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> News from Planetcom re: Linux & Android plans & support
ehasbrouck
post Oct 7 2019, 07:48 AM
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(This relates to both Linux and Android, so I am posting it here in the general forum)

I receoived the following message today from Planetcom support:

QUOTE
Linux on the Gemini still remains as a Developer Preview release, which is by no means recommended to be used as the main OS on the device. We advise using Linux for experimental and development reasons only. The main OS on the Gemini will remain Android, as the ARM/Mediatek chipset is best designed for use with Android.

There is no way to enable cellular data on Linux, and this will likely remain the case due to the "openness of Linux". Linux with an unlocked cellular modem could allow some potentially illegal actions to be easily executed. Hence, standard Linux (not talking about modified Linux for smartphones such as Ubuntu, Sailfish) does not, to this minute, have workable cellular modems in any device with such a vanilla form of Linux.

While this is unconfirmed, we know our developers are focusing some of their resources onto LineageOS for both the Cosmo and the Gemini. It is, however, important for us to focus primarily on Android, as no mobile phone manufacturer, regardless of scale, can risk their entire business by getting unlicensed by Google.


The refereences in this message to "Android" appear to refer not to Android but to a bundle of Android with proprietary Google-ware.

The statements about Google licensing are disingenuous, since Google itself says that proprietary Google apps are independent of Android and that "Android will remain free and open source..... Going forward, Android partners wishing to distribute Google apps may also build non-compatible, or forked, smartphones and tablets for the European Economic Area (EEA)."

So distributing LineageOS or any other Android distribution not bundled with Google-ware, even if it were the primary Gemini OS rather than one of several options, would not (and, under EU law and Google licensing terms, could not) provide grounds for termination of licensing of Google-ware for those Gemini users who want it, or for other Planetcom devices.

The Gemini was advertised to Indiegogo backers, and is still being advertised to prospective purchasers, as a dual-boot Android/Linux device, with no mention of limited functionality in Linux or of basic Android functionality (such as calling, SMS, and mobile data) available only if proprietary Google-ware is also installed.
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depscribe
post Oct 10 2019, 08:25 AM
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QUOTE(ehasbrouck @ Oct 7 2019, 07:48 AM) *
The Gemini was advertised to Indiegogo backers, and is still being advertised to prospective purchasers, as a dual-boot Android/Linux device, with no mention of limited functionality in Linux or of basic Android functionality (such as calling, SMS, and mobile data) available only if proprietary Google-ware is also installed.

Yup, it's been a disappointment in that regard. Frankly, it's a disappointment in some other ways, too. But fact is, it's a cute little computer that under a small subset of circumstances can be a sort of rubbish telephone. We rolled the dice and got a portion of what we thought we were buying. Which puts us ahead of some other vaporware campaigns. So . . .
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PyramidHead76
post May 28 2020, 12:18 AM
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I know this is an old thread, but I've called in to see what, if anything is new.

I guess I'm also of the position that I'm disappointed in where we ended up, and I got the wifi version & don't even care about the 4G functionality.

The Android build is old and wastes a lot of screen space in landscape mode for most applications. The Linux build is flaky, missing important drivers and only has access to two cores. Yet Planet are excitedly onto their next crowdfunder/project.

I like the hardware still, but... It's a shame this is where we are.
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idc
post May 29 2020, 05:48 AM
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QUOTE(PyramidHead76 @ May 28 2020, 08:18 AM) *
I know this is an old thread, but I've called in to see what, if anything is new.

I guess I'm also of the position that I'm disappointed in where we ended up, and I got the wifi version & don't even care about the 4G functionality.

The Android build is old and wastes a lot of screen space in landscape mode for most applications. The Linux build is flaky, missing important drivers and only has access to two cores. Yet Planet are excitedly onto their next crowdfunder/project.

I like the hardware still, but... It's a shame this is where we are.


Agreed. I have been using Sailfish on my Gemini as my main phone and like it as such. I can live without Android apps, if it leaves me free of Google. And Sailfish is fairly elegant as far as it goes. (And it gets regular updates.) It could, I suspect, go further with a larger community of users, and with a newer Linux kernel. I am hoping that eventually such will be released for the Cosmo. An email from Davide Guide of Planet from last month led me to believe there might be an announcement about this this month—May—but I guess that has slipped, as they have needed to concentrate on dealing with Android and its woes. They see Android as their main OS, sadly, and to the disappointment of many of their original backers.
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idc
post Jun 12 2020, 01:53 PM
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I dropped Davide another query about current timings for Sailfish for Cosmo. Here is his response (which I posted in the Cosmo forum, but thought the news might also be of interest here). I don't know whether the new build for Cosmo—when it arrives—might also imply an improvement in the build running on Gemini, but it is perhaps not impossible ... :

QUOTE
Things slowed down quite a bit unfortunately, as we received much less community support for the Cosmo Communicator in the past weeks.

Because of this, there is no place to get in touch with the latest information at the moment, this will hopefully change in the future when/if more people will contribute.

We are working closely with one open source contributor to release the next Linux version. The last Debian/KDE version I tested had suspend/resume when the device is open/closed and Linux modem support, including calls and SMS.

There are a few bugs that needs to be fixed before the release, which should happen in the coming weeks.

The same developer is responsible for the porting Sailfish to the Cosmo, so there will be no progress on it until we complete Debian.



I've reinstalled Android on my Cosmo, just to get a bit of use out of it—but I'm still waiting for the release of Sailfish. The Gemini with Sailfish remains my main phone. And I will also be interested to see the results of their Debian work. I'm not personally in a position to contribute to either Debian or Sailfish development. (Busier than ever in lockdown, what with homeschooling and the day job.) But I wonder whether more people would be able and prepared to contribute if there was a more obvious way to keep track of what was being done and what help is needed.

Anyway, Davide's report that there is work going on that will hopefully reach us in due course is very welcome to me.
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gabs5807
post Jun 20 2020, 06:04 AM
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QUOTE(ehasbrouck @ Oct 7 2019, 05:48 PM) *
(This relates to both Linux and Android, so I am posting it here in the general forum)

I receoived the following message today from Planetcom support:

QUOTE
Linux on the Gemini still remains as a Developer Preview release, which is by no means recommended to be used as the main OS on the device. We advise using Linux for experimental and development reasons only. The main OS on the Gemini will remain Android, as the ARM/Mediatek chipset is best designed for use with Android.

There is no way to enable cellular data on Linux, and this will likely remain the case due to the "openness of Linux". Linux with an unlocked cellular modem could allow some potentially illegal actions to be easily executed. Hence, standard Linux (not talking about modified Linux for smartphones such as Ubuntu, Sailfish) does not, to this minute, have workable cellular modems in any device with such a vanilla form of Linux.

While this is unconfirmed, we know our developers are focusing some of their resources onto LineageOS for both the Cosmo and the Gemini. It is, however, important for us to focus primarily on Android, as no mobile phone manufacturer, regardless of scale, can risk their entire business by getting unlicensed by Google.


The refereences in this message to "Android" appear to refer not to Android but to a bundle of Android with proprietary Google-ware.

The statements about Google licensing are disingenuous, since Google itself says that proprietary Google apps are independent of Android and that "Android will remain free and open source..... Going forward, Android partners wishing to distribute Google apps may also build non-compatible, or forked, smartphones and tablets for the European Economic Area (EEA)."

So distributing LineageOS or any other Android distribution not bundled with Google-ware, even if it were the primary Gemini OS rather than one of several options, would not (and, under EU law and Google licensing terms, could not) provide grounds for termination of licensing of Google-ware for those Gemini users who want it, or for other Planetcom devices.

The Gemini was advertised to Indiegogo backers, and is still being advertised to prospective purchasers, as a dual-boot Android/Linux device, with no mention of limited functionality in Linux or of basic Android functionality (such as calling, SMS, and mobile data) available only if proprietary Google-ware is also installed.


Strange information ph34r.gif . Why did SailfishOS (community port and 'official' Jolla version run on gemini PDA?
Both are linux and have access to cellular data dry.gif . Or what means '... no way to enable cellular data ...'?

At the moment i did not have a SIM Card at my Gemini PDA, so i cannot verify that 'enable mobile data transfer' did work on the latest version.
But i remember that on earlier SailfishX versions it did work ...

On Cosmo forum i read, linux have access to phone and SMS (no mobile data transfer until now).
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idc
post Jun 20 2020, 11:34 AM
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QUOTE(gabs5807 @ Jun 20 2020, 03:04 PM) *
Strange information ph34r.gif . Why did SailfishOS (community port and 'official' Jolla version run on gemini PDA?
Both are linux and have access to cellular data dry.gif . Or what means '... no way to enable cellular data ...'?

At the moment i did not have a SIM Card at my Gemini PDA, so i cannot verify that 'enable mobile data transfer' did work on the latest version.
But i remember that on earlier SailfishX versions it did work ...

On Cosmo forum i read, linux have access to phone and SMS (no mobile data transfer until now).


Mobile data is definitely working on current version of Sailfish. It has kept me working from home via my data plan through 12 weeks of lockdown. I haven't made much use of the Gemian linux; but I thought that I'd read that some people had data working. I think Edward's quote above may be out of date. It was posted some time ago.
My understanding is that Planet are planning to release further work on Linux for Cosmo once they've got the latest Android update out of the way (which I believe has been promised for Monday). Sailfish (which depends on the Linux kernel) will then follow.
I'm hoping this isn't further derailed by covid/lockdown, etc.
Ian
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gemini_user_j
post Jun 21 2020, 03:06 AM
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QUOTE(idc @ Jun 20 2020, 09:34 PM) *
QUOTE(gabs5807 @ Jun 20 2020, 03:04 PM) *
Strange information ph34r.gif . Why did SailfishOS (community port and 'official' Jolla version run on gemini PDA?
Both are linux and have access to cellular data dry.gif . Or what means '... no way to enable cellular data ...'?

At the moment i did not have a SIM Card at my Gemini PDA, so i cannot verify that 'enable mobile data transfer' did work on the latest version.
But i remember that on earlier SailfishX versions it did work ...

On Cosmo forum i read, linux have access to phone and SMS (no mobile data transfer until now).


Mobile data is definitely working on current version of Sailfish. It has kept me working from home via my data plan through 12 weeks of lockdown. I haven't made much use of the Gemian linux; but I thought that I'd read that some people had data working. I think Edward's quote above may be out of date. It was posted some time ago.
My understanding is that Planet are planning to release further work on Linux for Cosmo once they've got the latest Android update out of the way (which I believe has been promised for Monday). Sailfish (which depends on the Linux kernel) will then follow.
I'm hoping this isn't further derailed by covid/lockdown, etc.
Ian


Can confirm date through sim card works on Gemian.

As regarding android update I asked for the hdmi output on android 8.1, and got a reply that a new android update would be released soon with a bugfix to the 90 degree screen rotation of external monitor.

given that they will release a fix for cosmo in the upcoming week, maybe there is a chance that gemini can get some maintenance smile.gif
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