In this review I´ll comment my experience using ABCore for two weeks on a Pixel 3XL that was also used as my main phone for everyday use.
Summary: excellent and extremely friendly easy to use software.
While synching it depletes your phone resources (but it´s only temporary).
Since it´s prunned it can´t help to bootstrap new full nodes.
Only main chain node, no Lightning Network.
You have a full Bitcoin node in your pocket with two touchs of your phone´s screen.
For real, a freaking full validating node with you securing the bitcoin network without any hassle of configuration.
It just can´t be any better. This app it´s even easier to set up than most regular apps because ABCore doesn´t even require login.
Play store — -) ABCore — -) Install and… Boom! That´s it, you got yourself a running Bitcoin core node.
After installation you can check peer connection, settings, synchronization progress, debug log and the Console. But that´s completely optional since the app will work totally automatically.
This is where it gets kinda tricky or at least not so cool. Synchronization starting from the genesis blocks takes a lot of time and resources.
During syncing I also used my phone for every day tasks and it was certainly sluggish some times. When in fact prior to ABCore there was no slowness at all. Needless to say I could eliminate completely all sluggishnes by turning the node off.
Syncing took a whole week with the phone connected to wifi around 80% of the time. During my time without wifi I turned off the node every time I could in order to save mobile data.
The good news is that after syncing was complete, there´s hardly any slowness that I could see while running the up-to-date node.
The app could use some major improvisation in this aspect. Most people wouldn´t have any problems consuming wifi data but lots of users would like to save the mobile data as much as possible. ABCore doesn´t have a built in option that can stop the node when disconnected from wifi. So, during the synching week I had to manually shut down the node or the data every time I went off the wifi grid. Even doing so, some data was consumed by it because of the times I forgot to manually do it.
In order to be as descentralized as possible the idea is to be able to support the bitcoin network with the minimal resources possible. (Hence the importance of small blocks for example). With that in mind it´d be great to be able to automatically stop the node when data is scarce.
It does have a “Starts when charging and on WiFi” option but it didn´t work for me. When it was off it stayed off.
During synching you can say goodbye to your autonomy. ABCore eats aways your battery like crazy. I noticed I had to plug my phone more than twice the time I´d usually do it during the whole synching week.
After finishing synching it all returns to normal and I´m actually suprised by how little battery and resources in general are needed to keep it running.
Only 59 MB of RAM and 3.5 GB of internal memory. It´s extremely light because it´s prunned.
And that´s the end folks, I hope it was useful!
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About the author.
Lawyer but also abogado. Bitcoin student, deep down the rabbit hole.
Legal consulting for Bitcoin & Blockchain enterprises.
You can find me in Twitter @camilojdl
(or pretty much everywhere else with the same handle)