Jolla, the Finnish startup working on bringing the MeeGo mobile OS back from the dead, has demonstrated the Sailfish OS at an event in Finland today. Built on the same Mer platform as MeeGo, Sailfish is the operating system Jolla is planning to fit to its future phones, ready to challenge for a space in a very competitive market.
Marc Dillon, the newly appointed CEO of the company, led a demonstration of the OS, mainly showing its clever multi-tasking system. Instead of opening a separate tray, or visiting another page, all open apps in Sailfish appear as panels, known as Covers, on the home screen. Each one is interactive, so you don’t need to visit another page to use the app.
For example, the music player Cover has controls for pausing, playing or moving on to another track all inside it, providing a faster and more logical multi-tasking experience. The rest of the OS relies on gestures, much like MeeGo, with various swipes needed to move through applications or to unlock the phone.
Aside from the demonstration of Sailfish, the Jolla team talked about its ethos, and it’s quite different from other mobile tech companies. It’s committed to changing the mobile market with Sailfish, where people can contribute, collaborate and have fun together. Dillon referred to it as a “movement,” which summed up the atmosphere rather well.
While it had previously promised to launch a phone before the end of the year, such a device wasn’t on display during the presentation, but it was confirmed that initially Jolla hardware will be headed to China. Chipset manufacturer ST-Ericsson has confirmed its NovaThor processors will support Sailfish too.
Jolla is an exciting company, and it’s going to be fascinating to see if they can succeed in re-introducing the world to MeeGo, in the form of Sailfish OS. Sadly, no release dates for Sailfish phones were provided.