Early next year the folks at Jolla plan to launch a new mobile operating system called Sailfish. It’s based on the defunct MeeGo operating system created by Nokia and Intel, and the Jolla team includes a number of the folks who were responsible for MeeGo in the first place.
Up until now, all we’ve really known about Sailfish is that it’s based on MeeGo. But now the team is showing off a few teaser videos which gives us an idea of what the new Linux-based mobile OS looks like.
From the video, Sailfish looks like a cross between Android and Windows Phone. You get a lock screen and home screen with icons for launching the phone app, camera, app, browser, and other software. And you also get widgets for viewing pictures, controlling music playback, and more.
But some of the apps shown off in the demo look Windows Phone-like in their simplicity, relying more on simple text lists than fancy graphics.
There’s also support for some pretty nifty gestures, including “pushing an app aside” to return to the home screen, or swiping across a media widget to control music playback.
Jolla is primarily showing off Sailfish on smartphones at the moment, but the goal is to eventually release the open source operating system for tablets, smart TVs, and other devices.
One of the big challenges any new operating system faces is a lack of available third party apps. But Sailfish sideskirts that problem a bit by offering support for many Android apps.
Jolla plans to release a software developer kit soon, but developers can get a head start by checking out the Sailfish Wiki for info about using Mer Linux and QtCreator to develop for the new platform.
If it can run Linux programs, that’ll give it a significant boost, but Google isn’t helping me with any details.
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