It’s been 7 years since Canonical failed to raise meet its crowdfunding goals for the Ubuntu Edge smartphone that was supposed to be a phone you could also use as a desktop computer thanks to “convergence,” which is a fancy way of saying you could plug in a keyboard, mouse, and display and use it like a desktop computer.
Today Pine64 announced a new PinePhone Convergence Pack that bundles a USB-C docking station with a PinePhone sporting slightly better-than-usual specs. Connect an external display and you can use it to run desktop apps.
I suspect it’s not a coincidence that several hours after that announcement, Purism published a blog post about “real convergence.” Without mentioning the PinePhone by name, the blog post points out that the Purism Librem 5 smartphone runs the same PureOS GNU/Linux operating system as the company’s laptop computers. It’s just been tweaked with a custom kernel so it can run on ARM hardware, and Purism designed a mobile-friendly shell.
Theoretically any desktop Linux app that’s compatible with ARM architecture should run on a Librem 5 when you connect an external display. But running some of the same apps without an external screen may be a problem if their developers haven’t optimized them for small screens.
Here’s a roundup of recent tech news from around the web.
- Investing in Real Convergence [Purism]
The same day that Pine64 starting selling a $200 Linux phone with a “Converence Pack” that lets you use it as a desktop, Purism wants you to know that its Librem 5 smartphone runs the same desktop Linux software as its laptops, for “true” convergence.
- Pinebook Linux laptop upgrade kits should be available in a few weeks [Pine64]
The upcoming Pinebook upgrade kit will let you (sort of) turn a $100 Pinebook Linux laptop into a $200 Pinebook Pro by replacing the AllWinner A64 chip and mainboard with a more powerful RK3399 board. You’re stuck with the old case though.
- DDR5 Specification Released: Fast RAM With Built-In Voltage Regulators [Tom’s Hardware]
DDR5 memory specification has been finalized, which means that SDRAM sticks with up to 128GB of high-speed memory could hit the streets in 2021.
- Introducing Peacock [Peacock]
NBC’s Peacock streaming service is now live. You can watch for free (with ads and a limited content selection), pay $5/month for access to everything (with ads) or $10 month for an Peacock Premium ad-free. Roku and Amazon Fire TV aren’t supported yet.
- How to install / sideload Peacock app by NBC on Amazon Fire TV or Firestick [AFTVNews]
NBC’s new Peacock streaming app may not officially support Roku or Amazon Fire TV yet… but there’s an Android app. And you can sideload it on a Fire TV, since Amazon’s platform is Android-based. Here’s how.
- Mozilla VPN exits beta [Mozilla]
As promised last month, Mozilla VPN is now live for Windows and Android users in the US, UK, New Zealand, Malaysia, and Singapore. For $5/month you can use the Wireguard-based VPN for secure, private internet connections.
- Lenovo Legion arrives for pre-order, key specs confirmed [GSM Arena]
Lenovo Legion smartphone specs leaked by a Chinese online store listing. Expect the gaming phone to have a 144 Hz display, a Snapdragon 865+ processor, a 5000 mAh battery, and 90W fast charging. Official launch is July 22.
- Akasa Pi-4 Pro fanless Raspberry Pi case [Akasa]
Akasa introduces Pi-4 Pro aluminum case fro the Raspberry Pi 4. The top cover works as a heat sink, and the kit comes with thermal pads, allowing for fanless use.
- NVMe Support Likely Coming to Raspberry Pi [Tom’s Hardware]
Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 coming within the next year, and it may support NVMe storage. It may also come to other Raspberry Pi devices in the future.
- Apple releasing iOS 13.6 today with Apple News+ Audio, Car Key feature [9to5Google]
Apple releases iOS 13.6 with new Apple News features including a daily audio briefing, more local and regional news sources, and a CarKey feature that lets you unlock and start some cars with your phone.