Hardware, Software Programs

Sailfish OS: Android App Compatibility, No Google Play, New Pre-order Batch

After a relatively brief moment of reticence following the initial information on their mobile platform Sailfish OS and the accompanying pre-order period, just yesterday the Helsinki-based company Jolla issued a press release claiming that they have managed to achieve compatibility of their platform with Android.

In essence, Android apps should not have any issues to run on the hardware Sailfish OS is running on. Jolla managed to achieve this milestone not by using the Android Compatibility Layer (ALC from OpenMobile), but their own solution that is based on the open source projects and Dalvik runtime as well as an unspecified third party technology.

?For example, highly popular apps such as Instagram, WhatsApp and Spotify run directly on Sailfish OS. Also Chinese WeChat ? already with over 400 million users ? runs on Sailfish OS,? says Jolla CEO Tomi Pienimäki, hinting at the European and Chinese target markets at the same time. ?We believe Sailfish with Android compatibility is a highly relevant mobile operating system option for major mobile companies in Europe and in Asia. We are already in discussions with several major Asian vendors regarding this opportunity,? he added.

There are some issues worth having in mind with this approach, however. First of all – there is no way to access the Google Play app store. On the other hand, third party app stores are a major source of the mobile malware nowadays, and it is not difficult to ask if the performance of these apps from Android environment is going to be satisfactory (BB10 OS was a failure performance-wise, though the situation is not exactly the same). That said, it is still far too early to give out judgment ? as neither devices nor the mobile operating system itself are done ? and Jolla does mention that they will have their own app store (containing both Android and native apps) ready for launch. In case one needs a brief reminder, we wrote about the Sailfish OS and Jolla mobile hardware in late May this year.

Jolla smartphone running Sailfish OS

Jolla teams remain very confident in their work ? particularly due to the recent Microsoft-Nokia deal. It is seen as an opportunity for themselves, claiming that the interest in their own mobile platform has certainly spiked, especially from the European mobile users. We are patiently waiting for the first devices to show up ? and in the meantime, Jolla plans on opening the second wave of preorders later this week. First production batch of Jolla smartphones was fully booked with demand seen from 136 countries, although company never revealed exact numbers involved. First devices should be shipped sometime by the end of the year ? starting in Europe.