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Porting SailfishOS to TECNO mobile phone

asked 2018-03-26 16:14:56 +0300

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updated 2018-03-26 16:14:56 +0300

sonox gravatar image

Hi folks,

A few weeks ago, I read a book on the downfall of “Nokia Mobile Phones”. It was a rather impressive read and new stuff I have never heard of before like MeeGo, Mer, SailfishOS, etc. were mentioned.

Over the past weeks I read quite a lot about SailfishOS, Jolla, the community, etc. and I have become quite fond of it. It’s kind of funny, since I don’t even have a SailfishOS mobile phone. All is just theory for me at this point. Anyway, I have ordered for a Sony Xperia X and can move from theory to hands on real soon. I’m rather excited about this.

I recently came across a newer brand of mobile phones, which is TECNO produced in China and sold mostly in West-Africa. Some of these phones have rather impressive specs.

Fact is that CM/LineageOS/libhybris do not support them. In addition, it may be difficult to get the attention of the producers, who are focused on Android only.

I got to understand that popular mobile phone producers like Samsung, Google, etc. make porting harder due to closed source stuff and the use of fancy hardware. I think that TECNO may not have these issues. They rather use standard components with common kernels and drivers. This should reduce porting time considerably with the help of a few porting experts.

I know that the info I’m giving here is very limited to come up with better answers. However, I’ve come to understand that there is a lot of expertise available in the community in regard to porting devices.

A had a closer look at the specs of TECNO mobile phones and it appears that there is quite some variability using different SoC’s. Is there a preference apart from being ARM powered?

Anyway, what do you think of my plan to port SailfishOS to TECNO mobile phones?

Is this idea reasonable or should I better forget about it?

Is there a real chance to succeed?

How bad does it look?

What is the best approach to get this done?

Ok, that’s all I have for now. I look forward hearing from you soon! Please let me know if you need more information.

Kind regards, Sonox

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In regard to SailfishOS it’s rather worse than better. Tecno seems to exclusively partner Mediatek, a company not known to accommodate open technologies and sharing code. Xiaomi seems to be way ahead in that regard.

sonox ( 2018-03-29 17:44:49 +0300 )edit

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answered 2018-03-26 16:53:11 +0300

Giacomo Di Giacomo gravatar image

SailfishOS runs on the Android HAL, specifically the Cyanogenmod/LineageOS for older models and AOSP for Sailfish X, so if these are not available for a specific model there is no easy way to port SailfishOS.

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answered 2018-03-27 07:30:28 +0300

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updated 2018-03-27 07:30:28 +0300

sonox gravatar image

Hi Giacomo,

Thanks a lot for your feedback!

So basically you are saying that to make a SFOS port work easier I have to get support at Cyanogenmod/LineageOS/AOSP level, right?

If so, should I rather go for CM/LineageOS or AOSP? It seems that CM/LineageOS has a great community with lots of experience and support.

Where is the SailfishOS community heading? Are they also moving away from CM/LineageOS toward AOSP?

Kind regards, Roman

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Many people here can answer better than me, but I'm not aware of a way of porting SFOS at all without Cyanogenmod or (currently only for Sailfish X) AOSP. Please note that unofficial ports cannot use licensed parts of SFOS (since Jolla does not own them and cannot release them for public use), which means basically Android support and predictive text input. More info at https://sailfishos.org/develop/hadk/

Giacomo Di Giacomo ( 2018-03-27 10:44:19 +0300 )edit
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answered 2018-03-27 14:04:11 +0300

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updated 2018-03-27 14:04:11 +0300

sonox gravatar image

Hi Giacomo,

From what I hear, SFOS porters usually use CM/LineageOS. I wasn’t even aware of AOSP until you mentioned it. Lack of documentation and community expertise on porting with AOSP may be an issue, isn’t it?

Could it be that Jolla had to switch from CM/LineageOS to AOSP because the “Xperia X” is simply not supported by CM/LineageOS?

Kind regards, Roman

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Yes, of course. The switch was done because Sony provides AOSP in their Open Devices program. However do not answer your question, add comments to the question or an existing answer unless you are actually providing an answer. Answers are reordered depending on votes and the order is not kept.

Giacomo Di Giacomo ( 2018-03-27 15:16:22 +0300 )edit
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answered 2018-03-27 15:17:49 +0300

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updated 2018-03-27 15:17:49 +0300

sonox gravatar image

Hi Giacomo,

You do raise an important question regarding which content is allowed. Predictive text input and Android support are a must for most users incl. me.

How can these be purchased and setup up?

Kind regards, Roman

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You must stick to an official version by Jolla. These features are paid and Jolla has no rights to redistribute them, but includes them in official versions for which rights are paid for to the copyright owners.

Giacomo Di Giacomo ( 2018-03-28 11:58:44 +0300 )edit

There is Presage for predictive text.

vattuvarg ( 2018-03-29 10:06:44 +0300 )edit

Jolla decided to go for jolla-xt9 instead. What are the reasons?

sonox ( 2018-03-29 17:53:22 +0300 )edit

Presage is newer and thus not as mature. That is my guess. Presage in swedish works really well for me, though.

vattuvarg ( 2018-03-29 18:26:05 +0300 )edit
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answered 2018-03-28 22:44:06 +0300

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updated 2018-03-28 22:44:06 +0300

sonox gravatar image

Yes, of course, I do understand.

However, is there no way that a user can purchase these rights from the owners?

To be able to run apk’s is probably a ”must have” for every sailfish user, right?

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@sonox, can you please stop posting new answers? Post your replies as comments instead. That makes the conversation easier to follow for those who like to do that, and doesn't pollute the first page for those who aren't interested.

luen ( 2018-03-28 23:11:06 +0300 )edit
1

No to both of your questions. You cannot purchase rights, and it looks like several SFOS users do not use Android support.

Giacomo Di Giacomo ( 2018-03-28 23:15:26 +0300 )edit

My last need for android was removed by Poor Maps / WhoGo Maps.

vattuvarg ( 2018-03-29 18:29:56 +0300 )edit

That is you and I’m happy for you. I may also be ok without Android. However, the majority out there will not be ok.

SailfishOS will not make it without Android app support. That’s a sad fact. If Jolla goes down then SailfishOS will likely vanish with it.

To convince users means to compromise and limit disadvantages to users who are willing to try SailfishOS.

sonox ( 2018-03-30 07:04:51 +0300 )edit
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Asked: 2018-03-26 16:14:56 +0300

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Last updated: Mar 28