Hello dear friends! This, as I promised
, is a separate issue about Linux systems on mobile devices within the framework of the sunk into oblivion. In this issue, we will look at many different Linux projects that were designed to work on mobile devices, including tablets, smartphones, and PDAs. Despite the name of the column, I will also touch on the topic of current OSs. This will be done so that the reader, i.e. you, could make a complete picture of history - the history of the OS, which have sunk into oblivion and their successors.
Well then, under the cut! :)
NEO Series Devices and the Openmoko Linux Project
The first model is Neo 1973
, the second is FreeRunner
The first smartphone, built entirely on open source software - Neo 1973. Neo 1973 was given the name they say in honor of the fact that it was in 1973 that the first call from a cell phone was made by the inventor Martin Cooper himself. The phone itself was released for sale in 2007. The manufacturer of the device was a Taiwanese company FIC, which initiated a project called Openmoko in 2006. The name of the Openmoko OS is derived from the words "Open Mobile Communications" - specifically through "K". The project announcement took place at a conference in Amsterdam.
Now about the devices. In addition to the above 1973 model, which, by the way, was trial and sold for developers, there was also the Neo FreeRunner model, which was already intended not only for developers, but also for ordinary users. This smartphone is remarkable if only because it can run and work on many popular Linux distributions, for example, Debian, Gentoo, Slackware and others. Android also runs on the device.
The price of devices ranged from 450 to 600 US dollars. For those interested in deeper details of Linux distributions, I’ll inform you that Openmoko Linux is a distribution that runs on kernel version 184.108.40.206-moko10, uses X.org. Until a certain time, I used the GTK + 2.6.10-r9 library, but later switched to Qt Extended (formerly Qtopia, we will also talk about this software), but support for GTK + applications remained.
Interesting fact: there was no camera on both devices
This mobile phone was launched by Yuhua Teltech. You probably haven't even heard of her. However, you could hear about the customer company - this is the notorious Trolltech, now Qt Development Frameworks. This phone was released specifically to demonstrate the capabilities of the Qt interface on mobile devices (Qtopia). The device was released in 2006, but sales were already completed in 2007. The device sold at a fairly high price - $ 690, but was not intended for ordinary users. The device was sold with a set of developers, which hints at the target audience of the device.
In 2007, as I noted above, sales were over. I say “over” because the devices were sold completely. Trolltech said that the time has come for the much developed devices of the new generation - so they reported that they are transferring their achievements to the Openmoko project. Trolltech also adapted the Neo 1973 as the primary device for developers.
According to Qtopia users as a whole, the device worked comfortably on the 2.4 kernel with 64 MB of RAM. The Greenphone device had an LCD-touch screen, a processor with a frequency of 312 MHz, a built-in memory of 64 MB, expandable by MiniSD, Bluetooth and Mini-USB, as well as a camera with a resolution of 1.3 megapixels. The software on the device was completely free, with the exception of several components responsible for the operation of mobile communications.
Interesting fact: it is rumored that the device was named for a joke in honor of a Trolltech employee named Robert Green
Tizen Party: all related systems
As you know, Samsung is now actively developing Tizen - a system based on free Linux. This system was obtained thanks to several mergers of various projects, we will talk about them now.
Family tree of described systems
The name of this system is more obvious than ever - Linux Mobile Platform. This OS was developed by the LiMo Foundation, which was founded in 2007, although it was announced back in 2006. The main goal of the organization is to unify all Linux-based mobile devices and generally promote Linux to the masses. The founders of the fund were Japanese NTT DoCoMo, NEC and Panasonic Mobile Communications, as well as British Vodafone and Korean Samsung. Most manufacturers of telephones, software, and hardware joined the fund later.
LiMo Platform is an integral part of the LiMo Foundation strategy. In 2008, the LiMo Platform itself was presented at the notorious Mobile World Congress exhibition, as well as a set of tools for developers. For example, SDKs were presented for developing Linux, Java, and WebKit applications for the LiMo Platform. However, not only LiMo members worked to improve the SDK. At the same exhibition, it was announced that the R1 LiMo Platform version is already ready and in March 2008 the system will be released. By next year, the R2 LiMo Platform version was also released. As of 2009, about 40 models with this system have been released. Among the representatives of the Samsung model range, M1, H1 and H2 can be noted. I note that in the same 2009, Motorola fell to the status of "Associate Member", although before that it was one of the key partners. The reason for this is the emergence of the more popular Android, which Motorola has sided with.
In 2012, the LiMo Foundation received a new name, but more on that later.
I wrote about this system as part of an article on Nokia devices
based on Linux-based operating systems. I will tell a little more about this system.
Notebook Interface Option
As MeeGo, she appeared in 2010. It has existed under a different name since 2007 - it was the Moblin OS (Mobile Linux), founded by Intel. Later, Intel transferred the development to the Linux Foundation, where the system continued to be developed largely by Intel engineers. In 2010, the MWC system was officially unveiled as MeeGo. By the way, this system had interface options not only for smartphones, tablets and netbooks, but even for cars. The GENIVI Alliance, which consists of many famous manufacturers, including BMW, Hyundai, Renault, etc., decided that it was MeeGo that would act as the OS for cars. I note that representatives of the IT business were present in this alliance (Nokia, Cisco, etc.).
Tablet version of MeeGo
In the same 2010, AMD announced its determination to provide serious support and assistance in the development of the system. However, all plans were crossed out for one appointment. The appointment of a former Microsoft employee to the role of head of the Finnish company - we are talking about Stephen Elop. It was under his leadership that the company's strategy gained a new North Star - Windows Phone 7. I noticed that some people think that the strategy changed after the release of the N9 / N950, but this is not so - the strategy was changed even before the release of the legendary smartphone. I will not repeat myself, you better read the original article
about Linux on Nokia.
Home screen of car interface
To date, software from MeeGo (some of it) is used in Fedora 14.
This project was born as an alternative to Maemo for Nokia N8x0 series of Internet tablets. However, at the time of version 0.17 a more promising MeeGo was released and the Mer project was focused on porting MeeGo to all the same Nokia N8x0 Internet tablets. After Nokia left MeeGo, Mer became the basis for Sailfish OS and its less popular fellow Nemo Project. Both are aimed at continuing the MeeGo “dynasty”. I also mentioned both projects in an article about Nokia on Linux. Let me remind you that the Nemo Project is much closer to the MeeGo 1.2 Harmattan interface than Sailfish OS.
By the way, Mer served as the basis for Vivaldi - a tablet that worked on KDE Plasma Active and Mer. The tablet was supposed to be released back in 2012, but there were problems with the supply of iron (by the way, the Allwinner A20 SoC), and a tablet with a seven-inch screen and an estimated price of 200 euros was not released in 2012. The system was not optimized for new equipment, the release was disrupted. However, from the side of developers there were statements about the implementation of a certain computer for developers in January 2014.
I decided to write just a couple of sentences about this system, because it is just gaining momentum. I’ll just tell you that the aforementioned LiMo Foundation became the Tizen Association, and the achievements of MeeGo, and therefore Mobiln, became part of Tizen and live quietly in the wristwatch of Samsung Gear 2 or a smartphone, the release of which has been postponed several times, Samsung Z.
GPE 2.7 - one of the options for the Angstrom interface
I cannot but mention these systems. These are Ångström , Familiar , and Access Linux Platform . The first two are directly related - the first uses some of the best practices of the second and both projects are designed to work on the PDA. By the way, one of the first products with Linux on board in the PDA form factor was the Sharp Zaurus line, under which several projects were launched, including Familiar and Ångström.
Access Linux Platform
- a separate conversation. I will talk about one device. Its name is Emblaze First ELSE
. This smartphone runs on the mentioned Access Linux Platform, however it presents a very interesting and futuristic design. Better watch a hands-on video review to see how it works.
And here is the promotional video of the smartphone. More like a dystopian movie trailer
By the way, the launcher, made in the style of the menu of this phone, is available
on the Treshbox.
First Else. The icons on the left are touch buttons. Indicator zone (time, battery, etc.) - separate display
That's all for today, dear friends! I hope this release was informative for you. Any suggestions on this issue can be left in the comments. If you want to read about something in the next issues, write me in the inbox.
All good! :)