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News roundup: Updates for JingOS and Phosh, notes on PinePhone keyboard hacking

Developers at Purism have released a new version of the Phosh user interface for Linux phones, bringing bug fixes, usability improvements, and several other changes to this phone shell used by multiple smartphone Linux distributions including some versions of postmarketOS (which recently celebrated its fourth birthday, by the way). Meanwhile, the folks at Jingling have […]

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Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon modem M.2 card reference designs could bring 5G to more devices

Most modern flagship smartphones and many upper mid-range models are now shipping with support for 5G networks. But Qualcomm wants to make it easier for device makers to bring 5G support to laptops, desktops, virtual reality hardware, professional equipment, and other products. So the chip maker is launching a pair of M.2 card reference designs […]

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Lilbits: Remembering the Eee PC, meeting the Fitbit Luxe, and saying goodbye to FTP in Firefox

The year was 2007. Asus had already released the first Eee PC mini-laptop with a 7 inch display and a custom Linux distribution in Taiwan, and now it was available for purchase in the United States. Living in New York City at the time, I was able to run down to the (now defunct) J&R […]

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Open source PinePhone modem firmware now supports audio, GPS, and power management

Most modern smartphones actually run two different operating systems – there’s the one you interact with directly and there’s the firmware running on the modem system-on-a-chip, which is basically like its own little computer. So even a phone like the PinePhone that’s designed to run free and open source (usually Linux-based) operating systems might ship […]

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Future PinePhones will ship with Manjaro and Plasma Mobile (and other updates on the keyboard, modem firmware, and more)

After shipping five different PinePhone Community Edition models, each with a different operating system and/or user interface pre-installed, Pine64 ended the Community Edition program this month. So what’s next? A few things: Pine64 has announced that future PinePhones will ship with Manjaro Linux and the KDE Plasma Mobile user interface pre-installed. If you already have […]

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Qualcomm Snapdragon X65 is the first 10 Gigabit 5G modem (burn through data caps in seconds)

Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon X65 5G modem is the first modem that promises to deliver 10 Gigabit speeds over 5G networks. With theoretical top speed of 10 Gigabits Per Second (Gbps) or 1.25 Gigabytes per second (GB/s), you could download the equivalent of an hour of Netflix HD video every second. Of course, real-world speeds will likely be […]

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Hackers develop open source firmware for the PinePhone modem, use it to make phone calls

The PinePhone is an inexpensive smartphone designed to run free and open source operating systems like Manjaro, postmarketOS, Mobian, or Ubuntu Touch. But the phone isn’t 100-percent open hardware: its modem ships relies on proprietary, closed-source firmware. A team of independent developers are working to provide an alternative – and it looks like they’re getting […]

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Apple completes acquisition of Intel’s smartphone modem business

Intel gave up its efforts to compete with ARM when it comes to smartphone processors a few years ago, but the chip maker continued to develop modems for smartphones. Now Intel is officially out of that game too — this summer, Intel announced that it was selling its smartphone modem business to Apple. Now that […]

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Apple to buy most of Intel’s smartphone modem business

Apple is already kind of a big deal in the chip space. The ARM-based processors that power iPhones and iPads consistently outperform the competition in benchmarks. And a few years ago the company strengthened its control over its chips when it brought the graphics technology in-house, ending a partnership with Imagination Technologies. Now it looks […]

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Qualcomm announces second-gen 5G modem (before the first hits the streets)

The first smartphones with support for 5G networks are coming soon, many of which will likely use Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon X50 5G modem. But you can’t actually buy one just yet. That hasn’t stopped Qualcomm from introducing its second 5G modem though — and there’s actually a pretty good reason for that. The Snapdragon X55 5G modem is […]