By chance I got a used Samsung Galaxy S5 which already has good Linux mainline support. I was able to install postmarketOS with Phosh user interface enabled. Here’s a short summary on the usability of various apps.
Considering the device is an older phone from 2014, the overall user experience is already quite good. Sometimes the interface is a bit slow and unresponsive but I guess this is something which could be easily improved in the future. I was more impressed on how good convergence of some familiar Gnome apps is. Some of them are already working fine whereas others are still buggy.
- The Gnome mail app
gearyis crashing while trying to configure my mail server. Not sure if the setup wizard will also support self-signed certificates and custom port configurations.
gnome-mapsis working fine. Unfortunately the classic image tiles of the map are a bit slow, so I hope they could switch to vector tile rendering in the future.
gnome-calendaris not yet optimized for mobile devices. I installed it but wasn’t able to use it.
- Wanted to try
gnome-podcastsapp which is present in the Alpine Linux repository but unfortunately not yet for the armv7 platform.
gnome-shortwaveis a simple radio app for online radio stations. Since integrated audio is not yet supported in the mainline kernel, I was able to listen to streams via Bluetooth audio.
- The password manager
gnome-passwordsafeseems to work fine.
- Haven’t tried
waydroid, a framework to run Android apps on postmarketOS. It would probably work but I guess my device is too slow for it.
- The contact manager application
gnome-contactsis already listing my address book which I synced with my Nextcloud server. I didn’t have to install any additional apps to support this which is quite nice.
Following applications need to get packaged for AlpineLinux: The music recognition app
mousai and the native Signal client
I’m looking forward to start packaging missing applications or fix build errors for Alpine Linux to improve the postmarketOS experience. Improving hardware support for the Samsung Galaxy S5 might be a bit difficult to start but we’ll see ;)
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mega cool, keep up the good work
Phone calls, and something like waydroid, and camera, are my top three needs. But this article didn’t test any of them.
@Bill Dietrich: Agree, regarding support for most of the smartphones, this won’t work yet. But there are already a few newer phones which support nearly everything from calls to taking photos. You can have a look here: https://wiki.postmarketos.org/wiki/Devices