Purism, the popular startup behind the Librem line of coreboot-enabled computers, recently announced the launch of Librem One, a new subscription service offering secure communication systems. The announcement is a hybrid between collecting signups for the main service, and a crowdfunding campaign for the extended features Purism wishes to offer.
The Ecosystem Play
This announcement is interesting, if only for the fact that it marks a new developmental milestone in Purism’s history as a computer company. With the advent of the release of the new Librem 5 phone, along with the upcoming PureOS Store, signifies an end-to-end market solution that covers hardware, applications, and the cloud.
By creating an ecosystem that advances social good, societal freedom, personal privacy, and the best security, Purism is changing the world for the better.Librem One site
Librem One currently offers four main feature components: Chat, Mail, VPN, and Social networking. If this seems familiar, it’s probably because the service somewhat mirrors iCloud, except the services are comprised of Free Software and allow for decentralized communication.
- Chat – powered by the Matrix messaging protocol (most famously used by Riot), this recalls some of the design sensibilities that came out of a blog post called Banquets and Barbeques, where it was decided to develop separate mobile apps for personal messaging and group chat experiences. In addition, the campaign page claims that XMPP support is coming.
- Mail – likely to be a bog-standard offering with POP3, SMTP, and IMAP support. It might be nice to see Purism invest in a custom web interface for something like Rainloop or even NextCloud Mail in the future.
- Tunnel – the app itself appears to be a bespoke frontend for OpenVPN
- Social – Librem One Social is a flagship Mastodon instance, which uses ActivityPub to chat with the rest of the fediverse.
We bundle all the tools together for you to replace the privacy invading, locked-in, exploitative big-tech services. Putting you in charge of your digital life.Librem One site
There are also a number of stretch goals available that intend to add further features and functionality to the Librem One platform, such as NextCloud-based file storage, contact and file backup, a virtual phone number, and a crypto payment system.
We’re excited for the company, and can’t wait to see how this pans out.