Search Results for: sailfish

Microsoft could bring Android applications to Windows

Major scoop by Tom Warren.

Sources familiar with Microsoft's plans tell The Verge that the company is seriously considering allowing Android apps to run on both Windows and Windows Phone. While planning is ongoing and it's still early, we're told that some inside Microsoft favor the idea of simply enabling Android apps inside its Windows and Windows Phone Stores, while others believe it could lead to the death of the Windows platform altogether. The mixed (and strong) feelings internally highlight that Microsoft will need to be careful with any radical move.

Now, I have a very crazy theory about this whole thing. I obviously have no inside sources like Warren has, so load this image in another tab while reading this, but what if instead of this being an attempt to bridge the 'application gap', this is the first step in a Microsoft transition towards Android as a whole?

Much like the PC world, which eventually settled on two players, the mobile world has settled on two players: Android and iOS. It's the cold and harsh truth. Does it really make sense for Microsoft to focus all that energy on developing Windows Phone - not to a whole lot of avail so far - when they could just take Android, add their own services, and more importantly, their own very popular and ubiquitous enterprise software, and sell that instead? Microsoft actually started out as an application software provider, and not as an operating system vendor, so it's not like they would do something they're not comfortable with.

The biggest reason this crazy, unfounded theory came to my mind is that I simply cannot believe Microsoft would actually make it possible to run Android applications on Windows Phone. First, running Android applications on another platform is not exactly issue-free. Second, this has not exactly helped BlackBerry (and Sailfish, for that matter) either. Third, Windows Phone (and Windows 8 Metro) are already afterthoughts for developers, nothing more than mere side-projects in between iOS and Android work. Why would any of them develop native applications if they can just send their already completed APK to Microsoft? It'd be the death of Windows Phone and Metro.

Combined with the news that Nokia's Android phone is actually going to come out, it wouldn't surprise me at all if Microsoft is thinking about phasing out Windows Phone, with the ability to run Android applications on the platform as a first step in this migration.

There are major issues with such an approach, of course, not least of which the problem Amazon has also run into: no Google Play Services, meaning several popular applications won't run at all. If you're truly, truly outrageous, you could even consider a pact between Microsoft and Google, a combined effort that would take some possible antitrust heat off Google's back, and would give them a united front against Apple and iOS. Even this has precedent: unlike what some think, Microsoft and Apple have a long history of close cooperation. There's no reason Microsoft wouldn't do it again, if needed.

In any case, this is all very interesting stuff, and it shows just how much of a problem the lack of any presence in the mobile world has become for Microsoft. The new CEO has some very tough calls to make.

“Long-form” is not a genre

Jonathan Mahler, on 'long-form' articles:

What's behind this revival? Nostalgia, partly, for what only recently had seemed to be a dying art. And technology: High-resolution screens make it much more pleasant to read a long piece online than it was even a few years ago. Also the simple and honorable intention to preserve a particular kind of story, one that's much different from even a long newspaper feature, with scenes and characters and a narrative arc.

Up until the moment I read this article, I had no idea there was a specific term for long(er) articles, let alone that some consider it a genre. I realised that virtually all of my reviews are apparently "long-form"; the Jolla review, for instance, was 9000 words long. I've done much crazier than that, though - the Palm article was 22000 words long.

However, in both of these cases, I never intended for the articles to become that long, or in fact, to achieve any specific length. When I start out, I just have a number of things that I want to discuss, and I won't stop writing until all of those things are in the article. I will make a distinction between things that get lots of attention (say, the gestures in Sailfish) and things that get a passing mention (e.g., the backplate), usually based on some sort of combination between what I personally find interesting and what you, the readers, might find interesting. Since the gestures in Sailfish are at the core of the user experience, it gets a lot of attention; because the backplate and its hardware potential offers little to no benefit right now, it gets a passing mention.

I also like to pick some sort of overarching red thread, like the whole The Last Resort thing in the Jolla/Sailfish review, to tie everything together and frame the article. This can be a dangerous thing, since it's usually very personal and can easily be misinterpreted as pretentious or have other unwelcome side-effects. Originally, I framed the Jolla/Sailfish article using Manifest Destiny, but I quickly realised that its pitch-black consequences were unacceptable in a mere technology article.

Combine these things, and the article is done. Whether the resulting article turns out to be 2000 words or 10000 words is irrelevant to me; if it contains everything I want to convey, it's done. If it leaves things out just to be short and more digestible, it's a bad article. If it contains useless, irrelevant crap just to pad the word count, it's a bad article. Years ago, when both my best friend and I were writing our master's theses, we ended up with very, very different word counts - mine was 27000, hers was a mere 8000. Both contained all the required information; nothing more and nothing less. Both were graded positively. Word count is a measure of nothing.

By now, some of you might be wondering why the sales pitch for the Palm article did contain the word count - which seems to contradict the above. My reasoning there was simple: we were selling the Palm article. I figured that since I was asking people to pay money for an article that was freely available on that very same page, I should at least give them information about what they were spending their money on.

Long articles like the ones mentioned above are not for everyone. In fact, their potential audience is much, much smaller than, say, a three paragraph jab at software patents. While those jabs are fun - sort of - it's these long articles that are by far the most fulfilling to write. The Palm article alone took months and months of work - research, making notes, educating myself about low-level stuff, devising a structure, setting a tone, organising the six hundred different subjects I wanted to cover, the actual writing process, revising it all, while also doing my regular job, and so on - but it is by far the most rewarding experience I've ever had for OSNews.

I'll never forget getting emails from former Palm executives and engineers - big names - congratulating me on a job well done.

Writing articles like that is not easy, with my biggest enemy being a lack of time because OSNews is a hobby, not a full-time job (I wish it was!). A few weeks after publishing the Palm article, I started work on a similar article about Psion and Symbian, but due to work and personal life (which was rather tumultuous in 2013) sucking up a lot of time last year, I never found the time to continue work on it. With things having settled down since December, I'm making plans to dust off the Psion and Symbian material, possibly take a few weeks off work, and finish it.

That article could end up being 8000 words, or 50000 words. I don't know. The goal is not be long, but to be comprehensive, and this is my inherent problem with the term "long-form". This term puts the focus on length instead of content, which absolutely baffles me. A good article is not defined by its length - or lack thereof - but by its content.

From Providence to Lahaina: the Jolla review

In October 2011, with the writing on the wall after Nokia switched to Windows Phone and closed the long-running MeeGo project, several former Maemo Nokians left the company ("Nokia was a coward"). With support from their old employer through the Nokia Bridge program, but without any access to Nokia's intellectual property or patents, the new company - called Jolla - continued the work that spawned the legendary N9, only able to use the open source parts of that phone's software.

Late 2013, their work culminated in Sailfish, running on their own smartphone, the Jolla. In a way, this device and its software has been in the making since 2004-2005, and considering the rocky roads and many challenges these people had to overcome between then and now, the phone sometimes seems to radiate defiance and determination.

Nokia N9

Elop's decision to focus solely on Windows Phone had one very important side-effect: the Maemo/MeeGo team was suddenly free from all the internal politics, and this meant that they could finally focus on building the best smartphone they possibly could. This phone would be end-of-life even before it appeared on the shelves, and it would have no future. It would be a last big hurrah, a last-ditch, all-in effort - and it resulted in a device that I think is one of the most beautiful pieces of technology ever conceived.

This seems like a good moment to highlight this unique masterpiece - because I'm finally getting one (my brother's parting with his). The white version is the most beautiful piece of technology ever created.

Jolla’s journey of a year

Stefano Mosconi (CTO of Jolla) gives a review of the past year, talking about decisions and developments in the company such as changing the SoC manufacturer for their first handset, switching to Wayland with Qt5 for Sailfish and opening their Web store and co-creation site.

The road was extremely tough and still we managed to deliver a product to the market in time. We focused on quality and stability rather than on number of features and we committed to our customers to listen to them and support the phone so it will remain valuable, relevant and well performing. We did this in about 100 guys and girls: we built an OS, an app store, a product, logistic and sales channels, online collaboration tool, SDK and developer intake.

Jolla outsells iPhone, Galaxy S4, high-end Lumias on DNA, Finland

More good news for Jolla and Sailfish. On the Finnish carrier DNA, the only carrier currently selling the device, Jolla outsold the iPhone 5S, 5C, Galaxy S4, and every Lumia except the 520. Jolla ended up as number five, preceded by the Lumia 520 in fourth place, the Galaxy SIII 4G in third, and two cheap Galaxy phones as two and one. Sales cover the holiday period.

Of course, with Finland having a small population and Jolla having the home team advantage, this isn't exactly representative for, well, anything, but it's still impressive and good news for the young platform. The fact that Jolla outsold the flagships of iOS, Android, and Windows Phone holds promise for the future. On top of that, out of that top five, the Jolla is the most expensive phone (save for perhaps the Galaxy SIII).

I'm curious to see if they'll be able to maintain this momentum. It's not going to be easy.

Jolla smartphone to go on sale 27 November in Finland

Jolla's first smartphone, running their new SailfishOS, will be released in Finland on 27 November. It will feature Nokia HERE maps, and the Yandex Android application store.

Currently featuring over 85,000 apps in 17 categories, Yandex.Store offers the best and most popular apps - from social networking and communication apps like Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Skype, Viber and WeChat to games like Angry Birds. Yandex.Store will provide in-app purchase opportunities and is available on smartphones and tablets in 37 languages.

International, non-Finnish people who preordered (like myself) will be notified via email shortly. I can't wait. I'm getting the 'other half' in red and white (I get two of them as part of my preorder package) - or perhaps, hot candy pink? Any suggestions from you guys and girls?

Interview: Marc Dillon of Jolla

PocketNow interviews Marc Dillon, and there's an interesting note about why Jolla is keeping the display properties under wraps: "We're leaving some of those details out because we do understand that there are a lot of really big players in the market and they tend to take certain components in the market and dominate them. We created the ability to actually be able to run Sailfish on multiple hardware displays and be able to swap components, so this is part of the demand and supply planning phase. We are committed to this industrial design which is a 4.5-inch display, an 8 megapixel camera on the back and a front-facing camera at the front, and the exact specs of the display we'll provide when we're close to delivery." Something you rarely hear anything about.

Where are the hobbyist mobile operating systems?

Almost exactly three years ago, I wrote about why OSNews was no longer OSNews: the alternative operating system scene had died, and OSNews, too, had to go with the times and move towards reporting on a new wave of operating systems - mobile, and all the repercussions that the explosion of smartphones and tablets have caused. Still, I was wondering something today: why aren't we seeing alternative operating systems on mobile?

Change platforms

Change platforms. Whenever you can. Ever since I got into computing, I've lived according to a very simple adage: change platforms all the time. For reasons I won't go into, the importance of this adage was reaffirmed today, and I figured I'd share it with you all - and hopefully, get a few of you to follow this adage as well.

QML component API’s to come together?

A Jolla (Sailfish) developer and a Canonical (Ubuntu Phone) developer walk into a KDE/Plasma IRC channel, and fire up a conversation about the QML component API. Not long after, the first fruits of this conversation become apparent. Aaron Seigo (who uses punctuation these days!): "Well, one thing led to another and Zoltan posted an email to the Qt Components mailing list summing up the conversation and proposing we bring our APIs into better alignment. We hope to address issues of API drift between the various component sets out there. This is a pain point others have identified, such as in this recent blog post by Johan Thelin. There is much work to be done before we can even think of calling this a success, but it's the right sort of start." Great news.

Jolla to unveil user interface, SDK 21 November

"A date and place has been set to reveal the new Jolla smartphone user interface and deliver the Jolla developer story and SDK. Jolla will demonstrate the Jolla user interface, based on the recently announced Sailfish alliance OS, at the Slush event in Helsinki, Finland on 21-22 November. Jolla is very excited to be able to share the user interface, and talk about the Jolla SDK and application ecosystem with the developers. Jolla will publish the device information, ID and expected availability before Christmas." Hell yes.

Jolla launches ‘mobile alliance based on MeeGo’

After a few months of relative silence and vagueness, we're finally getting something tangible from Jolla, the promising mobile phone company which came forth from former Nokia employees. It's ambitious - they're not just going to create a mobile operating system, not just a mobile phone, but an entire ecosystem, including cloud services and data centres. At its heart? The beautiful city of Hong Kong. The prime target market? China.