Linux on your smartphone and tablet

Discussion in 'General Linux' started by Mitt Green, Jun 14, 2014.

  1. Mitt Green

    Mitt Green Active Member

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    Today I am going to talk about mobile operating systems that use Linux kernel. Some good examples are Maemo, MeeGo (Maemo's derivative), Firefox OS, Ubuntu Touch and Android.

    Maemo and MeeGo

    Maemo appeared in 2005 as OS2005 and the only device running it was Nokia 770 Tablet. However, tablets weren't as popular as nowadays and this one received many complaints about slow CPU, size of the on-board memory (64 MiB), short battery life (four hours only). So, generally it didn't succeed. Several years ago, in 2009, Nokia introduced N900, running Maemo 5, which is highly customizable, fast and functional. Although, there were some problems with hardware, this operating system is very interesting. In 2010 Nokia created N9 with powerful hardware and MeeGo on board. It is fast, simple and easy to use and perfectly looks on N9. Linux project on Nokia seems like has no future after many issues with Microsoft and developing Windows Phones. Even though they introduced Nokia X this year, it is far from what we saw in Maemo and MeeGo. It's a pity.

    Maemo5.png

    Nokia_N9.jpg

    Firefox OS

    Firefox OS introduced in 2012, it is based on Gonk, Gecko, XULRunner and Gaia. I found very interesting devices made by GeeksPhone, in particular Revolution, but it seems a bit buggy and slow, though the hardware is tough enough. The idea is good and it will be a lot of work, GeeksPhone is the official developer of Firefox OS.

    Firefox_OS_1.5_home_screen.png

    Ubuntu Touch

    Fast, user-friendly, its functionality is much cooler than in Windows Phone and iOS. Though there are official developers, everyone that uses Android can install it. It is very interesting and probably has a nice future because the Community helps in developing and Canonical support really exists. Introduced in 2013 (as beta) and in 2014 (as alpha with Ubuntu 14.04).

    Ubuntu-smartphone.png Ubuntu_Touch_Home.png



    Android


    The first version appeared in 2008 and the first smartphone running it was HTC Dream. The latest versions of Android looks very fine, functional and customizable. No problems with developing - Google does it very well.

    Android_4.4.2 on Nexus 5.png

    Each project is very interesting. The first ideas did not succeed because Nokia abandoned Linux project in favour of Windows Phone. After acquiring Android Inc. in 2005, Google has been successfully developing Android, which is now the most popular mobile operating system.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2014
  2. DevynCJohnson

    DevynCJohnson Well-Known Member Staff Member Staff Writer

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    Nice article. I added it to this reading guide - http://www.linux.org/threads/a-newbies-guide-to-the-linux-system.6120/
     
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  3. DevynCJohnson

    DevynCJohnson Well-Known Member Staff Member Staff Writer

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  4. centos_fan

    centos_fan New Member

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    some supplement:
    webOS,TiZen,SailFish OS,Bada...
     
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  5. AtomSky

    AtomSky New Member

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    Embedded devices
     
  6. Yesyesloud

    Yesyesloud Active Member

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    Meizu MX4 comes with Ubuntu depending on where you buy it from and it's damn high-end. A friend of mine got the Pro version cheaper from a group deal and "ditched" his iphone 5s.

    I'm a bit proud of that fact as I always mock brand prejudice created by old monopolies, showing people better phones actual specs and reviews (this friend was just a "victim" hehe).

    Interestingly, most people don't even know Lenovo took over Motorola and they would never purchase a Lenovo phone in itself, simply avoiding many top line devices.

    Another Android phone on the high-end is Elephone p8000. 5.5" display, 1080p res, 3GB ram, energy efficient 64bit octa-core cpu (mtk6753) with a nice integrated gpu, 16GB storage (expandable), 360º fingerprint id on the back and, perhaps my favorite spec, 4165mAh battery. I got one myself for $157 and it's amazing regardless of my opinion. Everyone asks me where I've found it. People tend to be a little sad when I say China haha, but some quickly change their minds when I mention current price range (~$160). Also, MTK has gone open source, so nobody needs to worry about crazy conspiracies and you can flash your phone with a custom rom if you're paranoid enough.

    Sorry for spamming, I guess it won't harm ;)
     
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  7. henrytrinh

    henrytrinh New Member

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    Each project is very interesting. The first ideas did not succeed because Nokia abandoned Linux project in favour of Windows Phone. After acquiring Android Inc. in 2005, Google has been successfully developing Android, which is now the most popular mobile operating system.
     
  8. Yesyesloud

    Yesyesloud Active Member

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    Good remark, space cowboy
     
  9. Bethlehem

    Bethlehem Member

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    There was a little more to it than that.
    Nokia didn't abandon Linux, Maemo (their Debian based OS) only came on a handful of devices for the 5 years it was actively developed. Less than a handful.... something like 3 or 4 I think. Aside from Maemo, Symbian was the 'Mack Daddy' of the smartphone industry, and we're talking turn of the century here, when smart phones weren't so smart... Apple hadn't even started developing their iPhone yet. Microsoft could not have cared less about phones at that time. To them phones were things their support personnel apathetically didn't answer.
    Now the iPhone was release in 2007 or so, which ironically is the year that Nokia went from "I'm king of the world" to "wow, the ice covered hillside I'm on is a slippery slope". Microsoft had nothing to do with it, that came a few years later. They had also given up on Maemo. Three years later Nokia told Maemo to pack his bags and get out. She felt Symbian was 10 times the man he was and decided to go running back into his arms faithfully and stop screwing around with other men!

    So, here it is, 2010. Nokia had dumped Maemo to the open source hackers who quickly merged it with another project and started a third project (which is common for those guys, ADD runs rampant me thinks) Apple had already released the iPhone 4 and was kicking everyone's ass, Microsoft was all like "Look at our new product, we call it Windows phone 7 because we are not creative enough to give it a better name - please buy it", and Nokia was standing fast that their decade old Symbian was going to pull a Rocky Balboa and come back to give Mr T a size 11 to the groin! (do the Finnish know who Mr T is?)
    This is finally where Microsoft does something to Nokia. One of the Microsoft execs, Steven Elop, decides he wants more initials after his name because.. you know... EVP, CIO, COO... that wasn't enough. It was all or nothing. So he kicks down the door of the CEOs office of Nokia, plants his ice-hockey loving Canadian ass in the chair and says... "who's your daddy now?"
    And THAT is when Microsoft's noodle-like identical got a hold of Nokia.
    3 years later Nokia wanted windows out. So Microsoft bought them in a last ditch effort to get a foot hold in the mobile phone market. Nokia's market share was less than 3% at that time, from peaking at over 50% in 2007. All they ended up doing was making some decent cameras that would also make/receive a phone call.
    And so that ends today's history lesson.
    Time for beer on the lanai.
     
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  10. Mitt Green

    Mitt Green Active Member

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    @Bethlehem Nokia, by the way, relatively recently released their first tablet, N1, made by Foxconn. Now they (well, not they actually, Microsoft does it using Nokia brand) make simple entry-level phones, like 130, 215 and 222. As a matter of fact, Microsoft recently sold the business to Foxconn.

    Fun fact: the lad you replied to simply copied my last paragraph.

    P.S. Jaysus, I wrote the post two years ago. Things have changed, Firefox OS is nowhere. Ubuntu Touch is nowhere. And smartphones suck even more in 2016. Too bad Nokia stepped down from the business, I'd buy something like N97 or X3-02 I lost that year.
     

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