The Story So Far
Having the versatility and productivity of a personal computer in the palm of our hands has been the dream of people for ages. During the 1990's the Blackberry series of phones tried to bring a laptop into a phone with their cellphones. However, being in an age that cell phones needed to be more compact and versatile, having an unwieldy OS and an almost imposing size, the Blackberry did not go well.
It was not until Apple released its iPhone that the concept of a smart phone started to take root. Now, we have cell phones that function as anything from an mp3 player to handheld gaming device all in one package. Over the past few decades attempts to create Linux based operating systems for smartphones have been on the rise similar to PureOS, some more successful than others. Lately however two specific examples have been brought to my attention.
The Latest In Cellphone News
Maru is, essentially a "downloadable" OS that allows specific compatible smartphones to be able to operate as Smartphones, until you connect them to a screen such as, your T.V for example, in which case it turns the screen into essentially a desktop PC, thus opening up a whole new world of possibilities. Set up a portable development environment, fill out that annoying form that doesn't render properly on your mobile browser, or even run a webserver will be available as soon as you link it up to a screen, according to their website.
On the other hand we have, Cosmo Communicator, a very impressive smartphone by Planet Computers. Essentially its a smartphone that has a small keyboard and is in fact, Linux Compatible. The company has clearly made an attempt to allow for "on the go" programming in a Linux environment which can spell only good things for this young company and, in my humble opinion, could secure its rise. According to Indiegogo, it is a device that plans to be "the only device you need to carry, and small enough to fit in your pocket, it’s a true all-in-one replacement for both your mobile phone and your laptop."
Granted, there is not much to say without essentially turning this article in a full blown ad, what I can say is that we have now gone full circle from the age of the Blackberry. Though on one hand, I am a bit cautious, since smartphones have tried to replace laptops before and they failed but I cannot help but recognize the change in technology and the more "fertile" ground today's market offers for such an idea.
Regardless of whatever personal opinion someone might have, I think it is -very- pleasing to see that attempts are made to create portable and mobile devices that will allow for "programming on the spot" and, for me, that stands as a testament to the digital age. We now live in a society in which programming has shifted from a highly specialized "niche" skill, to a wide skill accessible by all, and having cell phones to ease this, seems like it can only mean a good thing.
Either way, I think those are fascinating news and I for one, will be keeping a close eye on developments, even if that is just out of curiosity!