Aaron's Blog

Mobile Linux (Phosh) in 2024

The issues with Linux on Mobile devices including tablets this year!

[ mobile-linux  postmarketos  ] 4 min read

New devices!

This year I have the following devices instead of the PinePhone to review Phosh:

  • OnePlus 6T (Phone)
  • Lenovo IdeaPad Duet (Tablet)

These are both running postmarketOS instead of NixOS like last year had. Now let’s start with screenshots of these new (to me) devices with their new OSes if you haven’t seen Phosh in a while (or ever):

Overview About
OnePlus 6T on the Overview OnePlus 6T About Settings
Overview About
Lenovo IdeaPad Duet on the Overview Lenovo IdeaPad Duet About Setings

NOTE: You can click on the images for the full sized image.

UI/UX Issues

Let’s pick up on the issues that we talked about last year and where they are, below we’ll most often see issues:

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

Yep those are still issues even with applications that use libadwaita.

Open File Dialog issue

Application Issues

We’ll use the same list from 2023 since I think it’s a good list of things that most folks would expect but we’ll add more basic things that I left out last time. Now a lot of screenshots will be the same since the same UI/UX issues exist but there will be some new ones that include what a tablet looks like:

  • Phone*
  • SMS*
  • Matrix (Fractal)
  • Browser
  • Calculator
  • Calendar
  • Clocks
  • File Manager
  • Music
  • Video
  • Podcasts
  • Text Editor
  • Books
  • News Feeds
  • Social Media

  • Now I don’t have a working SIM card in the phone so I can’t test them but there are apps and they worked fine in the PinePhone.



This works well and looks good!

OnePlus 6T with Fractal signed in



Now postmarketOS ships with Firefox ESR with patches to make it work decent on small devices but I found GNOME Web to work better. It also has a WebApp manager so you can install websites like applications with a launcher like I have done with the LFNW website here:

OnePlus 6T with GNOME WebApp


GNOME Calculator

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

Main Window
GNOME Calculator Main Window


GNOME Calendar

Now I think GNOME Calendar is nice and works better then the default karlendar that postmarketOS ships with.

OnePlus 6T with GNOME Calendar


GNOME Clocks

This application looks great on mobile as well.

OnePlus 6T with GNOME Clocks

File Manager

GNOME Files and Portfolio

Now I used to recommand Portfolio and it is still a great piece of software but now GNOME Files looks great on mobile as well!

GNOME Files Portfolio
GNOME Files Portfolio

NOTE: The Portfolio screenshot is from the PinePhone.


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


Now the same issues as last time are still there so I’ll re-use those images:

Settings Albums
Lollypop Settings Lollypop Albums
Collection change Different Window
Lollypop Collection Change Lollypop Collection Add


Light Video

Now I have this sideways as I have issues rotating the tablet sometimes.

Lenovo IdeaPad Duet playing WING IT!


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 works well and can manage more then one account as well! Works great on the phone and tablet though logging in can be difficult with getting the auth code from the browser.

OnePlus 6T with Tuba feed

OnePlus 6T with Tuba profile

Bonus section


GIMP on a tablet


Polari on OnePlus 6T