Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 16th Sep 2013 16:12 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless

Users enjoying the unique gesture-based and modern Sailfish OS user experience will be able to take full advantage of the Android application ecosystem available through various app stores globally. Jolla will cooperate with leading global app stores to ensure users can seamlessly download Android apps just as they would do on any Android device.

Android applications, unaltered. Sounds great as a stopgap, but there's always the integration issue (will they make use of, say, Sailfish OS-native notifications and gestures?), and it may hinder the development of native applications. I'm curious to see how well it works.

Jolla has made a major breakthrough in Android hardware compatibility by developing Sailfish OS to run on common hardware produced for Android, particularly smartphones and tablets. Vendors interested to utilize Sailfish OS are now able to develop phones and tablets based on many different chipset and hardware configurations. This new level of compatibility will enable device vendors who use Sailfish OS to fully utilize the existing Android hardware ecosystem.

This is great news. This means that Sailfish OS will become available for popular Android phones, which will surely generate needed enthusiasm among people like us who read OSNews. Of course, the Jolla smartphone (mine's on pre-order, and I cannot wait) will be the optimal device for Sailfish, but this at least gives those who are interested the option to try Sailfish out before plonking down cash for an actual Sailfish device.

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Comment by drcouzelis
by drcouzelis on Mon 16th Sep 2013 17:08 UTC
drcouzelis
Member since:
2010-01-11

BlackBerry 10 has the ability to run Android applications, but I don't have any experience with it. Does it work? Does it work well?

I wonder how the experience of using Android applications on SaifishOS will compare.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by drcouzelis
by reduz on Mon 16th Sep 2013 17:17 UTC in reply to "Comment by drcouzelis"
reduz Member since:
2006-02-25

It's a mixed bag. Some work, some don't.
The ones that work don't quite feel as well integrated with the OS, but it's better than not having them.

The problem is not so much the compatibility though, but the fact that if you want to download and install a paid app, you really have no choice but pirating it.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by drcouzelis
by No it isnt on Mon 16th Sep 2013 17:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by drcouzelis"
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

You can't even buy from Amazon?

Well, of course you can't, unless you're from the U.S., but one would imagine Amazon would be happy to sell apps to Blackberry users.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by drcouzelis
by henderson101 on Tue 17th Sep 2013 08:01 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by drcouzelis"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

Amazon App store is available in the UK, so that statement is incorrect. I used to use it, but it's really just a more limited Play store that requires one to accept "unknown sources" by default.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Wafflez
by Wafflez on Mon 16th Sep 2013 17:29 UTC
Wafflez
Member since:
2011-06-26

Any phones with hardware keyboard planned?

I really liked to write random Python hackity hack program while on the bus with my Nokia N900. ;)

Reply Score: 5

Not for android phones
by linux-lover on Mon 16th Sep 2013 17:33 UTC
linux-lover
Member since:
2011-04-25

The ability to run on android hardware refers to being able to use libhybris to run android drivers and for Jolla to be able to use hardware initially built for android. It does not necessarily mean builds we be made available for popular android phones.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by jared_wilkes
by jared_wilkes on Mon 16th Sep 2013 18:17 UTC
jared_wilkes
Member since:
2011-04-25

Android applications, unaltered. Sounds great as a stopgap, but there's always the integration issue (will they make use of, say, Sailfish OS-native notifications and gestures?), and it may hinder the development of native applications. I'm curious to see how well it works.


This has already been done multiple times before with zero positive effect. It actually probably more likely leads to negative effects.

Jolla has made a major breakthrough in Android hardware compatibility by developing Sailfish OS to run on common hardware produced for Android, particularly smartphones and tablets.


This is PR gobbledygook that shouldn't be repeated by any self-respecting tech blogger. What is a breakthrough about getting Android apps to run on Android? There is no breakhrough, there is no differentiation, there is nothing special that Jolla has done.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by jared_wilkes
by FunkyELF on Mon 16th Sep 2013 18:38 UTC in reply to "Comment by jared_wilkes"
FunkyELF Member since:
2006-07-26

why has it not been positive?

I wonder why it hasn't been positive.
Is there a technical reason why we cannot run android applications "native" on Linux the same way we can run regular Java applications "natively"?

Its just a different VM and runtime libraries, but those libraries are used to running on top of Linux already aren't they?

I know Ubuntu (before Ubuntu phone) was running Ubuntu alongside Android (sharing the same kernel). That approach, you could say, was take Android and get Ubuntu running alongside it. Is it not possible to take another Linux distro and get Android running alongside it?

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by jared_wilkes
by drcouzelis on Mon 16th Sep 2013 18:46 UTC in reply to "Comment by jared_wilkes"
drcouzelis Member since:
2010-01-11

"Jolla has made a major breakthrough in Android hardware compatibility by developing Sailfish OS to run on common hardware produced for Android, particularly smartphones and tablets.
What is a breakthrough about getting Android apps to run on Android? "
The announcement says that the SailfishOS developers had a breakthrough in getting SailfishOS to run on hardware that was designed to run Android.

I don't understand your question... What does this have to do with Android applications running on Android?

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by jared_wilkes
by jared_wilkes on Mon 16th Sep 2013 19:52 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by jared_wilkes"
jared_wilkes Member since:
2011-04-25

What do you think is a breakthrough about targeting Jolla for hardware already known to run Android?

There isn't any. They probably had their own hardware motivations previously... decided they needed Android compatibility, the easier way to get there is to already use hardware that is used for Android. So that's what they are doing. So where's the BREAKTHROUGH?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by jared_wilkes
by linux-lover on Mon 16th Sep 2013 20:16 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by jared_wilkes"
linux-lover Member since:
2011-04-25

What are you ot understanding? Sailfish is able to run on hardware orignally built for android. They wrote their own library from scratch (libhybris) to be able to use drivers compiled for android and bionic libc on a glibc system. That is the breakthrough.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by jared_wilkes
by BallmerKnowsBest on Tue 17th Sep 2013 14:44 UTC in reply to "Comment by jared_wilkes"
BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

"Android applications, unaltered. Sounds great as a stopgap, but there's always the integration issue (will they make use of, say, Sailfish OS-native notifications and gestures?), and it may hinder the development of native applications. I'm curious to see how well it works.


This has already been done multiple times before with zero positive effect. It actually probably more likely leads to negative effects.
"

Such as? (waiting...)

"Jolla has made a major breakthrough in Android hardware compatibility by developing Sailfish OS to run on common hardware produced for Android, particularly smartphones and tablets.


This is PR gobbledygook that shouldn't be repeated by any self-respecting tech blogger. What is a breakthrough about getting Android apps to run on Android?
"

...what? I'd accuse you not having RTFA'd, but it appears you didn't even read the summary completely.

There is no breakhrough, there is no differentiation, there is nothing special that Jolla has done.


You know, you don't have to take personal offense every time there's positive coverage of a tech company that isn't Apple. And maybe you should wait and see if Jolla actually poses any threat to your beloved Apple before you fire up the anti-hype machine.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by jared_wilkes
by oiaohm on Wed 18th Sep 2013 11:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by jared_wilkes"
oiaohm Member since:
2009-05-30

"[q]Jolla has made a major breakthrough in Android hardware compatibility by developing Sailfish OS to run on common hardware produced for Android, particularly smartphones and tablets.


This is PR gobbledygook that shouldn't be repeated by any self-respecting tech blogger. What is a breakthrough about getting Android apps to run on Android?
"

...what? I'd accuse you not having RTFA'd, but it appears you didn't even read the summary completely.

[/q]

See this shows how little you know. The the first tech writer correct. Of course it would have been less confusion if the name of projection was mentioned.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybris_%28software%29
Jolla funded Hybris into existence that allows Android drivers to be used by normal GNU based systems.

--What is a breakthrough about getting Android apps to run on Android?--
Not at all. Getting Android apps to run next to a standard Glibc system is what Jolla has pulled off. In fact not quite standard Android.

Jolla also introduced wayland support to Android allowing the default Android compositor to be removed and replaced with Jolla compositor..

So its a stack up. Android drivers then Jolla compositor that is a wayland compositor(yes like most of the future replacements to X11 on the Linux desktop) then Android applications outputting graphics as wayland application. Yes Android application acting very much like what will be normal in future Linux applications.

Yes this is quite a major operation. Its not only running on Android drivers it the means to insert your own non android GUI under Android applications.

Sorry there is no way the prior comment should have a Score of 4.

What Jolla has done is special as being the first todo it.

Now the next thing is will Jolla mods get Google Play approval. If it does this opens up a new possible source of applications for the Linux Desktop.

Problem is the tech blog has over-compacted. So its not PR gobbledygook.

Jolla might fail yes but these alterations could have a lot longer ramification.

Reply Score: 2

Advantages to Android.
by tkeith on Mon 16th Sep 2013 19:43 UTC
tkeith
Member since:
2010-09-01

Great, it runs Android apps, but so does Android. What are the advantages to Jolla? Their website is pretty lacking for information.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Advantages to Android.
by No it isnt on Mon 16th Sep 2013 20:27 UTC in reply to "Advantages to Android."
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

Meego has great multitasking, and Qt is the main development platform. Also, it's a more GNU-like Linux, without Android's cumbersome userland.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Advantages to Android.
by drcouzelis on Mon 16th Sep 2013 20:48 UTC in reply to "Advantages to Android."
drcouzelis Member since:
2010-01-11

It's hard to explain... Android is "Linux". SailfishOS is "Linux like you expect Linux to be".

On SailfishOS, the multitasking is just multitasking, like on a desktop. Native applications, which can be made in Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux, are written in Qt 5, just like you can write Qt 5 applications for any other platform. The applications are distributed as "rpm" files, and SailfishOS may very well come with yum. It uses the normal Linux filesystem hierarchy. It comes with the GNU tools you use and expect in Linux.

All that, plus a new easy-to-use and pretty (in my opinion) user interface on top.

You know how Mac OS X has a nice, simple, easy-to-use user interface on top of all the power of Unix? I suppose it's kind of like that but on a phone.

Edited 2013-09-16 20:49 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Advantages to Android.
by dsmogor on Tue 17th Sep 2013 05:49 UTC in reply to "RE: Advantages to Android."
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

Mobile OS will never successfully multitask like Desktop OS bc, well, it is not desktop.
It doesn't have permanent power source and nobody (yet) managed to do virtual memory right.
So this way or another background processing will have to be tamed. In fact desktop computing (Win8 primarily) goes the same route.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Advantages to Android.
by oiaohm on Tue 17th Sep 2013 08:27 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Advantages to Android."
oiaohm Member since:
2009-05-30

Mobile OS will never successfully multitask like Desktop OS bc, well, it is not desktop.
It doesn't have permanent power source and nobody (yet) managed to do virtual memory right.
So this way or another background processing will have to be tamed. In fact desktop computing (Win8 primarily) goes the same route.


Most of this is wrong. Mobile devices flash you don't do virtual memory to disc but they do use a different solution.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zram Yes inside lots of Android phones is Zram. While docks a mobile phone could go into over drive.

But even laptop need to control background tasks.

Windows 8 does not have ram compression or many of the other techs coming in Linux.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Advantages to Android.
by dsmogor on Tue 17th Sep 2013 09:15 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Advantages to Android."
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

Zram is as you noted ram compression technique that happens to use swap. Still it doesn't posses the fundamental feature of virtual memory: nearly limitless memory space.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Advantages to Android.
by oiaohm on Wed 18th Sep 2013 03:26 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Advantages to Android."
oiaohm Member since:
2009-05-30

Zram is as you noted ram compression technique that happens to use swap. Still it doesn't posses the fundamental feature of virtual memory: nearly limitless memory space.

In fact virtual memory is never limitless not even nearly. Swap is virtual memory. When you run out of swap you run out of virtual memory that simple.

The big difference on mobile devices is the fact they are using in ram compression to create some of the virtual memory state. In the process duplicate data in different memory zones is also compacted by Zram also end up only taking up 1 block of memory.

Zram is a step away from the tradition virtual memory solution. But its still enabled virtual memory.

The data compressed in zram appears to applications as virtual memory addresses.

The reality is android devices have a different form of virtual memory solution. Traditional is ram back by block storage device uncompressed. Mobile is ram back by ram partition containing compressed data.

Both solutions result in virtual memory. Where you have more allocated addresses than the physical ram can hold.

Yes a zram solution in fact can hold more ram filled with zeros than a disc based virtual memory solution. Complete size of the addressable space of the cpu as a blank pages take up less than 1 page of ram.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=id.co.ptskp.android.zs...

Yes older android devices do not have zram dsmogor. So your statement about virtual memory is true pre existence of zram. So today there are Android devices out there with Virtual memory and this will become the norm.

Edited 2013-09-18 03:33 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Advantages to Android.
by dsmogor on Tue 17th Sep 2013 05:46 UTC in reply to "Advantages to Android."
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

1. QT5 could potentially (I don't have hard proof) provide more fluid / attractive animated experience on the same (low / middle end) hardware than Android as it doesn't have to round-trip through VM
2. Jolla have developed a decent UX that does not root in Google's code and could possibly be attractive for manufacturers that want to depart from Google dependence, and still not suck. I still would like to hear about integration with major cloud services like maps, mail, sync.
3. Having Android compatibility sets it apart from e.g. Firefox OS, I still have to see how well it works esp. for apps that exploit numerous Android's system extension points.

Reply Score: 2

Interesting
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Mon 16th Sep 2013 19:47 UTC
Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:
2006-07-14

I'd try it, if it works for my phone or tablet. I've tried a plasma Active and ubuntu touch on my tablet, they both suffered a number of glitches that made it less useful than I had hoped.

I hope its different with Sailfish, I love the concept.

Two pro tips for any sailfish devs that might read this:

1) Make sure the onscreen keyboard *always* works.

2) Don't include lots of half working features. I understand that there is always going to be works in progress. But try following the Monthly release example that cyanogemod does. Where there are periods of relative stability.

3) Make every thing in the ui as intuitive as possible, make sure that you error on the side of usability.Make the activation area for any hidden parts of the ui as large as possible to aid in discover-ability and reduce frustration at activating basic features.

Edited 2013-09-16 19:54 UTC

Reply Score: 2

OS/2 all over again
by moondevil on Mon 16th Sep 2013 20:46 UTC
moondevil
Member since:
2005-07-08

All those systems allowing to run Android applications, please learn from history.

If I want to run Android applications, I will get an Android powered mobile.

No need to provide half baked experience, when I can get the real thing.

And as a developer, why should I spend resources learning whatever SDK you provide, when it suffices to target Android?

Reply Score: 5

RE: OS/2 all over again
by shmerl on Tue 17th Sep 2013 19:09 UTC in reply to "OS/2 all over again"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

And as a developer, why should I spend resources learning whatever SDK you provide, when it suffices to target Android?

Why should one bother with inferior SDK tied to one target system? There is Qt for Android already.

Edited 2013-09-17 19:09 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: OS/2 all over again
by henderson101 on Wed 18th Sep 2013 08:21 UTC in reply to "RE: OS/2 all over again"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

Qt for Android required a runtime component last time I looked at it. Does this? It doesn't seem like it requires additional functionality to be manually installed.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: OS/2 all over again
by oiaohm on Wed 18th Sep 2013 11:59 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: OS/2 all over again"
oiaohm Member since:
2009-05-30

Qt for Android required a runtime component last time I looked at it. Does this? It doesn't seem like it requires additional functionality to be manually installed.

Qt for Android is a subset of QT. The Main QT library contains the code to be a full Wayland compositor and many other items that are stripped out of the Qt for Android version. Android applications cannot normally replace the Android platform compositor or even alter how it works.

Jolla does open up some interesting things with the changes.

QT for android applications can be built without the runtime part but then you have a application size limit. 50MB APK size limit is nasty. QT library parts are not exactly small.

Yes the runtime for QT on Android mostly exists to make QT applications smaller so 50MB limit is not such a major problem.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: OS/2 all over again
by moondevil on Wed 18th Sep 2013 12:16 UTC in reply to "RE: OS/2 all over again"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

True, but it requires a lot extra space.

As explained at Google IO 2013, the bigger applications are the ones users always uninstall.

Reply Score: 3

Linux on Linux
by ferrels on Mon 16th Sep 2013 22:11 UTC
ferrels
Member since:
2006-08-15

Wow, one Linux distro running the apps of another Linux dsitro.....simply shocking.

Reply Score: 5

Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Mon 16th Sep 2013 22:14 UTC
Drumhellar
Member since:
2005-07-12

It always saddens me a bit to see things like this. I'm always remind of OS/2, in which it's Windows and Win32 compatibility meant developers had little reason to write both win32 and OS/2 versions of their applications.

Nobody wrote OS/2 applications, and without native apps, there wasn't much reason to run OS/2.

This is only one of several reasons OS/2 failed, but it was a big one.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by Johann Chua on Mon 16th Sep 2013 22:25 UTC in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
Johann Chua Member since:
2005-07-22

Didn't OS/2 have Win16 compatibility?

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Mon 16th Sep 2013 22:35 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Drumhellar"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

Oops.

It could run Win32s applications, which was a subset of Win32 that was released for Win3.1. Apps that used this subset could run on either Win3.1 or WinNT.

Some companies targeted Win32s for both OS's initially, then left OS/2 behind they used more of Win32.

Edited 2013-09-16 22:36 UTC

Reply Score: 2

your list of OPPS is long.
by oiaohm on Tue 17th Sep 2013 04:20 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar"
oiaohm Member since:
2009-05-30

OS/2 run Win32 not Win32s what is the difference between win32 and Win32s files. Win32s binaries have to have relocation tables. OS/2 solution for running Win32 did not require relocation.

http://odin.netlabs.org/en/site/index.xml

OS/2 had oden. That took win32 PE binaries and converted them to OS/2 LX binaries. Down fall of this method copy protection checking executable binaries. This appears around Windows 98.

WinNT pure executables run on OS/2 no problems at first. Copy-protection and Microsoft no longer documenting correctly the ABI of windows was the downfall of the OS/2 application support.

So no the change was not Win32 its a few years latter and other changes that broke OS/2.

The other thing was the Windows NT OS/2 subsystem allowing NT to run OS/2 binaries without alteration. So making migration from OS/2 to NT workstation seamless. Due to OS/2 method going from NT workstation to OS/2 warp was not dependable applications would not work.

Reply Score: 3