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A Mobile Platform
When we announced the Librem 5, we knew we would have to invest in and build a mobile operating system and applications to run on it — by “mobile” understand “for smartphones”. To avoid reinventing the wheel, we decided to base that system on an existing environment. Librem laptops ship with our operating system PureOS, which provides GNOME as its graphical user environment as it is a modern environment and a very active project with which we share many goals, design principles and values.
Touchscreens bring a new set of possibilities and constraints to user interface designs. For many years, GNOME’s main target is laptops, and it acknowledges in its design that they can have touchscreens. All of these factors made GNOME a serious candidate for Purism to turn into a mobile platform, and using it on both the Librem laptops and the Librem 5 brings some very valuable consistency to our broader software ecosystem and user experience.
To feed that system we need mobile applications, but rather than creating mobile duplicates of existing GNOME applications, we decided to take an approach the web has been doing for years: making existing GNOME applications adaptive. Making an application adaptive not only makes it work on smartphones just as well as on laptops, but it allows it to work well on anything in between, e.g. when its window is small or tiled. Adaptive applications also means same app code for multiple device sizes.
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