Aaron's Blog

Mobile Linux (Phosh)

The issues with Linux on Mobile devices

[ nixos  mobile-linux  ] 3 min read

UI/UX Issues

Below we’ll most often see issues:

  • FilePicker
  • New windows for certain sections of applications like Settings

Application Issues

As we enter into the new year I’d like to document issues that are still present on this platform (screenshots will be from NixOS on a PinePhone). In this list will be pretty standard applications that most folks use on their mobile devices like below:

  • Browser
  • Calculator
  • Music
  • Podcasts
  • Text Editor
  • Books
  • News Feeds
  • Social Media



For some reason the cursor or something like that is over the address which made it difficult to type:

Address bar
GNOME Web enter address
google.com wsj.com
GNOME Web Google GNOME Web Wall Street Journal


GNOME Calculator

For some reason it brings up the keyboard which isn’t needed for this application as it already has those buttons:

Main Window
GNOME Calculator Main Window


In this example we’ll be using Lollypop and Spot (Spotify client):


First we’ll start with the great and the good in that order:

Settings Albums
Lollypop Settings Lollypop Albums

Now the not so good, this repeats in this post and I think it has to do with the FilePicker itself not the application in question. Another issue which seems common is the fact that opening Settings or other features which you would expect be in the same application window creates a new window for itself.

Collection change Different Window
Lollypop Collection Change Lollypop Collection Add


Everything looks good and behaves like one would expect other then the Settings like other application as you have a whole new window. The application also doesn’t seemt to save Spotify login though not sure if that is the application, Phosh or Mobile NixOS:

Login Default View
Spot Login Spot Albums

Album views:

List Cover
Spot Album List Spot Album Cover


GNOME Podcasts

This works really well until you try to import a file for your podcasts that you bring from another device.

GNOME Podcasts Import Settings

Text Editor


While it looks great at the start it also has the same failing as the Podcast application when you try to open a file with it:

Main Window FilePicker
Marker Main Window Marker Open Window



The main application seems good until you look to the right where content is off screen a bit.

Main Window Catalog
Foliate Window Foliate Catalog

This continues to the download window and import which are not scaled and go off the screen.

Download Import
Foliate Download Window Foliate Import

News Feeds


This starts out looking great and continues until you hit the FilePicker diaglog window, the Settings also creates a new window.

Main Window Settings
Feeds Main Window Feeds Settings
Add Feed Import File
Feeds Add Dialog Feeds Import Window

Social Media


This application is no longer maintained but there is a new one that hasn’t been packaged yet but it looks like it will be better! Here is a link to it.