We started the work on the Goldelico GTA04 about 2 years ago, back in the Replicant 2.3 days. While we were able to release images at this point, they were far from being functional as key components were missing from the kernel, especially regarding power management. About 2 years later, the situation was finally unlocked thanks to the efforts of Golden Delicious and various members of the OpenPhoenux community, bringing GTA04 support to a newer kernel version that holds all the necessary pieces for proper Android support. More details on some technical aspects related to this are available at Paul Kocialkowski’s coding blog.
Work on the device resumed months ago and we’ve been working hard ever since to improve the status of the Replicant port. While it is not yet usable as a daily phone, we have reached numerous milestones over the past months and many key parts of the device are already handled correctly, already allowing many use cases, such as digital audio player or GPS navigation system. A dedicated wiki page holds the details of the Replicant status on GTA04.
As we’re very enthusiastic about the future, we’ve decided to shoot a video highlighting various aspects of Replicant on the GTA04! Installable images for the GTA04 will be released along with the next batch of Replicant 4.2 images, including all the features shown in the video:
The video is also available for download:
To this day, the GTA04 remains the best phone out there regarding software freedom: bootloaders are free software and Replicant will eventually be able to run with most of the device’s features supported, the only exceptions being graphics acceleration, hardware media encoding/decoding and Wi-Fi (due to a proprietary firmware). Regarding security and privacy, the Goldelico GTA04 is also very good as it can run without proprietary software, but also because its modem is clearly separated from the rest of the device.
You are very much encouraged to get your own device out of the next batch of GTA04 production by placing a preorder on the next revision! As it is often the case, devices that are particularly designed to be a good fit with free software don’t get much mainstream attention, which makes it especially hard for Golden Delicious to run production batches. Unlike in software development, having hardware produced costs a lot of money, especially in small batches. It is up to you to change that by showing your interest toward the Goldelico GTA04. Donations to Golden Delicious or Replicant are also welcome to help push the project forward!
What you describe is F-Droid, the free software applications repository, that is included in Replicant by default (and has been for some time now)!
Have you considered making a version of a “Play Store”? Where developers can publish their apps and users can download and rate them?
I’m not saying make an app that can access Google Play, I’m proposing the idea of a free software alternative that works similar to Google Play.
Of course this is just my idea and opinion, but Replicant may gain more attention considering that would be a way to access certain types of software you would most likely never see on Google Play.
You’re right and we’re not forgetting about the Neo900 either, we just wanted to focus on the GTA04 in this blog post, but we’ll have many other occasions to talk about the Neo900 as well! Note that I mentioned the Neo900 in my technical blog post about using a mainline kernel with Android 4.2: http://code.paulk.fr/article19/android-with-mainline-linux-kernel-support-on-the-goldelico-gta04
Keep up the good work on the Neo900 Joerg 🙂
Let’s not forget Neo900 which is supposed to run all software made for GTA04 with only minimal adaptions to the core system (==replicant). Being a younger sibling of GTA04 and basing on same design principles by partially same team as GTA04, it offers even more security (it’s designed especially with security in mind) and it comes with some hw features that are new to GTAxx devices.
Watch our progress on building next prototype on http://neo900.org and http://neo900.org/stuff/eaglefiles/20140517-Version2-wip/GTA04b7_lower.pdf http://neo900.org/stuff/eaglefiles/20140517-Version2-wip/GTA04b7_upper.pdf