Meego-based Jolla phone revealed, will run Android apps [VIDEO]

While Jolla isn’t an Android handset, there’s plenty enough reason for those of us in Android land to take notice. Jolla has announced the existence of its first ever Sailfish OS handset. Simply dubbed “Jolla,’ pronounced “yoh-lah,” this handset is based on the Linux-based MeeGo operating system that has, up to this point, failed to gain meaningful traction in the mobile world.

Jolla is using the OS to create its own unique experience, opting for the lesser known option to set itself apart instead of falling in line with the rest of the Android train… except that isn’t 100% true. Like RIM has done with Blackberry 10, Jolla’s Sailfish OS includes an Android runtime that will allow developers to port their applications almost effortlessly.

It’s clear Android’s enormous app ecosystem makes onlookers jealous, and we’re sure those onlookers couldn’t be more happy to know that Android has been built in such a way that allows these runtimes to exist. I’m still not sure how I feel about that sort of piggy-backing — an OS should be enticing enough for developers to create native apps for it right out of the gate. Still, if it has to happen and if it helps developers get their apps onto more platforms we can’t say it’s such a terrible thing.

The phone itself seems pretty decent to start. It’ll have a 4.5 inch HD display (no word on the exact resolution just yet), with 16GB of internal storage, an 8 megapixel camera, and 4G LTE. The device will feature interchangeable backplates, but this isn’t just a normal swapping affair. The phone can determine which color you have on and change software aesthetics accordingly. It’s part of a bigger software experience called “other half” which hasn’t been fully detailed at this time.

Go ahead and watch the video, and see if the Jolla is something you could see being a success up against heavyweights which run Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry OS and iOs. It’s said to be positioned for emerging markets, but who knows what could happen if the device starts gaining a little momentum?

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  • TimTheK

    Didn’t blackberry have to shell out millions of $’s to get developers to port their apps? Does Jolla have that kind of bank account to build a minimal app store? I doubt it, thus its not even worth discussing.

  • PhaseBurn

    While it will have a Dalvik-compatible runtime, it will NOT run Android apps from the Play store unmodified, similar to Blackberry 10. This means that though it’s “compatible”, it really isn’t, as the app developers will still have to port their apps. This is the nail in the coffin for it, I’m afraid, as very few app developers are going to be willing to port their app to a no-name platform with no users. You end up with another “Chicken or the egg” problem, in what comes first, the users, or the apps.

    I’m also not very impressed with the specs, even with the unknown bits…

    • Boogie

      Didn’t know that. And yeah, the specs of this phone are not worth the several month wait period either.

      • ari_free

        But it can detect the color of your backplate. The next big thing is here.

  • droi_d

    yoh-lah… Really? I thought it was pronounced HOYa ? So I guess people will start pronouncing La Jolla, CA “La Yoh-lah”

    • muko

      Well yeah, if they mean Jolla to be pronounced as in Finnish (the people behind the company are Finns), it’s pretty close to “yoh-lah”. Jolla means a small sailboat, by the way.

      • droi_d

        Nice.

    • ari_free

      Jolla habibi!

      What about La Jolla as in “Jolly jello”? English would like its J back.

  • IronHorse01

    Yolo bro lol

  • Anthony McKay
  • Liquifire3D

    Let’s not be so quick to dump on new open operating systems. Remember when Microsoft dominated the smartphone market and then Apple. Google is growing into our next little Frankenstein. As much as I love android I’m always looking out for the next cool OS. So I applaud any counter to today’s “IN” tech, especially if it is backwards compatible. Competition is good, and if there’s enough of it to keep Google in check, then I will never have to say goodbye to the little green guy.

    • ari_free

      I hear what you are saying but I’m opposed to rooting for a legion of half baked underdogs (almost like saying you want more Archos phones in order to put pressure on Samsung).

      • Eyad (formerly CTownOL)

        These people are not new to the smartphone game. In fact a lot of Jolla developers were the one who made the Nokia N9 happen.

    • TimTheK

      Are you really comparing Apple and Google to a little startup? Sure, MS and Palm owned the smart(ish) phone world at the time…. but Google and Apple had like eleventy billion dollars to develop their own competing OSes. Not to mention an extremely loyal fan base. Blackberry had to pay devs to port apps to BB10. Jolla doesn’t have the resources to do that.

      And its not the chicken or the egg when it comes to apps or customers. No apps means no customers will come to your OS. No Customers means no devs will work for your OS. The only way to get customers is to get apps, and the only way to get apps at this point is to pay devs to make them…. like RIM did.

  • Troll

    yo lla or aya to llah, both are not required and both are pointless innovations.

    • ari_free

      lalalalala I can’t hear you. lalalalala
      tcha You know what? uh uh!

  • JaswinderSinghJammu

    I hope these guys succeed enough to buy Nokia out and start making Android phone. Suck it Nokia

  • Montrale Hammonds

    Another OS to piggy back off of Android? Well I hope they piggy back better than BlackBerry that crap of a emulator left a bad taste in my mouth and I was so anxious to get the z10 and ended selling it in 4 days.

  • Liquifire3D

    I do as a matter of fact.

  • zen

    why shouldnt phone oses also have a write once run anywhere runtime?

  • meliorist

    All these open source operating systems – any very good, original ideas they contain that are not already in Android will quickly be copy-and-pasted into Android, so they’ll never be able to gain a competitive edge, which is unfortunate for Jolla, but I guess the guys did it more to make a point — to show Nokia what a mistake Nokia had made in dropping the project — than to get their OS onto billions of phones.

  • Eyad (formerly CTownOL)

    Sailfish, Blackberry 10, and Ubuntu Mobile, and Plasma Active all share a huge piece of runtime: Qt. Actually, Jolla, Canonical (makers of Ubuntu Mobile) and the Plasma developers were working on convering on the Qt APIs they are using a little while ago.

    http://aseigo.blogspot.nl/2013/01/qml-component-apis-to-come-together.html