendly user interface originally created by Purism for the Librem 5 smartphone It’s designed from the ground up to work with small, touchscreen devices. It’s now available for a wide range of mobile Linux distributions.

But some features that have been available for other mobile operating systems for years are still making their way to Phosh. For example, version v0.13.1, which was released today, is the first that has a “clear all” button that lets you dismiss multiple notifications at once.

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