We met Sailfish back in October; a mobile operating system derived from Nokia’s ditched MeeGo software that hoped to launch in 2013 and rival the likes of iOS, Android and BlackBerry.
Nokia developed the MeeGo platform but ditched it in favour of Symbian and Windows Phone shortly after releasing the N9 – a Lumia-like smartphone that has become very rare indeed. Ex-employees of Nokia started up a company called Jolla with the aim of reviving MeeGo as something else, and that something else has been shown off properly today as Sailfish.
Sailfish has throwbacks to MeeGo and Symbian, with a set of unique features and an attractive style. To kick things off, Jolla proudly announced deals with ST-Ericsson and Finnish mobile network DNA. Ericsson will be providing chips and processors for the first devices to run the Sailfish OS, while DNA looks set to be the first network to test the waters by selling Sailfish phones.
As for the OS itself, today’s demonstration by Jolla focussed on a smooth and easy to use multitasking system that allows multiple applications to be run at the same time and switched between from the homescreen. The font and layout of some apps reminds us of Windows Phone, with swipe gestures revealing menus – for example swipe a photo downwards to reveal sharing options for Facebook, Twitter, Picasa and more.
Sailfish aims to integrate as much as possible into the one homescreen, meaning that you’ll be able to make and end calls, pause and play music and more in one place, without the hassle of flicking through menus to find apps and so on.
A major boost for Sailfish will be the ability to run Android apps. Jolla says that many apps available from the Play Store will run on its devices without the need for modification. There’s no word on an app store or exactly how Android apps will become available just yet though.
Jolla says it will be targeting other chip makers soon, so it’s unlikely that Sailfish phones and tablets will be ST-Ericsson only – hopefully Nvidia or Samsung will be brought on board with some of their super speedy chips.
We can expect to see new Sailfish devices “during the coming year”, says Jolla.