Jolla's journey has been a long one: since Nokia and MeeGo times have certainly changed. The company founded from the ashes of Nokia released the first Jolla Phone in November 2013 and in the following years presented a tablet and the developer-oriented Jolla C Phone. At MWC 2018, Jolla has returned to the international scene with a new version of its Sailfish OS operating system and many new partners ready to launch interesting devices on the market.
Sailfish OS 3.0: more than just a novelty
The third iteration of Jolla's operating system does not have enormous graphic novelties. The menu accessible from above has been altered for the Ambiance change (the name given to the various themes) in which quick toggles and a new Ambiance with light tones and inverted UI colors have been inserted.
A new gesture allows you to quickly switch between the last two open applications without going through the home screen, unlike previous versions of OS where switching to home was mandatory. There is also an updated version of Alien Dalvik, the runtime system that allows smartphones with Sailfish OS to run Android applications: we have not been told whether this is compatible with the latest version of Android but the news will be announced as soon as the update is released in August this year.
Xperia XA2 is now supported by the Sailfish X project
In August last year, the company announced official support for the Sony Xperia X smartphone by purchasing an official license and downloading Jolla's operating system. Now the program has been extended to the Sony Xperia XA2 and given the mobile phone's manageability, compact size and reduced side bezels this makes a lot of sense. Both Sailfish X devices belong to the Japanese company's list of "open" devices.
When we tried this out the device and it seemed very fluid and responsive, the compatibility with Android apps make Sailfish OS look like the latest manufacturer's skin since it's so well crafted. Further information will be available as soon as the Sailfish OS 3.0 license program is officially launched.
New partners and feature phones
During the event, several CEOs of Jolla's partner companies, including Jala and Planet Computer, took turns on stage. The first presented a smartphone dedicated to the South American market, a market in which practically no alternative to Android was present until now (according to Jalla's representative).
Planet Computers announced the compatibility of its Gemini PDA crowdsourced device with Sailfish OS 3.0. The smartphone has a physical keyboard similar to a laptop PC and is compatible with Linux operating systems such as Ubuntu or Debian as well as the popular Android.
Jolla also showed the compatibility of the Sailfish operating system with so-called feature phones. The company has adapted the system to work on this type of smartphone where we can even run some selected Android apps. Yes, WhatsApp is among these! We've had the chance to try a really similar device to the Nokia 3310 for a few minutes and the result is amazing.
Modularity and scalability are keywords
Jolla mainly turned to business users during the conference, showing the possibility to scale their platform on an incredible variety of devices: from smartwatches to feature phones, to smartphones and tablets. The Finnish company has also talked a lot about the security of personal data of users to whom it is shifting its attention to.
We're looking forward to trying the Xperia XA2 in depth with this interesting operating system and letting you know all about it in a future feature article.
Have you ever tried the Finnish operating system? What do you think of it?