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Comment Apps on Non-Adroid OS (Score 1) 128

has anyone actually demonstrated this is feasible,

As mentionned above, Myriad's Alien-Dalvik has and is the official commercial solution powering the Jolla Phone in my pocket (and what I use with countless android apps).
I think I remember that this was also the official solution use by BlackBerry back when they offered Android Apps support on their (non-android) OS.
This was also a solution considered for HP/Palm's webOS... but the whole platform went belly up before commercial deployment.

SFDroid is another solution for SailfishOS, but opensource and thus used successfully by the community ports (e.g.: on Fairphone 2). I haven't tested this one.

Shashlik is yet another one, but I don't know how far they've reached.

WSL is what microsoft tried, but unlike the above, they weren't successful (and recycled it into the form that we now know of).

is it legally possible (would Google lock out such an OS)?

Technically possible :
- yes, I'm doing it, and countless of other sailfish OS users.

Legally possible :
- murky. In theory Google requires a commercial license between them and the phone constructor, in order to allow them to use the full commercial "Google Play" experience (as opposed to simply using the opensource android).

e.g.: As Jolla has never secured such a license (and the fact that it runs on a completely different OS might probably contradict the usual terms about the "google experience") the Alien-Dalvik installation on Jolla phones doesn't come with Google Play, but with Aptoid (and optionnally Yandex).
By default they activate a couple of repositories containing a few apps that have been curated and known to work good on the phones.

In practice:
- Google has never done anything against end-user sideloading Googe Play Store into their phones (be it Cyanogen-modded, running Alien-Dalvik, etc.)
And you could understand clearly why :
- They DO have interest going against crappy no-name chinese clone-makers, because it might degrade the perception of their Google Play brand.
- They HAVE NO interest going against en users. On the contrary: As this is end-user installed, Google don't need to go at great length to insure support (I might have found 1 or 2 applications that don't work on my phone). And as it is an *apps store*, google can earn tons of users who are happy to install paid content on their phone (There's at least a couple of games that I've paid).
So google has very strong monetary incentives to let users keep installing Google Play Store on unlicensed platforms.

Comment Mice (Score 1) 230

Actually, the technology HAS BEEN used in computer mice.
(which do not use that much power, and thus the lower energy density of older supercaps wasn't such a big deal).

of course, the supercap is small in order to fit into a computer mouse.
last I've heard about these (a couple of years ago), the mouse would charge literally in seconds, and could be used for a couple of hours in a go.

So if you leave the mouse on its charging craddle for a few seconds whenever you make yourself a coffe (or go to the toilett, or even just stretch your legs) you never have an empty mouse.
(as opposed to a mouse with a lithium battery, which won't be fully charged that fast enough)
   

Comment Palm apps eco-system (Score 3, Informative) 92

focused products that addressed a specific need.

They were *marketed* for specific needs...

They were not general purpose computers that smartphones are now.

They were the exact precursor of smartphones now :
they were general purpose computers, on which you could install tons of additional apps to extend functionality.
(with SDK and documentation provided by Palm).

After PSION with their EPOC OS (ancestror of Nokia's SymbianOS),
Palm's PalmOS was the next big eco-system that saw big development of 3rd party apps.
It is dwarfed by the current Android and iOS apps ecosystems, but back then it was quite an achievement.

You could find and install game, web browser, email client, GPS/Nav software, console emulators, some very domain-specific apps (Epocrate, a medical drug database started its life on PalmOS), etc.

Comment Jolla Phone keyboard (Score 2) 128

or it's going to be a slider, which have proven to have mechanical problems

3rd party have successfully designed keyboard which are magnetic slide.
(No mechanical parts. Just carefully aligned magnet that accept 2 stable positions. Either the keyboard stuck to the back of the smartphone, or stuck in "slide out position" with the keys available for typing and the pogo-pins aligned with the contacts).

I you don't want the keyboard, you just remove it (un stick it).
This of course requires the availability of pogo-pins.
Jolla's phone and Fairphone's phone 2 were both designed with extra pins so that 3rd parties could invent such gadgets.

Android OS and access to the Google Play store.

Technically, only the "access Google Play store" part is important.
It just happens that Android OS is the most straight-forward solution to run Android Apps, but...

Going with a non-Android OS is doomed to failure, because of the apps;

...unless this non-Android OS also runs android apps.
Like the Alien-Dalvik engine available inside the Sailfish OS - for whose development Nokia already paid, until Elop decided to drop that R&D team (who subsequently formed Jolla)

Comment Linux on Nokia hardware (Score 1) 128

Firstly, Android is Linux. But in the sense meant here, no.

I think the parent poster might be referring to GNU/Linux.
Android does use the Linux Kernel, but slaps a completely different user space atop of it.
(Mostly written in "I Can't Believe it's Not Java(tm)" in addition a few core libraries replaced with alternatives that have non-GPL licensing, like the Bionic C library).

Bringing another OS into play in a market that is sewn up by two major players is pretty much guaranteed to fail

...except if that 3rd OS does run the Apps of one of the 2 major players.
Which is exactly what *Windows* failed to do (Android apps never got supported, at least the technology got recycled into WSL)
Which is where HP/Palm's WebOS bid on the wrong horse (They counted on compatibility with classic PalmOS apps. It did make sense back when they started designing webOS - as PalmOS used to be a major platform back then. But didn't make any sense as webOS smart phones go released - as Android had became the main platform).

At the end of the day, end-user don't care that OS their smartphone run.
They only care if they can play the same games/use the same chat app as everybody else.
Thus it's the app availability which is the most important.
As long as your OS can run Android Apps and tap into its vast eco-system, you're golden.

and I really don't see what a Linux phone would do for the average consumer.

Lower spec requirement, as proven by Sailfish OS.
Thus :
- either being able to run on lower-spec smartphones (and that's the reason while SFOS is being considered by some 3rd party developpers)
- and in theory should able to have more headroom on flagship specs smartphones.

A few other advantages (Turing Industries apparently found it easier to secure).

Do really think Nokia/HMD Global should waste millions of Euros in R&D to develop a Linux phone distribution just to satisfy a handful of nerds?

In practice, they *ALREADY WASTED THESE EUROS*. Then Elop sacked the R&D team, who went to create Jolla and develop SailfishOS.
The Linux OS already exist.
Nokia already paid for it.
It would be a bad business idea not to at least consider using what they've already paid to develop.

Comment Huawei? (Score 1) 20

This is "conspiracy plot"-level of hypothesis, but maybe is this remotely linked to Huawei desire to get a bigger part of the smartphone pie and wanting to be more present?
Sure, Samsung get more publicity around their note 7 than any other exploding lithium battery, now the usual corruption scandal suddenly starting to surface the media more prominently...
This bad publicity, among other, surely serves Huawei's goals.
Might simply be simply happy coincidences. Might be some influencial chinese people pulling a few strings.

Comment Encryption (Score 1) 56

Technically Skype was supposed to use RC4
(which is completely crappy so it doesn't work).

In practice, Skype specially since the Microsoft buyout isn't opposing 3rd party clients.
(e.g.: there's a 100% opensource Purple/Pidgin/Adium plugin that relies on the web.skype interface and works on Linux)
(And in practice Skype heading toward the direction of packaged webapps anyway. Just don't mind the current incompatibility between microsoft's ORTC and the rest of the universe' WebRTC)

Which means you could use an encryption layer such as OTR over it between any compatible client.

(Some of which are entirle opensource stacks : eg.: Pidgin + WebSkype plugin + OTR - thus verifiably encrypting and provably secure.
Meanwhile, WhatsApp is entirely closed source and puts as much efforts as possible to kick out and perma-ban any attempt at alternative client.
So yes, they have *announced* that they use Axolotl / Silent Circle-style encryption but you have to *trust* them. No way to control if encryption is properly used at all. Nor whether WhatsApp hasn't been forced by government to but a hidden backdoor)

Comment Which platform ? (Score 1) 56

WhatsApp in the meantime is there on many more platforms.

Of which most are soon-to-be-deprecated (like S60, BlackBerry, etc. basically anything that isn't iOS nor Android)

Or are nothing more than a glorified remote viewer-over-html (for Windows/Mac OS X/Linux) and needs to be used together with the phone app.

So, all things said, WhatsApp only supports iOS and Android officially too, like everyone else.

And although they started as a variant of Jabber/XMPP, WhatsApp has been extremely active in trying to shut down and perma-ban any attempt at a 3rd party client.

Comment Limitations... (Score 1) 90

How about phone manufacturers spend the extra dollar that it costs to put in the trivial circuitry necessary so that you can apply almost any voltage, current, or polarity to the device without it going up in smoke?

Well....

I. "...but how will Marketing be able to insist that this year's phone is 0.5mm thinner than last year, and 0.25mm thinner than the competition (and accidentally also be able to cut cheese)".
(a.k.a.: The Apple Audio Jack stupid excuse)

II. "...but then this noname phone will cost 1 dollar more than the competition and the sheeple will rush to the cheapest shit available which WON'T be us anymore".
(a.k.a.: The shitty excuse of most cheap low quality chinese electronics)

III. "...what is this 'protection circuitry' you're speaking about ? I can't understand your mumbo jumbo. What... ? 'How I got there... ?'
Last week I was soldering vacuum-cleaner's control boards, and because I am apparently able to yield a soldering iron, my brother-in-law recruted me because his neighboor got an humongous order for this latest popular wireless smart-gizmo and suddenly needs more people to fullfill all these orders as the speed at which their are coming. And this gizmo is so popular and trending right now, that there's so much money to be made!...
What you ask... ? 'What I've been doing before vacuum cleaners ?' Well my 3rd cousin taught me to use a soldering iron because he needed to fullfill a batshit crazy huge amount of order on these 'Hover-board'-thingy and apparently, because I'm a bit handy (was sewing jeans the week before)."

(a.ka.: The horrendous 'but it is so cheap' excuse of any shitty gadget that has become hugely popular overnight. Too much popular for it's own good.
See: Hoverboards recently, see laptop batteries in the early 2000s, etc.)

IV. "...to actually try to conquer them by economically bankrupting them by selling them critically important equipement that is buggy..."

(a.k.a.: actually doesn't happen *that much* in China because "there's so much money to be made!!!".
But actually was believed by USA during the cold war and they hoped that they'll manage to pull such a trick on the URSS, as if the URSS would never know and hire tons of cheap labor to debug the the flawed equipment.
And as if the URSS would be able to bankrupt themselves on their own due to other circumstances)

Comment Blame... (Score 1) 90

It will start a fire, and you will blame the cell phone battery

No, you wont. Because there wasn't any "Samsung" name written on the phone.

(Just don't pay attention to the other phone manufacturer tip-toe-ing out of the room trying not to attract attention to the fact that Samsung probably aren't the only smartphones in the whole universe to ever catch fire).

Comment Responsibilities (Score 1) 90

The step-down regulator could have failed and dumped high voltage into the battery. The temperature sensor could have failed or the threshold been set too high and allowed thermal runaway.

Technically, on modern (non NiMH, not Li-Ion used in RC cars) batteries - both Lithium-Ion and Lithium-Polimer - the battery controller (and its array of sensors) are built *into* the cell.

So, the shitty dead-cheap 3rd party non-actually compliant chargers (that google is warning against) won't be responsible to handle thermal exception in the battery. The battery cell itself will have circuitry to detect high temperature and shut down.

- No matter how shitty the charger, the battery manager will shut down the battery if the temperature gets too high.
- Conversely no matter how high quality the charger, it won't detect and react to any temperature change inside the battery. It will just deliver perfectly stable ripple-free 5V (or higher for newer USB charging standard), right up until the point it detects a problem on its side (e.g.: over-current following a battery failure due to the whole phone being on fire).
- On the 3rd hand: yeah a non-shitty actually-standard-compliant charger is much less likely to fail and dump the wall plug's full 220 volts straight to the phone.

Comment Dongle company : Yes !!!! (Score 1) 347

I think they are turning into a dongle company where they plan to make their money selling dongles to let you connect all their hardware together.

Yes.
Best proof is when you compare the price of chinese knock of and Apple-certified dongles.
The only single difference between a plain simple adapter/cable that you can build yourself, and apple's over-priced stuff, are the special chips whose only puprose boils down to "So we can charge you for expensive Apple-certified dongles"

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