GNOME Shell is Being Ported to Phones
“Ever since then, some of us have been thinking about what it would take to fully port GNOME Shell to a phone form factor.”
It’s an intriguing question because post-GNOME 40, there’s not that much missing for GNOME Shell to work on phones, even if not perfectly…. On top of that, many of the things we’re currently working towards for desktop are also relevant for mobile, including quick settings, the notifications redesign, and an improved on-screen keyboard. Given all of this synergy, we felt this is a great moment to actually give mobile GNOME Shell a try. Thanks to the Prototype Fund, a grant program supporting public interest software by the German Ministry of Education (BMBF), we’ve been working on mobile support for GNOME Shell for the past few months.
We’re not expecting to complete every aspect of making GNOME Shell a daily driveable phone shell as part of this grant project. That would be a much larger effort because it would mean tackling things like calls on the lock screen, PIN code unlock, emergency calls, a flashlight quick toggle, and other small quality-of-life features. However, we think the basics of navigating the shell, launching apps, searching, using the on-screen keyboard, etc. are doable in the context of this project, at least at a prototype stage.
Of course, making a detailed roadmap for this kind of effort is hard and we will keep adjusting it as things progress and become more concrete… There’s a lot of work ahead, but going forward progress will be faster and more visible because it will be work on the actual UI, rather than on internal APIs. Now that some of the basics are in place we’re also excited to do more testing and development on actual phone hardware, which is especially important for tweaking things like the on-screen keyboard.
Their blog post includes a video showing “what this currently looks like on laptops” and then one showing it running “on actual phone hardware.” And someone has also posted a video on Twitter showing it running on a OnePlus 6 smartphone.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.