I don’t have an awful lot of information extra to the video you see above, but I couldn’t not share it once I’d seen it as JingOS is one of the more exciting projects in the Linux space of late.
In a video posted to its official YouTube channel, the folks behind JingOS demo a recent build of their distro running on a (unbranded) smartphone, presumably natively, on ARM hardware.
Could this clip be a hint that the tablet-focused Linux distro won’t be quite so slate-fixated going forth?
JingOS Linux Phones?
The Linux smartphone scene is in rude health thanks, in large part, to the development efforts sprung up in support of Pine64’s PinePhone and Purism’s Librem 5 handset.
KDE Plasma, the desktop environment JingOS UI is built on, is no stranger to mobile either as Plasma Mobile was recently selected as the default OS for the PinePhone.
JingOS isn’t exactly subtle about finding ‘inspiration’ in the design of Apple’s iPadOS. That could become a problem if the project’s audience swells to a sizeable degree.
Homage isn’t the best strategy longterm but I think there is some logic in adopting a “follow their blueprint” approach this early: it’s easier to get up and running as devs can focus on creating the UI rather than designing in.
Not that JingOS is a straight clone, of course. Superficially similar? Yes. But JingOS is technically distinct from Apple’s iPadOS; it’s a Linux distro built using open source software. The recent JingOS 0.8 release is buggy (not a criticism; development has to start somewhere) but it’s promising. So idea of the same UI squeezing down to work on phones too?
JingOS is an Ubuntu-based Linux distro with ARM ports. Its UI is just a KDE Plasma-based desktop environment. There are few technical reasons why the distro can’t scale down to phones or up to full PCs.
That said, it would be a shame if JingOS splintered its attention on pursuing too many form factors too soon. If JingOS is able to deliver its vision of a true Linux tablet it could be a game change. A phone is the next logical step — but a solid foundation is essential first.
This video is an early peek, but remains somewhat un-functional as an actual phone (you may notice there’s no cellular connection in the video, or any app for making calls).