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Librem 5 Purism wants to create a GNOME mobile shell

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Come January, a new breed of smartphones from the Linux computer maker Purism will be in the market which is already flooded.

Librem 5  raised more than $1.5 million through pre-orders already which is a real feat. This smartphone will have

  • NXP i.MX8 processor,
  • Purism’s PureOS operating system,
  • Multiple interfaces support including Ubuntu Touch, KDE Plasma Mobile, and Purism’s own GNOME-based user interface.
  • 5 inch or 5. display with a 2:1 7 inch aspect ratio,
  • Chamfered edges rather than round ones,
  • A lock screen,
  • Support for PIN-based unlocking,
  • A home screen with icons for installed apps,
  • A status bar with time, battery,
  • Audio,
  • Network indicators, and
  • A button bar with a home button.
  • On-screen keyboard for text input, and a
  • Modified contacts application

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Purism provides GNOME mobile shell, which could be used on other phones running other GNU/Linux-based software.

GNOME interaction designer Tobias Bernard is joining Purism as a UI/UX designer for the Librem 5 smartphone. This German free software advocate believes the Librem 5 has more potential than Ubuntu Touch or Firefox OS due to its freedom and privacy focus and using a full GNU/Linux stack rather than mixing with Android drivers.

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Purism has announced “the UI will be GTK-based, and we’re using upstream GNOME apps (which we’re adapting with a responsive layout). We’ll also be working on new applications for the phone, such as Calls and Messages, which will work on the desktop as well. We want as much of this work to go upstream, so it can benefit all GNOME users.”

It will be interesting to see how quickly the new GNOME applications can come together considering Purism’s iMX8-powered smartphones coming out next year will be a game changer. But the open software advocates are bit secretive of the features.

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