Jolla demonstrates its Sailfish OS, confirming MeeGo lives again (Updated)

Jolla Sailfish OSThe Finnish startup Jolla, the company hoping to resurrect the sleeping mobile OS known as MeeGo, has demonstrated its new Sailfish OS on stage at the Slush startup conference taking place in Finland at the moment.

Introduced by Jolla CEO Marc Dillion, who took over from Jussi Hurmola in October, those gathered at the event were treated to a short video showing Sailfish, plus a live demo showing the OS in action. Sadly, no hardware was on display, but the team did confirm that it would be bringing Jolla branded phones out in the future.

Dillon concentrated on the way Sailfish dealt with multitasking during the bulk of the demonstration. The home screen is revealed by swiping up on the lock screen, where you find a selection of “covers,” rectangular panels which denote apps already running on the phone.

These covers are interactive, so various functions can be performed inside them, for example the music player could be paused, played or advanced, all without leaving the home screen and entering a separate app. A series of gestures — primarily right to left swipes — move through apps, and just like MeeGo, a double tap on the screen wakes the device up.

Sailfish is reminiscent of MeeGo, obviously, but with added user-friendliness and even better use of gesture controls. In the short time it was being shown off, it ran smoothly and looked pleasurable to use.

The Jolla movement

Perhaps more striking than Sailfish was Jolla’s dedication to teamwork, values and fun; making the presentation very different to those given by other tech companies. Jolla says the world needs another mobile ecosystem, but one dedicated to openness, collaboration, contribution and enjoyment. It believes it’s ideally placed to fill this need, having no legacy system and no pre-existing position in the market to protect, allowing it to do things very differently.

It was all very forward-looking, with each speaker continually referring to new ways of working, generating new business ideas and creating friendships in the market; all this despite being told they couldn’t compete in a world dominated by iOS and Android. Dillon described Jolla as a “movement” at one point, which certainly captured the atmosphere on stage.

As already expected, Jolla will launch its first devices in China, however no release date was given, plus it will offer its phones to networks for use as own-brand hardware. Also, Finnish network DNA has backed the company, announcing it will promote and sell Jolla phones when they’re released in the future.

Jolla’s official website went live this morning and will be demonstrating the software development kit at the Slush event later today. It’s still very early days for Jolla, but there’s obviously plenty of motivation inside the company, and growing support outside it too. Let’s see if they live up to their promise of releasing the first Sailfish smartphone this year.

Update 11/21/2012 at 7:00am: Chipset manufacturer ST-Ericsson has announced it will be supporting future Jolla hardware, so we can expect to see the NovaThor processor inside the first run of phones. Also, a hands-on video showing Sailfish in action has been released, and we’ve added it below the official trailer here.

Product Review

Rylo is the 360 camera that finally makes 360 video useful

The Rylo puts a new spin on 360 video by focusing on flat, fixed-frame output. It can’t quite replace your action camera or camcorder, but it shows a glimmer of what the future of consumer video could be.

Google, Samsung, OnePlus, and Huawei face off in an Android battle royale

The good news is that there are some great options in the Android smartphone market right now. The bad news is that too much choice makes it tough to decide. We compare the Pixel 3 XL, the Galaxy Note 9, the OnePlus 6T, and the Mate 20 Pro.

We tried all the latest and greatest smartphones to find the best of 2018

Smartphones are perhaps the most important and personal piece of tech on the planet. That’s why it’s important to pick the best phone for your individual needs. Here are the best smartphones you can buy.

Common Huawei Mate 20 Pro problems, and how to fix them

The beautiful Huawei Mate 20 Pro is in your hand, and there is a problem that's bothering you with it. We've gathered together frequently reported problems with the phone here, and provide potential solutions too.

Make some time for the best smartwatch deals for November 2018

Smartwatches make your life easier by sending alerts right on your wrist. Many also provide fitness-tracking features. So if you're ready to take the plunge into wearables and want to save money, read on for the best smartwatch deals.

Bigger than Black Friday: Don’t miss the best Single’s Day deals

Thanks to AliExpress, Single's Day – the world's largest retail day – is no longer a foreign affair. If you're ready to do some early holiday shopping or want to score some discounts ahead of Black Friday, we've rounded up some of the…
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: 1-handed drone control, a pot that stirs itself

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Our favorite ebook reader is not a Kindle. Here are all the best options

If you're a bookworm, an ebook reader can be an important part of your life, one that allows you to read your books whenever and wherever you like. But which should you get? Here are five of the best ebook readers available.

Samsung made a $2,700 flip phone with the brains of a smartphone

The Samsung W2019 is a high-end flip phone that comes with flagship specifications such as 6GB of RAM and Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845. The device features a pair of S-AMOLED displays, a dual rear camera setup, and an eye-popping price tag.
Product Review

It's so fast it has a clip-on fan. But the Asus ROG phone isn't just for gamers

Is a gaming smartphone only something a mobile gamer should consider buying? In the case of the Asus ROG Phone, the good news is the device is so capable, and a genuinely impressive all-rounder, that everyone should take a closer look…

Apple to boost its Amazon presence with listings for iPhones, iPads, and more

Apple is about to start offering more of its kit on Amazon. The tech giant currently only has very limited listings on the shopping site, but the deal will see the arrival of the latest iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, and more.

Black Friday 2018: The best deals so far

Black Friday is the biggest shopping holiday of the year, and it will be here before you know it. If you can't wait until November 23 to start formulating a shopping plan, we've got you covered.

Get your gaming on the go with this list of the 25 best Android games

The Google Play Store is loaded with both terrific and terrible gaming titles. We vetted the store to bring you some of the best Android games available, whether you're into puzzles, shooters, racing games, or something else.

Google’s Gboard now uses A.I. to recommend GIFs based on your conversation

Google is bringing a new feature to Gboard that should make it better for those that regularly use GIFs and stickers. The feature essentially uses A.I. to recommend GIFs and stickers based on your conversation.