I'm using Mobian on one of my phones (a PinePhone)

Some thoughts:

1. The installer was a pleasure. No weird incantatious or risks. Just a nice normal install.

2. I do need a few apps I don't have, and the software installer gui doesn't work. Specifically I need Signal, a maps app, and maybe maybe an Android emulator.

3. This phone is just too slow to use right now. It's just not usable.

4. I can't wait to try this on a faster device!

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@emacsen My biggest complaint about trying to use the PinePhone is the battery life and the fact the Phosh is still not always dealing with window sizes the right way. Yeah, it's a bit slow too.

@m0dese7en I agree, this is a nice foray into Free Software on phones, but this device is (honestly) more of a toy/developer tool than something I can imagine using every day.

@emacsen Do you think that the software can mature enough to make it more usable? I was thinking that the battery life may improve over time with better software.


Maybe? I'm going purely on price here, but I think about the fact this phone cost $150, when my Android phone cost ~$800.

I wonder how much more usable this OS would be on hardware that was more capable.

@emacsen For me the window sizing issue was the biggest problem. I am happy to use the same stuff I use on my GNU/linux desktop such as evolution, Gajim and so on for most things. In fact, that was a big draw to the idea of a GNU/Linux based hand computer that can make phone calls. I will deal with it being slightly slow for having those things available.

@emacsen And of course battery life is a larger issue than the others. Software-wise I am happy using desktop-centric stuff if it can reflow to the display of the pinephone.


I don't think signal-desktop will work. There's a specific signal app for phones I saw. That's a big one for me since everyone I know uses Signal now.

@emacsen If I recall, you can bring your signal profile from your hand computer to your desktop computer, but can't run both simultaneously.

@m0dese7en You can absolutely do both simultaneously, I do it every day.

The issue is I don't think signal-desktop runs on the phone, or at least doesn't look right.

@emacsen Oh, I understand. I really haven't used signal much and when I do it is a fork called Molly. My experience has been limited. Do you ever wonder why nobody will use xmpp? Conversations is a nice program.


Configuration is the main issue, I think, but also reliability.

Let's compare the steps to use Signal vs XMPP.


1. Find a good client for your platform

2. Find a server that will let you register with them (if you're lucky and don't have to run your own!)

3. Register with the server and choose a username.

4. Be sure to configure OMEMO with the client (often not default).

5. Manually check with each friend, find out that OMEMO doesn't work seamlessly across clients.




1. Click on the URL that someone can send you that says "Join Signal" and install the application.


I suppose the same argument could be made against the fediverse vs twitter.

I can understand when it comes to the average person not wanting extra things to figure out, I am surprised that more technical people aren't using something outside of signal.

@m0dese7en Yes, the Fediverse has much of the same problem indeed. Discoveryability is a real issue, but so is just finding a server to live on, and then finding people to connect to. It's seriously a non-trivial issue.

@emacsen While I understand when people don't want to have to take extra steps to get something working, the downside is they lose a certain amount of flexibility and control in the long run when they choose not to. Signal is a good example. Signal goes down...signal is down, no comm. One fediverse server goes down, the rest of the fediverse keeps going.


There are solutions that could solve this, but let's just address the first problem- finding an instance.

How does one find an instance to live on for something like XMPP or ActivityPub? What steps do they need to find instances?

How do they compare instances?

How can someone determine the privacy and reliability implications of one instance vs another before joining?

How do you configure your client to use the server?

@emacsen It seems like this problem is exactly what we've faced with email. This is why so many people just go directly to gmail or yahoo or msn rather than try to look for anything else.

As a technical person though, would you use XMPP more if you knew more people using it? Or, would you still avoid it because of the issues you mentioned?


I run an XMPP client. I know two people who are on, that's it.

I'd use it more if more people used it, but I couldn't even get my fiancee to use it, and she's a professional developer who cares about privacy as much as I do, because the client was complex and didn't do notifications right on her phone.

But I also tried to communicate with @Lofenyy over XMPP and we never got it to work, and he's technical too!

I like to hear about these experiences. I have xmpp but nobody I know will use it. Mostly because they don't know anybody using it. When I have set it up in the past it has been on my devices and my kids devices and it has worked great.

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@emacsen @m0dese7en Yeah, it was awful but totally my fault in retrospect. I use a server that only allows encrypted traffic, and I was running Trisquel which only had support for older software packages. Things would have been fine if I used a different server. I would also be willing to use it more if others used it too.

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