The PinePhone Mostly Works —

The PinePhone Mostly Works

by Joshua Branson — March 02, 2022

So I now have some more issues with the PinePhone. Namely, my phone no longer receives SMS text messages. I used to be able to use the PinePhone as a simple dump phone that supported calls and texts. But about a month ago, when I wrote The PinePhone works, suddenly my PinePhone stopped receiving SMS text messages. I can still send SMS texts, but I no longer receieve them, which is weird.

I thought I might be able to fix it, if I installed the reversed engineered and nearly free custom firmware for the PinePhone’s modem (You can find this modem on “Biktorgj” github account). It was actually super easy to install said open source modem:

wget https://whatever/the/path/to/download/github/is
tar xzvf package.tar.gz

When I ran the ./flashall script, the modem disappeared from the task bar, and a few moments later it reappeared. I also followed most of the instructions for the recommened settings for the modem on the github page. I will say that the call volume is a little low, but I have always thought that was the case.

Work is ok with me having a phone that only supports calls for now, but I do feel annoyed that I used to have a phone that works as well as a dumb phone, and now I do not seem to have that. I suppose that I will have to post in the PinePhone forum and Mobian forum and get some advice. Other possible solutions include moving to a different cellular provider. AT&T is one of the reccomended providers, and it costs about 30 dollars a month.

It might also not be a bad idea to edit the official PinePhone wiki and mention that Tello is a fairly cheap provider (the cheapest that I could find), provided you are ok with just calls. I think the Tello SIM card only cost me $1.