New Stuff in OpenMoko (with screenshots)

On the OpenMoko front, I have mainly been doing boring things such as bug fixing the Dialer, Address Book, themes, icons and related framework libraries. On the other hand, Chris has been doing exciting work with cairo, clocks and world maps. Apart from looking cool, these components will be forming the basis of the world clock and stop watch applications, as well as the alarm functions, including alerts from the calendar. Oddly enough, this is one of the most important features for some people. I asked someone what they used their phone for and they reply was “Calling people, sending text messages and waking me up in the morning”. As it happens, I think those are also the functions I use most often on my phone too. I’ve also heard that teenagers are replacing their watch with the mobile phone as a way of telling the time…


One interesting thing I have done recently was to port the original application manager to the new 2007.2 framework. This means you will be able to upgrade and install packages straight from a GUI interface.


I also added colour scheme support to the moko-gtk-engine, so it is possible to change the orange to a different colour if you are using this. I also wrote a little application called openmoko-appearance that can be used to set a new colour through a GUI. I’m hoping it will also be a good example application for people getting started in GTK+/OpenMoko programming. Chris has also already added support for changing the background of the home screen to openmoko-appearance too. Openmoko-appearance isn’t quite finished yet, but you should be able to get the general idea…


As you can see, the titlebar is not yet updated and the icons look rather out of place. We are going to look at recolouring the icons on the fly, but we need to work round a few issues first, and performance will be a factor.

26 thoughts on “New Stuff in OpenMoko (with screenshots)”

  1. Wow, very cool :)

    software sides sound so good, I hope the hardware side is soon to pick up.

    @Chris: That looks even better :) :) tranparency, cool stuff!

  2. Yeah, I use my phone as my alarm clock too. Things are looking pretty sick. :) I’ve played around with emulating OpenMoko in qemu, but haven’t really gotten around to developing anything. I’d be really interested in taking a look at openmoko-appearance, is it uploaded to a repository online somewhere by any chance?

  3. I haven’t regularly worn a watch for about seven years now. Phone or bust. (Plus it’s been my alarm clock for the last 5 or so years.)

  4. I’m no longer young, but yes I alse use my cell-phone as an alarm and as a watch, as wrist watches are annoying with regular keyboard activity. In addition to using to receive telemark^wphone calls.

  5. Yep. I ditched my watch when I was in college (back in the mid/late 90s), because I was constantly stressing out over the time, checking the watch every 5 minutes. A couple of year later, I considered getting a pocket watch (not quite so conducive to OCD style time checks), but then I had the money for a cell-phone and I could check the time on it, so . . .

  6. I’m sorry if this work seems tedious to you, but the attention you are paying to the details is going to make all the difference to users. THANK YOU SO MUCH! THIS STUFF ROCKS! I NEVER USE GRATUITOUS CAPITALIZATION!

  7. Just turned 40, and ditched my wrist watch a couple of years age (when I got a moto v3)

    Anyway, looking good. Can’t wait to get a real phone… com’on I want one for chrismas..

  8. Thanks for working on the openmoko UI.

    @Chris Lord: As a cartographer I have to say: *Uuuuaaaaaa*, the map hurts. :-) Please, try not to squeeze and stretch a map. Write me at sebastian dottt specht ├Ąttt web dottt de if you need contructive criticism.

  9. Calendar with alarms is important! Otherwise your laundry will be in dryer all night long. And alarmclock does need a SNOOZE!

  10. I’m no teenager ;) and, though this may seem strange, I personally base a lot of my decision of which phone to buy and use on how visible, large, bright and quick to see, the clock is on the phone. I have several phones from among which I daily choose. On the one I use, by far most often, I just press one button (even if the phone is locked) and it displays the time brightly fullscreen. I hate, or in more descriptive words tend not to use, the other ones because they can’t be set to do anything quite like that. And, yes, I also use my phone to wake me up in the morning and sometimes the afternoon. Zzz

  11. It looks cool but personally I would like to have is simple and fast. Is there going to be a way to change the style to fast and minimalistic or something?

  12. Wow, that sure is coming along nicely. :)

    I have to agree with #12 as in stretching a map isn’t exactly the best option, but hey, this is work in progress, right? :)

    On a sidenote: Can’t wait for Metroid Prime Corruption either!

  13. Please include a countdown timer too!

    I use my phone to time cooking rice, and in the biology lab to time incubations. My current P910i doesn’t have a good time, I have to set an alarm which is inconvenient and not very accurate.

    For all of you ditching your watches – check out some nice mechanical watches, drop by sometime. As a geek I admire the mechanical machines designed to solve the simply defined problem of keeping time, and many do it without any source of energy except the movement of the wearer. Elegant solutions!

  14. I, too, have been using my phone for a watch for years. My current phone is unfortunately not a good pocketwatch – the screen is unreadable with the backlight off, and if the keypad is locked, pressing any key hides the time behind the “keypad is locked onoes!” display.

    Please make openmoko a good pocketwatch – ideally I should be able to pull it out of my pocket and glance at it and know the time, without any keypresses; failing that, one keypress is ok, but I shouldn’t have to wait for the keypad-locked screen to clear. I’d say this is my second most important phone feature after basic call functionality.

  15. 27 and no watch or alarm clock for many years now. I considered watches redundant when cellphones became small enough to fit comfortably in a pocket all the time.

  16. @Chris: The new transparency looks nice. But the rest looks too plain, is it possible to add transparency to those two black bars too?

  17. The map projection looks good to me…

    I’m not liking that dialog box with an OK button _and_ an [X] (close?) at the top. That is a bug, right?

  18. Performance shouldn’t be an issue w/ recreating those icons on the fly. Just save them off after creating them, with some unique hash. Icon display routine looks for the icon, and creates it if it doesn’t exist. What’s hard about that?

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