There are a few Linux-based mobile operating systems, but the desktops available are not that many. Fewer still work decently, since Lomiri is practically only used by Ubuntu Touch and Plasma Mobile has a lot of polishing to do. What is performing best is Phosh, based on GNOME, but it is something developed by Purism. With KDE and UBports well into mobile devices, and with other projects like JingOS or CDE as guests at the party, what was missing was something that is already being developed: GNOME Mobile.
At least at the time of this writing, GNOME Mobile does not exist under that name as such, but rather is referred to by the project as "GNOME Shell on mobile". But the name is the least of it, and the most important thing is that they have published information about how things are going. The first concept is what heads this article, and the "app drawer" and "cards", among other things, are a bit reminiscent of Purism's Phosh.
The concept of GNOME Mobile was born together with GNOME 40
Project GNOME is not expected to make everything available on the desktop available on mobile, and also not to be used on a primary phone in the short term, but they are already working on things like the interface, opening apps, searching, using the touch keyboard, and more. In addition, in their roadmap they have planned:
- Release a new API for gestures and screen size detection is done. The following is in preparation.
- Panel layers, with a top and bottom panel, a bit like what we have in Phosh.
- Workspaces and multitasking.
- App grid layer.
- On-screen keyboard.
- Quick settings.
A lot can be said, but a picture is worth a thousand words. In the article published by Jonas Dressler there is a video in which you can see the gestures and how fluid this GNOME Mobile can go, but we don't know under what conditions it was recorded and it probably won't work equally well on all devices.
As for a release date, nothing is certain, but it can probably be tested to coincide with the release of GNOME 43, i.e. in September. It will be then when we will be able to begin to know how far it can go, and if the projects that are betting on phosh they decide to take the leap and use GNOME directly.