Jolla's upcoming operating system, dubbed Sailfish, is one of the few new developments that the nerds among us are really excited about. Engadget recently got their hands on a device running the OS, and have released a video detailing the operating system and all its gesture-based goodness.
As it was revealed earlier this year, gestures seem to be the main focus of the interface. This can be seen in the lack of a 'back' button, which is usually prevalent in many other phones. Going back is accomplished by swiping from left to right. Another example of the focus on gestures can be seen in the “pulley” menu system, which automatically selects items based on how far down you drag the screen. Information like battery and signal strength is also always a swipe away. While this gesture-based navigation may take some getting used to, Jolla's Sailfish OS is clearly something to look forward to, and may redefine a mobile OS.
Jolla's Sailfish OS is heavy on the gestures (image credit: Engadget)
Jolla had revealed earlier this month that the SDK for Sailfish will be available for download in early 2013. This could lead to app development for the OS kicking off relatively early.
The Sailfish OS and SDK were shown off for the first time during the Slush event in November. The Linux-based OS supports multiple chipset technologies that were being demonstrated in Slush, and further support is continuously being built for all the major chipsets. Jolla has announced that ST-Ericsson is ready to support Sailfish on its NovaThor platforms.
Back in October, it was revealed that Jolla had received $258 million in funding to unveil its MeeGo-based phone. The company had raised the funding from “a variety of telecommunications players” including OEMs, chip manufacturers, operators and retailers. Jolla's chief Jussi Hurmola told the Wall Street Journal that the funding comes as part of a new ecosystem alliance based in Hong Kong.
Sailfish and its UI are adaptable and will support smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, automotive, and other device classes. Sailfish lets developers participate in and build solutions with existing open source projects such as Qt, Mer Core, and the Linux kernel. The new OS will be built through community involvement and participation.
The Sailfish SDK consists of Mer Core’s tools, Qt Creator, Jolla UI components, Sailfish UI framework and Sailfish handset application interfaces. Users are able to multitask between running applications. They are also able to interact with the running applications directly on the home view: ending a call or pausing a song without needing to enter the application.
The UI features other features, such as the Pulley Menu which enables fast interaction, at-a-glance peeks at status information, and personalisation of the device to match the user’s style and mood.
Jolla Ltd. was formed by a group of ex-Nokia employees along with enthusiasts of the MeeGo OS. Jolla is Finnish for rescue sail boat or dinghy, and is a reference to what they aim to bring to the table when they launch their MeeGo-based smartphone.
Though adored by a niche audience, MeeGo never saw much mainstream success. The last phone to come out of Nokia's factories to run on MeeGo was the N9. After the release of the Windows Phone line-up, Nokia has backed off from efforts to revitalise MeeGo, focusing most of its resources instead on its new partnership with Microsoft.
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