Jolla to release Sailfish launcher app for Android, so it’s easier to try the new mobile OS

Jolla’s Sailfish OS is rapidly becoming not only the most successful of the new mobile operating systems, but also the most interesting. Ahead of showing off its hardware at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Jolla has announced its software will reach version 1.0 in March, which will be followed by the release of an Android launcher app. It has also inked a partnership with Rovio, and is gearing up to target new markets.

Version 1.0 will be the fourth revision of Sailfish OS, and Jolla promises more improvements to overall performance, new camera features, additional settings, and enhancements to the Jolla app store. Good news for those already in possession of a Jolla phone, but what about those of us who want to give Sailfish a try, but can’t buy the phone?

Once the update is live, Jolla will release a launcher app for Android, giving the rest of us a chance to experience Sailfish OS’s slick, gesture-based user interface. Launcher apps are common on Android, and work by replacing the standard, pre-installed UI, often completely changing the way it operates.

Jolla’s not stopping there either. Eventually, Android owners will be able to load a complete version of Sailfish OS onto their phones. Those brave enough to start messing around with the OS can install a version of Sailfish already, thanks to a healthy developer and fan community, but an officially-sanctioned release should make the process easier and safer for regular users. This will come later though.

Jolla is also focused on getting its phone on sale in a few more countries. At the moment only buyers in Europe, Switzerland and Norway can order the $550 phone. However, Jolla is in talks with new partners in Russia, India, and Hong Kong, plus local European networks and retail outlets.

Finally, Jolla has announced a partnership with fellow Finns Rovio. The pair will work together to create Angry Birds-themed Other Half covers for the Jolla smartphone, which will come with exclusive audio, video, images and artwork. Examples of these, along with Other Half covers produced with Finnish clothing brand Makia, will be on display at Mobile World Congress.

The company hasn’t confirmed an exact launch date for Sailfish OS 1.0, or the Android launcher app, but we’ll update here when the details are made public.

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