Development of the PinePhone keyboard has just about wrapped up, and this accessory for the $150 Linux-friendly phone should be available soon for around $50.

The hardware has been finalized and sent out to a number of folks for testing, and megi has created open source firmware for the keyboard that will be loaded at the factory before keyboards are shipped to customers. But if you want to flash your own firmware, you can do that too.

PinePhone keyboard demo from Martijn Braam

Here’s a roundup of recent Linux smartphone news from around the web.

Wrapping up Pinephone keyboard firmware development [megi]
Summary of the work that went into creating Megi’s open source firmware for the upcoming PinePhone keyboard. Development has now concluded, and the keyboard will ship with this firmware preinstalled.

PinePhone keyboard prototype #3: flashing firmware and demo [Martijn Braam/YouTube]
Martijn Braam’s video shows the process for flashing the new open source firmware on the PinePhone keyboard (since the firmware wasn’t pre-installed on this prototype, Braam had to perform a bit of surgery involving opening the case and using a soldering iron, but most folks who get the final version of the keyboard will not need to do this), and provides a demo of Megi’s firmware in action.

WayDroid comes to Ubuntu Touch for the Google Pixel 3a [Codemaster Freders]
WayDroid, a new(ish) utility that allows you to install the Android-based LineageOS on a Linux phone in order to run Android applications, is now available for Ubuntu Touch on the Google Pixel 3a, a fairly popular phone due to a mix of an affordable price tag and an excellent camera. Plus, Google’s Pixel phones are usually a little easier to unlock and flash custom ROMs on than Android phones from other companies.

How to overclock (or underclock) the PinePhone CPU [Danct12]
This guide for overclocking or underclocking the PinePhone’s Allwinner A64 processor requires compiling your own kernel and it’s aimed at advanced users willing to risk bricking their device. But still, pretty cool that it’s possible.

Librem 5 support in mainline Linux [Purism]
The Purism Librem 5 smartphone can run a mainline Linux kernel without any changes, but without some drivers and optimizations, some features may not work as intended. But Purism is working to upstream many of those patches for inclusion in the mainline kernel.

Making Jitsi Meet video calls on a PinePhone [@linmobblog summarizes recent developments]

Jitsi Meet is an open source alternative to Zoom, Google Meet, and other proprietary video calling apps. And now it’s possible to make calls using the service on a phone, using gstreamer  for VP8 hardware-accelerated video decoding… although it’s a bit limited at the moment. Only 2-person calls are supported, and CPU usage is pretty high. 

You can keep up on the latest Linux smartphone news by following Linux Smartphones on Facebook and Twitter or by subscribing to our RSS feed.

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6 replies on “News roundup: PinePhone keyboard, mainline Linux kernel, and Waydroid”

  1. Sorry, you lost me when I saw your ad for gun holsters. I don’t trust anyone who supports one of the most pressing, current, public health issues. Do you really believe in this crap or are you so desperate for ad revenue?

    1. Our ads are provided programmatically by AdThrive, which is third-party service. I’ve disabled many controversial ad categories, but they don’t seem to provide an option to block gun & weapon ads. I’ll ask them if they’ll consider an option to disable those though.

      1. So it turns out that Google AdSense allows ads for gun parts and accessories designed to make them “safer,” and doesn’t provide a simple way to block all ads in this category:

        But AdThrive tells me that if you take a screenshot of a specific ad, we can use that to block ads from that particular advertiser from showing up on this site. So in the future if you see anything problematic, feel free to get in touch using our contact page to let me know and I’ll see what we can do:

    2. I don’t like your attitude and think you’re just acting like a bully.
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