The Purism Librem 5 Linux smartphone has had a long and storied journey. Purism was one of the first companies to announce plans to release a smartphone capable of running software based on a mainline Linux kernel… but it took years for the company to actually begin shipping phones to customers who had placed pre-orders, many of those folks are still waiting for their phones, and those who get tired of waiting and request refunds often have to wait months to get their money back… if they get it at all.
But Purism has also invested heavily in making mobile Linux a thing. While Pine64’s PinePhone and PinePhone Pro are much cheaper than the Librem 5 and ship much more quickly, Pine64 doesn’t write any code at all for its devices, and instead relies on community members to make the hardware useful with software. Purism, meanwhile, has used money raised through Librem 5 orders, among other things, to help fund development of the Phosh mobile user interface, Phoc Wayland compositor for phones, and much more. All of which is to say… it’s completely understandable that some folks who have been waiting years to receive a phone or a refund say Purism is running a scam… the truth is probably more complicated than that. But that’s cold comfort if you’re out $600 to $1300.
Here’s a roundup of recent tech news from around the web.
Purism takes years to ship its Librem 5 Linux phone to customers, but has a lousy track record with refunds [Purism forum/ Louis Rossman YouTube video)
Linux laptop and smartphone company Purism has done a lot to help make Linux usable as a smartphone OS. But the company burns through a lot of good will by charging high prices for its hardware (the price of a Librem 5 smartphone has more than doubled since it first launched), taking years to ship devices to folks who pre-order, and then delaying or denying refunds.
But Purism is the driving force behind one of the most popular mobile Linux graphical use interfaces. And the latest version, Phosh 0.30.0 is now available. It includes a number of bug fixes and updates, support for saving screenshots at full res, and more.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE has passed through the FCC, where it’s known by the model number SM-X610 and/or X616B. The upcoming tablet is expected to be a cheaper alternative to the S9, S9+ and S9 Ultra.
Starting with version 16.1.0 of the Google code scanner API, there’s optional support for auto-zoom, which means that QR code scanning apps that make use of the API can detect if a QR code is too far away to pick up normally and automatically zoom in without user intervention.