[Android] Converting a brick into a phone

Andreas Fischer cyberfrag at gmx.net
Wed Dec 10 15:44:31 CET 2008

Rui Castro wrote:
> Hi,
> Like many people in this community I have my Neo resting comfortably
> in my desk because there isn't a stable OS with the basic phone
> funcionalities available at the moment (I already tried all the
> distributions available). Some distributions provide some of the basic
> stuff, but they're not reliable in many ways.
> Today I read a message from Wolfgang Spraul in the thread about the
> end of the Optimization Team that got me worried "The way things are
> going right now, we will probably have this release mid-next year.".
> Well, I think this is very bad. Electronic equipment, like
> phones/computers, become outdated in a very short period of time
> (GTA03 is already being created). By the mid-next year Neo will be
> pretty much an old phone and nobody really used it, yet.

I totally disagree. First, I do not think that phones age that quick. I
used an age-old Nokia phone (I think it was a 3510 - ca. 2002) until I
got my Freerunner this summer. Unless something unforeseen happens, next
summer the two Neos will _still_ be the only fully opensource
smartphones out there. Outdated or not - there is no competition.

Second, my understanding was that GTA03 is not yet created but only
planned at this stage. Hearing that not even the OM engineers have it
yet, I'd not expect gta03 before the next stable release.

Third, the statement that "nobody really used it, yet" is wrong unless I
am nobody. I am using it on a daily basis and from what I am reading on
this list, others are too.

Finally, we are not talking here about a release of a first working
software stack but about a switch to a different software stack from an
already working (though with several shortcomings) software stack.

> I think Android is the best candidate to turn the Neo into a daily
> usable phone right away. It has all the basic (and not so basic)
> applications, it has a good usability, good looks and the number of
> users/applications will grow very rapidly in the next months, I
> think.
> The current state of the Android port for Neo is already very
> encoraging and with a little effort from the community (and Openmoko
> people) Android could be fully functional in the Freerunner in a
> couple of weeks.

And why should Openmoko redirect its effort to Android? Low-level
improvements (like working on a new kernel) benefits Android anyway and
- for me at least - OM2008.9 also has "all the basic (and not so basic)
applications". Plus, it offers more than just a Java environment.

I'm sorry if this sounds a bit harsh, but I am a bit confused by people
constantly complaining: Either you have a completely different phone or
you came here with the wrong expectations. To me at least it was clear
when I got the phone that it wouldn't be "userfriendly" at least until
Q1/2009 (which seems to be a good guess now, seeing the release plan of


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