Search Results for: sailfish

The first commercial Asteroid OS smartwatch revealed

The first ever commercial Asteroid OS smartwatch, Connect Watch, was revealed today by a French company going by the same name. A Wi-Fi only model and a 3G model were unveiled with prices 99€ and 129€ respectively. Sales for these watches will commence tomorrow. Connect watch aims to provide a free watch alternative to the Android Wear and Tizen watches. The watches are capable to function on their own without the need for a smartphone and the 3G model can perform calls as well.

Asteroid OS, for those of you who don't know, is a Nemo Mobile based open source smartwatch OS and thus shares a lot of blood with Sailfish OS. Spearheaded by a talented young programmer Florent Revest, The project has matured a lot in 2 years since it inception and garnered lot of interest around the world. Jolla's Sailfish OS for smartwatch demo displayed in Slush 2016 and MWC 2017 was also based on Asteroid OS. No Asteroid OS sync application for Sailfish OS is yet to be in development.

It's 2017, and I can post a news item about an alternative operating system shipping on a smartwatch.

Today was a good day.

Jolla’s summer 2017 update

Jolla's CEO Sami Pienimäki:

We have positive progress and major future business potential with Sailfish openings e.g. in China and Russia. While these projects are big and take time, they're developing steadily and we expect them to grow into sizable businesses for us overtime. These two are now our key customers but the projects are in early phase and our revenues are tight.  At the same time realizing this opportunity requires significant R&D investments from our licensing customers and Jolla.

Meanwhile, as Russia and China are progressing, we also have good traction with other new potential licensing customers in different regions. Good discussions are ongoing, and we’re waiting eagerly to get to share those with you.

And yes, they're still going to at some point maybe possibly start the refunding process for the tablet. My Jolla Tablet spent about 5 minutes outside of the box, since there's not much you can actually do with it.

Mozilla ceases all Firefox OS development

By the end of 2015 Mozilla leadership had come to the conclusion that our then Firefox OS initiative of shipping phones with commercial partners would not bring Mozilla the returns we sought. We made the first of a series of announcements about changes in the development of Firefox OS at Mozilla. Since then we have gradually wound down that work and, as of the end of July 2016 have stopped all commercial development on Firefox OS. This message recaps what transpired during that period of time and also describes what will happen with the Firefox OS code base going forward.

Symbian, Sailfish OS, BlackBerry OS, Windows Phone, Firefox OS.

Jolla announces new limited edition Jolla C smartphone

Jolla C is the first ever Sailfish OS community device, with a limited 1,000 units available for our developer and fan community. It is expected to ship in July 2016. Jolla C is used by Jolla developers and community members, and its users will naturally get all the latest vanilla Sailfish OS releases. Selected Jolla C users will be also invited to test Beta OS releases. With a quad-core Snapdragon™ processor, 2 GB memory, beautiful 5” HD display and dual SIM, the Jolla C works beautifully with Sailfish OS. You will get to keep the device for yourself after the Program.

Jolla is releasing a new smartphone, but in a very limited number - only a 1000 pieces - for selected users. It's not exactly a massive step forward compared to the first Jolla device, but it's a nice spec bump nonetheless.

It's unlikely many of us will own this one.

Jolla completes financing round

Now, it is my pleasure to share you really good news: we're back from the death valley! We have just finished our latest financing round and secured solid new financing to the company. This investment enables the continuation of Sailfish OS development, the community activities and other company operations. It’s clear that this recent struggle hit us hard and left some battle wounds but most importantly this means that the development and life of Sailfish OS will continue strong. This alone is worth a celebration!

Whether this is just a stay or an actual solution remains to be seen, but I'm skeptical.

Open letter to Jolla community: through the tough times

From the Jolla Blog:

Many of you have been rightfully asking, where did our tablet money go? Below is an analysis of it in a simple graph. Big part of the tablet project went to Sailfish OS software development (more than 50% of project costs). As I have said in earlier blogs, hardware is the easy part, software is the king (and the beast).

Overall, as I also explained in a recent TechCrunch interview, the alternative OS is a really big and challenging agenda. But I still believe it is moving ahead, yet very slowly. The primary challenge for us is that our agenda might be somewhat forward leaning, and we need to wait until the world catches up with this vision that other OSs are heavily needed to create an alternative for Android. The interest for our agenda is just now emerging. I firmly believe that companies and consumers will soon realize that the world really needs options in mobile OSs. We've already had many interesting discussions with potential new partners about using Sailfish OS in their own projects. I'm looking forward to announcing the results of these talks soon.

I wonder how the story would have been different if Sailfish OS were free software and had a strong community to aid in software development.

Jolla files for debt restructuring

Jolla Ltd, the mobile company from Finland today announced that its latest financing round which aimed to end in November, has been postponed and the company needs to adjust its operations accordingly. At the same time the company has filed for a debt restructuring program in Finland, to ensure the continuity of its business. Jolla will also temporarily lay off a big part of its personnel.

To anyone capable of basic pattern recognition, this does not come as a surprise. I doubt I'm getting my tablet, even though I backed it in the first hour of availability, but to be honest, I'm much more concerned about the people being "temporarily" laid off. These are all people who took an incredible risk to follow a dream, and I hope - despite the dire signs - Jolla pulls through and they can keep their jobs, or that they can easily and quickly find new jobs.

Almost two years ago, I wrote in my Jolla review:

Few devices have a history as complicated as the Jolla and Sailfish. The ten-year journey from the Nokia N770 to the Jolla was long, arduous, filled with focus shifts, mergers, and other complications. Like the nameless protagonist in The Last Resort, in order to step out of the shadows of the old world, Jolla had to leave Providence behind, traverse the Great Divide, cross the Rockies to reach the Malibu, and set sail across the Pacific to end up on the pearly white beaches of Lahaina.

However, also just like the nameless protagonist, they found that the natural beauty of Lahaina had already been framed and plasticised by hotel chains and fast food restaurants. It is in that environment that Jolla must make a stand and survive - because there's no more new frontier.

It seems like Jolla was unable to survive amidst the hotel chains and fast food restaurants of the mobile technology industry.

Only a few days ago, my brother had a gift for me. Something special, something I know he cares about a lot. A square black box, embossed with the outline of a phone with a slide-out keyboard, and, in silver lettering, the timeless "NOKIA Nseries" and "Nokia N900". None of you know my brother - obviously - but I know just how huge of a moment this was. Up until only a few months ago, he still used his Nokia N900 as his one and only smartphone. Not as a curiosity for parlour tricks - no, as his primary, day-to-day smartphone.

His attachment and love for his N900 is something you don't see very often in technology. It's not the kind of deluded fandom you see in some other circles, but more of a "I know this device is outdated and slow and that the software isn't very modern, but it works for me". Talk to any current N900 user, and you'll get the same vibe. In fact, the N900 my brother gave to me wasn't his only one, he still has another one as back-up.

As a back-up to what? Well, after a short stint with a Nokia N9 - which I bought from him a few years ago - he went back to his N900, until a few months ago, when he finally settled on a new device, a Sony Z3 Compact. After the last few months, he finally felt comfortable enough to donate one of his N900s (but not both!). Unsurprisingly, he was always interested in Jolla and kept an eye on them, and while he certainly played with mine on occasion, it never clicked.

When, as Jolla, spiritual successor to the infamous and beloved Nokia Maemo/Harmattan family, you can't even entice someone like my brother, you know you're lost in a world where you're never going to compete with Android or iOS.

My limited edition Jolla The First One will always have a special place in my heart, and the tablet, if it ever ships to me, will certainly be one of the more prized curiosities in my collection, but I'm afraid the ship has sailed on Jolla.

It's probably in Fiji by now.

Asteroid: a free and open smartwatch platform

Asteroid is a free and open-source community-centered smartwatch platform based on Qt5, OpenEmbedded and libhybris. Qt5 is used to create a rock-solid user experience, OpenEmbedded provides the build system and core components of the distribution and libhybris allows Asteroid to be run on top of Android Wear devices. It shares a lot of technological and philosophical choices with smartphones projects such as SailfishOS, NemoMobile, WebOS-Ports, SHR or Ubuntu Touch but adapted to the needs of smartwatches. For now the project is still in early stages and is in need of contributors.

libhybris is the gift that just keeps on giving.

Marc Dillon, Jolla’s co-founder, departs

Dillon's visibility and personal passion for Sailfish has, at times, made him feel like the de facto face of the entire Sailfish project - eclipsing the other co-founders with his call-to-arms conviction and punkish demands for a more human technology, for software to have a heart, for developers to champion difference and care about consumers whose tastes are unlike the mainstream. Sailfish's small pond certainly rippled with the energy of such a vivid personality.

So on one level it's a huge surprise to hear he's left Jolla, the company he quit former employer Nokia to help co-found all the way back in 2011.

So, not only did Jolla split into a separate software and a separate hardware company (never a good sign), now its co-founder and frontman has left the, uh, ship as well.

You don't need a lot of brain cells to figure this one out.

Plasma Phone OS, a KDE project for mobile

Plasma Phone OS (or simply Plasma Phone) is a complete software stack for mobile devices and includes the following libre technologies: Plasma Mobile (a Plasma-based shell), KWIN/KWayland, Voicecall, Ofono, RIL, OHM, Telepathy. It allows to run several Qt-based applications to run on top of it, for example: Plasma apps, Ubuntu Touch based apps, Sailfish OS based apps, Nemo based apps.

The website is pretty minimal, but the first few comments on this Hacker News post gives a good overview.

Ubuntu Phone review: years in the making, still not ready

Aside from the app void and the questionable value of Scopes, Ubuntu Phone is a bit of a nightmare to use the majority of the time. Something's often refreshing in the background, causing the phone to slow down. Apps take longer to load than they should, and even then you're probably waiting on a web app. The gesture-based navigation is unrefined; there are bugs and glitches all over the place; and in general, many core experiences are severely lacking in polish. Despite years of development, Ubuntu Phone still feels like an early beta, and I think Canonical needs to think long and hard about the implementation of Scopes and bump native apps up the agenda. There's nothing wrong with trying to be different, but there's a reason Android/iOS are so popular. Ignoring the headway they've made in refining the mobile experience is, in my mind, setting yourself up for failure.

It's taking Canonical way, way too long. If the much further along Sailfish and Jolla can't really make a serious dent into anything, it's easy to imagine this won't go anywhere either.

Jolla announces focus shift

And so, a day before I leave for Italy for my Summer vacation, we've got some... News about Jolla. The company just put out a press release, announcing a focus shift.

Jolla Ltd., the Finnish mobile company and developer of open mobile operating system Sailfish OS, today announced a change in its company structure and management as further action toward company's strategy to focus on Sailfish OS licensing and development.

As of today, the company Jolla Ltd. will concentrate on the development and licensing business of the independent and open mobile operating system Sailfish OS. A new company will be established to continue Jolla's device business, where the company sees a specific interest from privacy-aware consumers and corporations around the world.

The press release - of course - frames this as happy news, but years of experience in covering technology (or just years of not living under a rock, really) has taught me that moves like this are never borne out of desire, but out of necessity. Combined with several delays of Jolla's tablet and of Sailfish 2.0, it's hard not to conclude the company (companies?) is facing bleak times.

I haven't exactly kept my displeasure with the slow pace of progress regarding Sailfish development a secret, and I've had worries about the company's future for a long time now. The Jolla phone is now 19 months old, and it wasn't exactly flagship-quality to begin with when it was first released in December 2013. While there's been considerable updates to Sailfish 1.0, it, too, is now 19 months old. In addition, the promised support for paid applications never arrived.

One also has to wonder just how wise it was to focus on building a tablet. Tablets don't get replaced very often, and they are a far smaller market than smartphones. In addition, adding a whole new form factor to support is surely to negatively affect the smartphone experience. Had the company instead focused on releasing a new phone, we might have had it sooner - no new form factor to develop - and we'd have a replacement for the under-performing original Jolla phone. Hindsight, though, right?

Regarding the tablet:

Jolla is committed to deliver the Jolla Tablet to its Indiegogo crowdfunding contributors and is working hard to start first shipments as soon as possible. "The software (Sailfish OS) part of the work is in good shape but we have been slowed down by supply issues of certain hardware components. We expect to solve this issue very soon," Mr. Saarnio says.

I hope the company can stay afloat long enough to ensure we get our tablets (I ordered one within minutes of the announcement). Maybe things are not as bleak as I make them out to be here, but I'm not exactly getting the positive vibes.

The terrible return of DRM

But it's also super depressing, because it's just another example of how the rise of streaming media has brought crazy digital rights management back into our lives. We've completely traded convenience for ecosystem lock-in, and it sucks.

Right now, the Echo can play music from Amazon's Prime Music service, Pandora, and whatever random music I've uploaded to my Amazon cloud locker. This means that the music selection is pretty bad! I stopped buying music around the time I started using Spotify, so I don't have much new stuff to upload, and Prime Music has a fairly thin catalog compared to Spotify. Basically this thing can play my 2000s-era iTunes collection at me, which means I'm listening Wilco and The Clash way more than I have in the past few years. Is that good? It might be good.

Patel has a point - the rise of all these streaming music services has completely undone the end of DRM in the music industry. It's most likely entirely unrelated, but Steve Jobs' scathing letter condemning the use of DRM is no longer available on Apple's website - just as Apple is rumoured to launch its own streaming music service.

The same has happened in IM, chat, messaging, or whatever you want to call it. It's 2015, and I have five messaging applications on my smartphone - WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Google Messenger, Hangouts, Skype - and I also use iMessage occasionally (on OS X) because some of my friends are locked into it and don't want to use something else. These companies - Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook - are actively and consciously making the choice to make the lives of their customers as difficult as possible.

If these companies really cared about their customers - as they always claim they do - they would've come together and used or developed a proper open standard for messaging. Instead, we get Facebook (through WhatsApp) banning users for using 3rd party WhatsApp clients on Sailfish, or we have Apple making grandiose promises about turning FaceTime into an open standard, but then backtracking once they realise they can frustrate and lock-in consumers by keeping it closed. Google, meanwhile, seems to have no idea what it's doing at all, flipflopping left and right (Hangouts? Messenger? What's it going to be, Google?). Skype is Skype.

Now that iOS and Android (and to a lesser degree, Windows Phone) are entirely and wholly interchangeable, companies are looking for other ways to lock their consumers into their platforms - and much like in music, the companies are placing their own interests above that of their consumers.

Turns out, the Jolla Tablet is really onto something

Sometimes a few inches is all it takes to make a difference. Back when Jolla first started, a team of former Nokians taking MeeGo and spinning it into their own Sailfish OS, it became a smartphone curio. The simple UI and gesture-based navigation had promise, but compared to an iPhone, Android, or even Windows Phone device, it felt underwhelmingly simple. Now, the Finns are back with not only Sailfish 2.0, but a tablet for it to run on, and it turns out that makes for a great pairing.

I can't wait for my Jolla tablet to arrive and for Sailfish 2.0 to become available for my Jolla phone. Quite exciting times.

Unofficial WhatsApp library gets end-to-end encryption

As Slashdot notes:

Earlier last year WhatsApp announced partnership with Open WhisperSystems to integrate the ratcheting forward secrecy protocol found in their app called TextSecure, into WhatsApp. The protocol is supposed to provide end-to-end encryption between WhatsApp clients. So far it has been implemented only in WhatsApp on Android, with the rest of platforms yet to come. The implementation however has already made it into unofficial WhatsApp libraries which allow developers to use WhatsApp service in their applications, starting with a python-library called yowsup, and the rest will follow. It's worth mentioning that none of those libraries are supported nor approved by WhatsApp, so one has to wonder if WhatsApp is going to take some legal action (again) against them.

I would strongly advise against using any non-WhatsApp approved clients. Users of the unofficial WhatsApp client for Sailfish, Mitakuuluu, got banned from WhatsApp for using an unofficial client, after which Mitakuuluu's developer ceased development. Know what you're getting into!

Jolla unveils tablet, funded in less than three hours

During an emotional speech delivered today at the Slush conference, Jolla's Marc Dillon unveiled the company's next product: the Jolla tablet, running Sailfish OS 2.0. He launched a crowdfunding campaign for the tablet, with a goal of $380,000 - which was achieved in less than three hours (this may be one of the fastest funding consumer electronics devices ever). I got in early, and was one of the very first people to back the tablet (just as I was one of the first to back the Jolla phone a year ago). A second round has already been announced. Big news for American readers: it'll be available in the US too.

The tablet itself is very similar in specifications to Nokia's N1 tablet, with an 1.8GHz quad-core Intel processor, 2GB RAM, 2048x1536 330ppi 7.85" IPS display, 32GB storage, and all the usual sensors and ports you have come to expect. It's quite light and compact, and has its own design - there's no way people are going to twist this one into an iPad copy.

The tablet is expected to be delivered to us early backers in May 2015, and I can't wait. Also, Mr. Dillon, keep rocking that beard.

Jolla teases new device

Jolla, the company behind Sailfish and the, uh, Jolla, today unveiled a teaser of an upcoming device - at least, that's what it looks like. The tagline is 'Something BIG is about to begin', indicating we're either looking at a tablet or a much larger phone. The countdown counts down to 19 November, so we don't have to wait long to find out what it's all about.

Meanwhile, my own Jolla collects dust in a drawer as it's simply not a very useful device without any proper 3rd party development activity going on. A few days ago, development on one of the few, proper Sailfish applications was halted, which really isn't helping.

I'm always interested in new hardware, but sadly, it will solve none of the deeper, harder problems that Sailfish faces.

And then there were three

I'm lucky. My financial situation allows me to buy several phones and tablets every year to keep up with the goings-on of all the major - and some of the minor - platforms currently competing for prime real estate in your precious pockets. It also means that I am lucky from a psychological point of view - by being able to buy several devices every year, I never fall into the all-too-common trap of choice-supportive bias. I don't have to rationalise my device purchases after the fact, so I won't have to employ all sorts of mental gymnastics to solve any states of cognitive dissonance caused by hardware and software flaws - the number one cause of irrational fanboyism.

And so, I try to rotate my phone of choice around as much as possible. I enjoy jumping from Android to my N9, then onwards to Sailfish, back to Android, and then have some fun with Symbian on my E7 - and beyond. I've got a long list of platforms I want to add to the collection - one white BlackBerry Passport please - but in general, I'm pretty well-rounded.

OSNews platform and browser statistics

It's been a while since we've done one of these, so here we go: some detailed platform and browser statistics for OSNews. They're collected using Google Analytics, between 12 April and 12 May. As always, these statistics are only relevant for OSNews, and can, in no way, be extrapolated to any other site.