by Aaron Crowder on
Today was day one. I feel like today the learning was really steep. I had to figure a lot of things out. While there's still lots to figure out, I was able to get to a point where I can do most of the basic things.
Note: I don't have a sim card for my Pinephone, so no SMS or voice calls. However, I am doing chat and email and social media.
I have all my email accounts and NextCloud configured through Settings->Online Accounts. This allows me to have my email in my Email Client app (Geary) and browse my NextCloud files in Files.
I had toyed around with the pinephone off and on before today so I had some apps already installed. Others though I discovered today. Here's a list of some of the apps I used most today:
- Telegram Desktop: Messaging
- Cawbird: Twitter Client
- Tootle: Mastodon Client
- Giara: Reddit Client
- Geary: Email Client
- NewsFlash / Feeds (trying to decide which I like more): RSS Feed Reader
- Firefox-ESR: Web Browser
- Password Safe: Can open my Keepass file from NextCloud
- Lollypop: Music
Firefox ESR I'm using Firefox ESR after testing a number of other browsers. It ended up being the smoothest experience available. I would like to try regular Firefox but there's an issue with a broken dependency that I idn't have time to fix.
Both Firefox ESR and Firefox support opening windows without any decorations. I made several desktop shortcuts to try and get app-like experiences from a few sites. Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter have pretty good web apps that work well on mobile. With window decorations off they almost feel like native apps. I was also able to make a shortcut for Android messages for web, and was able to use that for texting, though it wasn't as good of an experience as just using Telegram.
Telegram Desktop Telegram is a decent option for messaging. It's widely used (as evidenced by the fact that my Grandma uses it). Though, Telegram relies on having a system tray to keep the app running in the background if you close it. Phosh doesn't support this, so I followed the instructions on the Mobian Wiki to create a background service. That keeps Telegram running so I can get notified of messages, even if I don't have the app currently open.
Tootle is a fairly good Mastodon client. I did run into an issue though where it would crash when I would try to click on media attachments (like a picture). I discovered an issue on GitHub and someone mentioned that you have to create the
~/Downloads/Tootle folder, because Tootle doesn't create it for you... it just crashes. This may have been fixed, but it wasn't in the version I installed from flathub.
Today every time I picked up the Pinephone I felt like I was having to figure something out. Tomorrow though, I feel like I'm going to be able to actually use the damn thing without having to figure everything out. There are still a few pain points, and I feel like they will be the more difficult to solve problems. But I'm excited for the challenge and ready to dive back in!