Mobile phones are still one of those sectors where hardware and software are for the largest part proprietary. If you’re in tough luck you even have a phone which is locked by your network operator, or one that’s branded with some company logo’s you never wanted but get to look at every time the damn thing starts up anyway.
Well, OpenMoko is intending to change all that by offering you an open source mobile phone. That is hardware and software we are talking about here, yes indeed. The whole thing is still pretty much in a starters phase, but they do have a working phone for sale and an operating system based on Linux which can be installed on a number of supported phones already.
As said, this is pretty much in an alpha phase, so don’t get your hopes up if you want to ditch that OS on your current phone. You might end up with a useless phone afterwards, but if you’re feeling like giving this a shot on a spare mobile you have lying around, why the hell not. You might pick up some l33t skillz on the way, and help this project one step closer to a release candidate.
I love the idea and possibilities of this project. If this grows into a stable and usable phone OS, the advantages will be huge compared to using proprietary systems. Think about porting your data and applications from one phone to another without limitations. Adding software and features to your phone will be your choice, and (probably) free.
Screw the iPhone. This will be the true geeks phone, if it isn’t already.
Looking for a new cellphone a while ago, I was going to look out for a few things I learned from my last phone. Now that was a cheap Toshiba model (yup, they make phones as well, or at least made phones…) which did everything a basic phone needs to do, make and receive calls and write text messages.
The phone did have a battery which didn’t last long and sometimes it just died in mid-conversation, which just plain sucks, so it was time for something newer an fancier (oooh). I wasn’t going to go for an odd brand again, but something well known. This at least should make it easier to find spare parts, which turned out to be a real problem when my previous cells adapter short-circuited on me…
Connectivity was also very limited with the old phone. You had to buy an expensive data cable to be able to connect to get some ringtones and more of that fancy gimmicks on it, or use iMode… which is also expensive.
So basically I was looking for a new phone which has the following qualities:
- priced under 200 euros
- good looking
- open connectivity, eg. BlueTooth
- realtones : no shitty midi-tunes plz as ringtones
- T9 text messaging, with learning capacity if possible
So while looking over some sites, and comparing models, I fell in love with this baby. The motorola v360.
This one has all I wanted, and more. Like a 64MB memory card for tunes and pictures, and the obligatory digital camera of course (it’s hard to find a phone without it these days) but it turns out it’s power cable for recharging is actually a plain USB interface! My digital cam uses exactly the same kind of port to connect to my PC, and so I use the same cable to download and upload to my phone. Don’t even need a bluetooth USB dongle on my PC or anything, ain’t that sweet? The T9 rocks on it as well, but the USB interface is brilliant, and it’s not even in the listed features.
I always liked Motorola, so that doesn’t have to change I guess.
One shitty thing about it though, the phone is branded with the cellphone company logo’s. No way to remove it. If anyone has any experience on how to get rid of that without fucking it up, I’d appreciate some pointers.