Autonomía digital y tecnológica

Código e ideas para una internet distribuida

Linkoteca. PinePhone

Last summer in the first swings of the global pandemic, sitting at home finally able to tackle some of my electronics projects now that I wasn’t wasting three hours a day commuting to a cubicle farm, I found myself ordering a new smartphone. Not the latest Samsung or Apple offering with their boring, predictable UIs, though. This was the Linux-only PinePhone, which lacks the standard Android interface plastered over an otherwise deeply hidden Linux kernel.

As a bit of a digital privacy nut, the lack of Google software on this phone seemed intriguing as well, and although there were plenty of warnings that this was a phone still in its development stages it seemed like I might be able to overcome any obstacles and actually use the device for daily use. What followed, though, was a challenging year of poking, prodding, and tinkering before it got to the point where it can finally replace an average Android smartphone and its Google-based spyware with something that suits my privacy-centered requirements, even if I do admittedly have to sacrifice some functionality.

The definition of online privacy has been expanded to include many more elements beyond the basic definition. With today’s advanced Internet technology, having “privacy” is no longer simple. In fact, it is about being able to have much more control over the information that others can access about you and your activities. Many people are concerned about the security of their phones. While it may seem like common sense, many individuals do not realize how easy it can be for a person to take advantage of technology when they have the ability to secure their online privacy by using Linux secure phones.

Le téléphone est maintenant capable de se réveiller de la veille profonde (deep sleep) en cas d’appel ou de texto. On peut ainsi paramétrer la mise en veille pour augmenter la durée de la batterie sans craindre de rater un appel important. Ça allonge grandement l’autonomie, grâce à ça et d’autres améliorations l’appareil tient en moyenne un jour et demi, voire deux jours selon l’utilisation ; hourra !

Attention la fonction réveil de gnome-clocks ne sais pas faire sortir le téléphone de veille. On ne peut donc pas encore se réveiller avec le PinePhone, du moins pas sans bidouiller un peu, par exemple avec un script ou en installant l’application Wake Mobile (je n’ai pas testé).

Calls est encore pas mal perfectible. Exemple, lors d’un appel entrant, il affiche uniquement le numéro même si celui-ci est connu dans les contacts, avoir le nom serait plus pratique. Il m’est arrivé aussi que la sonnerie continue de jouer après avoir décroché ; c’est rigolo… ou pas, selon la situation.

Prendre une photo, pour le moment ça cafouille sévère, le résultat laisse à désirer mais ça s’améliore à chaque mise à jour de Megapixels.

L’autonomie est hautement perfectible, il faut le charger tous les jours, voire deux fois par jour selon l’utilisation. J’espère que les développeurs parviendront à mieux optimiser la consommation d’énergie dans un futur pas trop lointain.

The last thing I’m going to mention, and this is on me not Pine64 in any way, it caught me off guard that it’s running Manjaro. It shouldn’t have since it’s on the box and on the phone itself, but it did. I’ve been using Mobian with Phosh on the PineTab, and Manjaro with Phosh looks pretty much identical, but obviously tools like apt aren’t there. Tomorrow when I have the chance to look around a little bit more, I’m going to have to get myself in the Manjaro head space instead of a Debian based distro. I’m looking forward to it.

The PinePhone is a smartphone, developed by computer manufacturer Pine64, intended for allowing the user to have full control over the device. Measures to ensure this are running mainline Linux based mobile operating systems, assembling the phone with screws, so that it can be easily disassembled for repairs and upgrades[4], and including six kill switches / security switches for its hardware, which are accessible by removing the back cover of the phone.