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Jolla CEO wants to bring Sailfish to Android mobiles

Jolla’s CEO highlights the advantages his upstart mobile operating system has over the competition in a recent interview.


Tomi Pienimak wants you to give Android a break.

In a recent interview with Finnish magazine Talouselämä, Pienimak, the CEO of Jolla, outlined the case for giving his company’s new OS a chance.

Jolla is a Finnish startup that was formed by ex-Nokia designers, and launched its first mobile device, the Jolla, earlier this week. The device is the first device to feature the Sailfish OS, which features a lot of design cues from Nokia’s MeeGo OS. One of the major selling points for Sailfish is the fact that it is compatible with Android, which means that users can install Android apps alongside Sailfish native apps.

Jolla’s CEO stated in a recent interview that there are no major issues in getting Sailfish onto Android devices, and that many users in countries like China already sideload a mobile OS onto their handsets.

Sideloading the Sailfish OS onto Android devices is straightforward, according to Pienimak.  He also mentioned that upgrading a mobile OS may be new to users in Finland, but that it is a mainstream practice in countries like China.

“For us it is a possibility to distribute our operating system especially in China. There are websites that already distribute [OS] software and the Chinese customers are doing it ­so we don’t have to teach them,” he said. “We just have to get Sailfish to those websites – and to make sure that Sailfish will run on different kind of Android devices.”

Another advantage that Sailfish has is security. In light of the NSA leaks, wide swaths of customers are wary of using services and utilities that the U.S. government agency has access to. Jolla is a Finnish organization, and its servers are located in Finland, which means that NSA cannot get its hands on them. A statement on its website confirmed this: “Jolla servers are not in U.S., so we are not subject to any U.S. rules or regulations regarding disclosing information.”

However, for all its advantages, Sailfish does not have LTE compatibility. Although the Jolla mobile device has LTE hardware, the software does not allow LTE functionality. Jolla did mention that it is working on adding LTE, and that it will be available shortly.

Also, even if Jolla create an official port of Sailfish for Android devices, it is unlikely Google will allow it on the Play Store, as the Cyanogen team have seen. The CyanogenMod Installer was yanked from the Play Store last week for asking users to switch on ADB (Android Debug Mode), which allows for USB debugging.

Source: Talouselämä (Translated), Jolla

Harish Jonnalagadda
Harish Jonnalagadda is an avid reader of science-fiction novels. A long-time Arsenal fan, his other interests include gaming, basketball and making music. He also likes tinkering with hardware in his free time.

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