Capyloon mobile Web-based OS works on Pinephone Pro, Librem 5, Pixel 3a

Capyloon is an experimental Web-based OS leveraging b2gOS that served as the base for the now-defunct Firefox OS. The developers’ goal is to provide an open-source OS improving privacy and user control through web technologies. It’s still early stage, and some of the technologies used include the IPFS protocol, WebAssembly plugins, and the Tor network. Capyloon is more like a new phone shell as it replaces Phosh when installing it in a Linux smartphone. The first version of Capyloon released last month worked on Pixel 3a, other Android phones through a generic system image, and 64-bit x86 Debian machines. But since then, the developers added support for Apple M1, and yesterday they released Debian packages for PinePhone Pro and Librem 5 Linux smartphones to run Capyloon on top of a Mobian image. Instructions are as follows: Download the Debian package for PinePhone Pro or Librem 5 Install the package withsudo […]

PinePhone Pro Explorer Edition Linux smartphone is up for pre-order for $399

Pine64’s PinePhone Pro “Explorer Edition”, the successor of the PinePhone Linux smartphone with a much more powerful Rockchip RK3399S processor, is now available for pre-order for $399 on Pine64 store, but mostly for Linux developers since there’s still a lot of work to do before the phone becomes usable. Based on Allwinner A64 processor, the original PinePhone was the cheapest Linux smartphone you could get, but as a user, I can also say it’s sluggish and suspect only a few people have made it their main mobile device. The story should be a different story with PinePhone Pro with much better specs include on hexa-core Cortex-A72/A55 processor tweaked to consume less power than RK3399, 4GB RAM, 128 GB eMMC flash, and a 6-inch display that makes it more like a typical entry-level/mid-range smartphone. PinePhone Pro Explorer Edition specifications: SoC – Rockchip RK3399S hexa-core processor with 4x Arm Cortex A53, 2x […]

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Pine64 launches PinePhone Keyboard case, back covers with LoRa radio, fingerprint scanner, wireless charging

Pine64’s PinePhone Linux smartphone and its successor, the upcoming PinePhone Pro, are designed to be modular and extensible with a PinePhone Keyboard case prototype showcased here in April 2021 and aimed to transform the phone into what looks like a PDA. The design has now been refined, and Pine64 has just launched the PinePhone (Pro) keyboard case for $49.99, together with three back covers with either a LoRa module, a fingerprint scanner, or Qi wireless charging for $9.99 to $24.99 depending on the model. All are now available on Pine64 store. PinePhone (Pro) Keyboard Case Key features and specifications: ISO QWERTY layout with 54 keys in 5 rows. Note the key caps can be rearranged, so you could easily make an AZERTY or QWERTZ keyboard for example 180° hinge for two-hand typing on surface or thumb-typing when held Pogo pin connector to connect to PinePhone (Pro) smartphone USB – USB […]

PinePhone Pro Linux smartphone to feature a power-optimized Rockchip RK3399S processor

Pine64 has now announced the PinePhone Pro Linux smartphone with a Rockchip RK3399S hexa-core processor clocked at 1.5 GHz, that’s a power-optimized version of the popular Rockchip RK3399 processor. It will provide a noticeable upgrade to the PinePhone Linux smartphones launched in November 2019, which, by today’s standards, is quite underpowered. Besides the faster processor, PinePhone Pro also comes with 4GB RAM and 128 GB storage which should make it a better candidate at mobile desktop convergence, as well as a 5.95-inch display with 1440×720 resolution, a 13MP rear camera, a 5MP front-facing camera, and more. PinePhone Pro specifications: SoC – Rockchip RK3399S with an hexa-core processor comprised of 2x Cortex-A72 core @ up to 1.5 GHz, 4x Cortex-A53 cores, Arm Mali T860 quad-core GPU @ 500Mhz System Memory – 4GB LPDDR4 @ 800MHz Storage – 128GB eMMC flash storage, MicroSD slot Display – 5.95-inch 1440 x 720 in-cell IPS with […]

How to use PinePhone as a mobile hotspot

I’ve recently started using my Android phone as a mobile hotspot with mixed results so instead, I’ve switched to using PinePhone as a hotspot with Manjaro Arm Linux with Plasma Mobile instead, and performance seems much more stable now. Early this year, I received Pinephone with PostMarketOS beta, and after playing with it a bit I did not do much with it so far. But in recent times, I’ve been staying in various places without WiFi, so I purchased a lost cost SIM card with a one-year cellular data plan to be able to work from any location using my Android 10 smartphone (Huawei Y9 Prime 2019) as a mobile hotspot. It works most of the time, but sometimes I have massive packet loss, and the only way to recover is to turn off and on the hotspot, and in some cases even reboot the phone. Playing with settings on […]

PinePhone Keyboard to make for a cheaper, albeit slower Cosmo Communicator

Pine64 PinePhone is a popular Linux smartphone among the developers and Linux enthusiasts’ communities and some of the most popular Linux operating systems support by the phone include KDE Plasma Mobile, PostMarket OS, Manjaro, and UBports for an Ubuntu Touch like interface. But soon, you’ll be able to use your PinePhone like a portable Linux computer, a 5.95-inch mini laptop of sorts, that’s similar to the 2-in-1 Cosmo Communicator device, but at a much lower price, albeit with lower performance, thanks to PinePhone Keyboard accessory. The PinePhone Keyboard is not quite ready yet, but Lukasz Erecinski  (aka Luke) has shared the progress of the latest version of the prototype, and almost looks like a finished product, albeit we’re told another revision will be made as the tolerances on the keycaps are not suitable. Here are some of the main features we can expect from the keyboard: QWERTY keyboard (by default). […]

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Pine64 mailbag – PinePhone postmarketOS Edition, PineCone BL602 board, and Pinecil soldering iron

Pine64 community was pretty busy last year with the launch of several products. Recently I’ve received a couple of packages with some of those products, namely PinePhone Community Edition: PostmarketOS, PineCone WiFi & BLE IoT board based on BL602 RISC-V SoC, and Pinecil soldering iron also based on a RISC-V chip for control, but this time GD32V generic-purpose MCU. I’ll most show what I have received without going into too many details, except for PinePhone which I have already set up and used for one hour or so. PineCone BL602 board I received PineCone at the end of last year in a separate envelope with the board only. There’s not much to it with the BL602 processor offering WiFI and Bluetooth, a USB-C port for programming and power, and a few I/Os. The board is interesting as it is the first RISC-V IoT board with wireless connectivity built into the […]

PinePhone KDE Community Edition smartphone with Plasma Mobile now up for pre-order

PinePhone Linux phone first launched as an early adopter phone without any OS when the “Brave Edition” was first introduced in November 2019. Since then Pine64 launched variant with different Linux mobile OS including PinePhone Community Edition: UBports, the PostMarket Edition that also added support for mobile/desktop convergence with a model with more RAM and storage, as well as a USB-C Dock, and more recently there was a batch with PinePhone Manjaro Community Edition. If you haven’t already gotten your hand on one of the earlier models, you’ll be glad to know the PinePhone KDE Community Edition is now available for pre-order for the same $149.99 price tag for the phone only or $199.99 with the convergence package. PinePhone comes with Allwinner A64 quad-core Cortex-A53 processor that been around for many years. It’s not a performance beast, but it’s well supported by the open-source Linux community, and affordable. For $150, […]

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