Nowadays, most people are usually divided into Android smartphone users and Apple iPhones users. However, apart from these, there are those who really want to see a free-software smartphone with no trace of proprietary code or firmware. This is why Purism has started a crowdfunding campaign to build the Purism Librem 5 smartphone. To date, over half a million dollars have been raised, but there’s still about a month to go. Luckily, Purism has also joined forces with the GNOME community which is one of the most important organizations in the Linux community.
The Librem 5 smartphone is expected to be a secure smartphone which will allow users privacy protection by default. Its creators ‘plan is to advance the hardware platform as a GNOME/GTK phone device. The GNOME Foundation is determined to help Purism create hackfests, tools, emulators and build awareness regarding “GNOME on Librem 5.”
In addition to being an open source, Librem 5 Linux smartphone is also the world’s first ever IP-native mobile handset, using end-to-end encryption for calling, email, and messaging. It’s expected that this 5’’ device will ship with a metal case, multifunction port, and a high-resolution screen.
As part of the collaboration, if the crowdfunding campaign proves to be successful, the maker of the best desktop environment will assist with the Librem 5. It will enhance the GNOME shell and the general performance of the system with Purism in order to enable features on the Librem 5.
A number of GNOME technologies are used profusely in embedded devices these days, with GNOME developers experiencing some of the challenges that deal with mobile computing specifically with the One Laptop Per Child project’s XO laptop, FIC’s Neo1973 mobile phone and Nokia 770, N800 and N900.
Both GNOME Foundation and Purism executives have expressed their excitement. For instance, Todd Weaver, Founder, and CEO of Purism stated how Purism is excited to collaborate with many communities and organizations to advance the digital rights of people. He believes an endorsement from GNOME Foundation for the Librem 5 hardware will bring us one step closer to a phone that will be free from the handcuffs of Android and iOS.
In addition, Neil McGovern, Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation is confident that a free and open source software on a mobile device will be a dream come true for many people and Purism has the proven team to accomplish this.
With the help of GNOME, Purism’s chances for success with Librem 5 increase immensely, although there’s still a long way to go. But, if fans of open source and privacy stepped up and pledged additional funds to the crowdfunding campaign it would definitely make a difference.
Anyone who wants to contribute can pledge a mere $20 dollars and have their name added to the official backer’s list. This would be an excellent way to show your support of the open source community publicly.
We’re hoping Purism and GNOME can break through this two mobile OS world.