Now that the PinePhone is arriving in users’ hands, it’s time to have a quick look at KDE’s Plasma Mobile on the Linux phone.
Last month, we took a closer look at how UBports’ Ubuntu Touch mobile OS progressed on the PinePhone, thanks to a video shared by developer Marius Gripsgård. Now, we have a sneak peek at another great system for the PinePhone, KDE’s Plasma Mobile.
Unlike Ubuntu Touch, which is a full-fledged mobile operating system, Plasma Mobile is actually a user interface (UI) for mobile devices running on top of a GNU/Linux distribution, such as KDE neon or the Alpine Linux-based postmarketOS.
Plasma Mobile developer Marco Martin attended FOSDEM 2020 earlier this month and reports on the awesome experience he had during the annual event for software developers, and how Plasma Mobile was received by the audience.
According to the developer, Plasma Mobile on the PinePhone was one of the main attractions at the KDE booth at FOSDEM, and that’s most probably because the mobile OS has progressed well in the past year becoming more stable and reliable for daily use.
In the short video below, Marco Martin shows Plasma Mobile running on the PinePhone. The video actually showcases the ability to drag plasmoid thumbnails from the widget explorer to the home screen.
Of course, there’s a lot of work to bring Plasma Mobile at the level of Ubuntu Touch, but viewing this new video I have to admit that Plasma Mobile is shaping up quite nicely on the PinePhone. Also, it looks like the Plasma Mobile and UBports teams are collaborating to make more apps available to users on both platforms.
Plasma Mobile can also run on Purism’s Librem 5 Linux phone, but I find PINE64’s PinePhone more accessible and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. If you have a PinePhone, you can test Plasma Mobile by downloading and flashing (instructions here) the latest KDE neon-based image from here or the postmarketOS builds from here.
Update: Developer Bhushan Shah also managed to add fully functional voice calls on the Plasma Mobile (see tweet below). I’ve also added instructions on how to download and flash Plasma Mobile on your PinePhone.
Today’s @postmarketOS with @kdecommunity Mobile features fully-functional audio calls with no manual routing required (other audio outputs works too!) Impressive work @BhushanNShah et al! https://t.co/lQW1rcBBUV pic.twitter.com/132ezRsrAX— PINE64 (@thepine64) February 20, 2020