In many ways I feel that the Mobile OS World has started to stagnate a bit. You have Android which is good but each new version seems to be just a rehash of the old, iOS which lets face it, is starting to fade into irrelevancy because Apple continues to live in the world that “it is our handset or nothing” mindset, Blackberry well…we will morn for you and the Windows Phone OS…which really has potential but came to the party too late. But now there is a resurgence in building of a “new and better mobile”. With the likes of Tizen, Sailfish, Firefox OS and Ubuntu Touch the Mobile Market has become an interesting place…that is for sure.
In Part 1 of this Mobile Renaissance I figured I would take a closer look at the Sailfish OS that is starting to gain some traction and interest…and has a pretty solid SDK available. Unlike the world of Desktop OS reviews, I am having to download the SDK for each of the up and coming Mobile OS and some functionality will be lost in the overall look and feel of moving from a handheld to a desktop…but it will give me a good feeling for what may just be the next big thing (and I am also doing an evaluation on what I will install on my Nexus 4 for a long term run and evaluation).
I am not by any stretch of the imagination a “crack developer” but I am working towards understanding the nuances of as many Operating Systems as possible so that maybe…just maybe the future will allow me to build something real and so the quest begins.
Downloading the SDK (there are options for Windows, Linux and OSX) was pretty simple and once I started up a blank Project the opportunity to run Sailfish OS for the first time became a real possibility. It runs itself in an Oracle Virtualbox environment and much of the function of the OS is there…although there are no additional apps installed and it is just the plain vanilla OS…but to gain the look and the feel of an OS, especially from a developers perspective…this is not a bad thing…but I would think that as a developer one would want to know what the real overhead and potential bugs that could appear when you start running multiple apps (heck on my Nexus 4 I have more than 100 apps installed and on more than one occasion…this has caused issues with new apps.
But from the perspective of the OS, I found it to be fairly easy to navigate.
It uses familiar gestures to find your way around the screens and here is a quick view of some of them.
Is it ready for the main stream? Jolla thinks so. For 399 Euro ($550) you get a pretty solid phone overall and the fact that you can now run Android Apps inside of the OS makes it a real contender for the Next Generation.
Check out the Video by the Finnish company that has a very Nokia like feel to it: