BlackBerry Hub like feature

There seems to be the general design principle that Librem5 apps should not be their own silos but interoperate via open APIs (e.g. there is one contacts app that has many data sources). If you take this idea of tight integration further that would lead to something BlackBerry Hub-like.

For those who do not know it: it’s a place where all messages, emails, past calls etc. (even upcoming calendar events) are shown together, can be color-coded into categories etc. and which is reachable instantly from any app through a swipe gesture without any loading delay. I’d be very interested in something like that.

I would really like such a feature since on my BB I easily spent most of the time in there because it met nearly all my communication needs and didn’t have any distractions. I think it would fit the Librem 5 well since it positions itself more as a tool than a toy compared to the rest of the mobile market.

Is there any effort to build something like that going on currently? Would it fit the Librem5’s design philosophy?


Welcome to the community!

My opinion is that the Librem 5’s design philosophy is based around the existing Linux ecosystem. Purism is too small a company to develop and support every app in a core set of phone apps (where ‘core’ is in the eye of the beholder). So what happens may depend more on what is happening in the wider Linux ecosystem.

Looking at the phone right now, that is absolutely not what is happening. Phone calls are in one app. Text messages are in a different app. Emails are in a third app. (On the other hand, you may be right that they all share Contacts, that are maintained by a fourth app.)

On the plus side, it’s all open source, so if someone wants to hack that altogether into one monolithic app then lack of source is not stopping them.

I can see advantages of what you are suggesting e.g. I remember that a person sent me something but I can’t remember whether it was via text or via email, and if I just want to check the content of that communication, I don’t really care how it arrived.

My take is that at this stage, it is more appropriate to be filling in the gaps in the individual apps e.g. getting MMS support in the messaging app (which will also need to support an extensible set of internet-based messaging services) and e.g. my pet peeve, lack of POP support in the email app and e.g. more work could be done in the phone calls app.


The BB Hub is one of the great things that came out of BB10. It would be nice to see it in the L5. I think it would be good to make sure that concept wasn’t patented or things like that.

But as @irvinewade points out the power of Purism and L5 is open source. And, I don’t think it needs to be thought of as whether a ‘hub’ approach fits with a design philosophy. Its more about selling the UX that a device can offer. So, in addition to privacy, security, being a mobile general purpose computer it would be great marketing to see the ease of use and UX the L5 offers.

and of course it doesn’t have to be Purism that brings it to the L5. If I had development skills I would try to do it myself. Once I get my L5 that is :slight_smile: I still might try, if I can find the time and learn enough about how to build apps for the L5.


the BB-hub, gestures, GUI, still run circles around todays big-tech ‘toys’, even now, after 10 years …


I agree. One of the things I like about the L5 UX is that it seems to leverage gestures nicely. at least what I can see from videos. So, I’m hopeful I can get close to the experience I had with BB10.

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