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Cellphones Handhelds Linux

Jolla Announces First Meego Phone Available By End 2013 152

Posted by samzenpus
from the free-calls dept.
x_IamSpartacus_x writes "Jolla, the Finnish company that continued Nokia's work on the MeeGo mobile platform, announced details of its first smartphone on Monday. Availability for the Jolla device is expected by year end and can be pre-ordered now; the phone will be priced at no more than €399 (US $512.26). The Jolla hardware looks similar to that of Nokia's Lumia, with a clean, button-less front face that houses the 4.5-inch touchcscreen. The phone will use a dual-core processor and support 4G LTE in some regions. Internal storage tops out at 16 GB, but can be expanded via microSD card. The phone also includes an 8 megapixel rear camera with auto focus. The phone is also 'Android app compliant' which, in a move similar to that of BlackBerry, can help with available apps at launch."
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Jolla Announces First Meego Phone Available By End 2013

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  • sweet (Score:3, Informative)

    by chibiace (898665) on Monday May 20, 2013 @12:35PM (#43774319) Journal

    hopefully we can get some traction going for this cool project.

  • Who gets root? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Culture20 (968837) on Monday May 20, 2013 @12:38PM (#43774349)
    Jolla, service provider, and/or device owner?
  • by stenvar (2789879) on Monday May 20, 2013 @12:45PM (#43774427)

    As a developer, I'd find an alternative to Java/Dalvik and Objective-C/iOS pretty appealing.

    • As a developer, I'd find an alternative to Java/Dalvik and Objective-C/iOS pretty appealing.

      http://developer.blackberry.com/cascades/ [blackberry.com].

      You're welcome.

      • by stenvar (2789879)

        Interesting. On paper, it satisfies many of my requirements, but I just hated the last Blackberry device I had... I think I'm going to wait for Ubuntu, MeeGo, and Firefox OS.

        • Interesting. On paper, it satisfies many of my requirements, but I just hated the last Blackberry device I had... I think I'm going to wait for Ubuntu, MeeGo, and Firefox OS.

          The last blackberry device you had ran an outdated J2ME-based OS. The new one is built atop the POSIX-compliant QNX kernel and in many ways (though not all) is better technology than is offered by the competition. Not specs, but underlying capabilities.

          I'd suggest trying it out before discardng it out of hand. Also - no reason not to develop for both. Qt apps will run just fine on BB10 with minor tweaking, and I suspect on Sailfish as well.

  • Why no real specs? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by h4rr4r (612664) on Monday May 20, 2013 @12:50PM (#43774467)

    Why are there no real specs? Makes me think this thing will be years out of date.

    I wish them well, but I am not going to settle for something that should have come out in 2011.

    • by martinux (1742570)

      I agree that specs would be nice. However, as someone who's holding on to a N900 (a peerless mobile device IMHO) I'm just glad that between this and the efforts of the Firefox guys, we may see more open devices that let those of us who are interested in digging around under the hood can look forward to.

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        I agree, but it will come down to specs for me between another NEXUS device and this. The closed or locked down options just don't exist for me.

      • The N900 is peerless, until you want a phone that can hold a SIM card, then it literally starts to fail after 3 months. The design is guaranteed to fail and is fucking depressing for such an expensive phone.

        • by KiloByte (825081)

          I'm not aware of any widespread problems with N900 and SIM cards (unlike, say, the charging connector).

      • by exomondo (1725132)

        I agree that specs would be nice. However, as someone who's holding on to a N900 (a peerless mobile device IMHO) I'm just glad that between this and the efforts of the Firefox guys, we may see more open devices that let those of us who are interested in digging around under the hood can look forward to.

        But are these really any more open than a Nexus? The closed part of the Android system is at the driver level - which the Firefox and Ubuntu guys use anyway.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The cool thing is the back cover. It is possible to change it and get new features to the phone. It can unlock content or have a more powerful flash, etc. The call is a "The Other Half".
    http://techcrunch.com/2013/05/20/jollas-other-half/

  • by D1G1T (1136467) on Monday May 20, 2013 @12:54PM (#43774511)
    If Blackberry and Microsoft with their $Billions can't compete with Google and Apple, how can a tiny project like this?
    • by asmkm22 (1902712)

      They aren't even bothering to go after the US market. They're focusing on smaller, less competitive markets like China, Europe, and North Africa. Markets outside of the US are much less screwed up with monopolies and such.

      • by mpol (719243)

        > They aren't even bothering to go after the US market. They're focusing on smaller, less competitive markets like China, Europe, and North Africa.

        The US is the smaller market compared to China.

        You can even blame Nokia, for throwing away their business in Asia and Africa with Symbian, just to try to capture the smaller US market with Windows Phone. And they even hardly succeed with that.

        I expect Jolla to sell quite good in China, and hopefully somewhat in Europe too.

        • > They aren't even bothering to go after the US market. They're focusing on smaller, less competitive markets like China, Europe, and North Africa.

          The US is the smaller market compared to China.

          You can even blame Nokia, for throwing away their business in Asia and Africa with Symbian, just to try to capture the smaller US market with Windows Phone. And they even hardly succeed with that.

          I expect Jolla to sell quite good in China, and hopefully somewhat in Europe too.

          Nokia has always been obsessed with the US market, but have still been happy with their market share in developing countries. Losing a foothold of the developing countries might not have happened due to trying to gain the US market even more, rather just due to better offering from competitors.

          Working with operators is a big part of success in the US, as such the business model is very different from the rest of the world where most phones are sold directly to the consumer (possibly with a monthly fee, bu

      • by sethstorm (512897)

        Which is one of the problems, unless you're trying to sneak in some anti-American snark.

    • by mpol (719243)

      > If Blackberry and Microsoft with their $Billions can't compete with Google and Apple, how can a tiny project like this?

      If everyone said that, we would not have Google or Apple. They too started as tiny projects. I wish them well, and hope to see them succeed.
      The Nokia N9 sold well in China. It has allready been in the news that Jolla has good relationships with Chinese and European carriers. They will sell, probably some millions. Who knows where things are going.

    • by KiloByte (825081)

      Unlike Blackberry and Windows Phone, you can use any Linux desktop software without any modifications. Repackaging stuff for Jolla is a matter of adding some touchscreen adaptations here and there.

      Of course, they could avoided most of the problems by including a physical keyboard.

      • by Belial6 (794905)
        Better would be to make the case a shape that would work well with a clip on keyboard. This way those that want a keyboard can have one. Those that don't can have the phone without it, and only one production line needs to be implemented for the phone itself.
    • by evilviper (135110)

      If Blackberry and Microsoft with their $Billions can't compete with Google and Apple, how can a tiny project like this?

      Android started as a tiny project, too.

      And the answer to your question is, as always, to be technically superior. In this case in particular, compatibility with Android apps is a pretty good start, too, making switching much less painful.

      There is an absolute cult following for the N900, due to being basically a full Linux system on a phone, and as a result, every desktop Linux app you coul

      • Android started as a tiny project, too.

        Android started as a tiny project when the sum total of the smartphone market was approximately the size of the number of devices that Samsung or Apple sells in a quarter now.

        It's a different world. I wish them luck, but it's an uphill battle.

        And the answer to your question is, as always, to be technically superior.

        BB has tried that route with BB10. It's yet to be determined if they'll succeed - but certainly it's not enough on its own.

        In this case in particular, compatibility with Android apps is a pretty good start, too, making switching much less painful.

        See above.

    • by Xest (935314)

      By:

      a) Innovating

      b) Not being Microsoft

  • Does anyone know specifically what is meant by "android app compliant".

    Presumably, it is able to run the android VM (and API?) in addition to the other software and bring up the results in a window. Is this the case? Does anyone know how?

    Presumably one ought to be able to do that on desktop Linux as well, but I've never seen a method to do it.

    • It means that if you could get the apk package you might be able to install and run it, but for the vast majority of packages that you want you will not be able to get the file because it is released through the Googlr Play store and you will not ave access to Google Play with this device.
      • by Svartalf (2997)

        Heh... If that were solely the case, you wouldn't have "gapps" for CyanogenMod and the other custom ROMs for Android devices...

        Google Play's in the gapps pack. ;-D

      • for the vast majority of packages that you want you will not be able to get the file because it is released through the Googlr Play store

        Just because an application is in the Google Play Store doesn't necessarily mean it's not also in Amazon Appstore. Open source applications are less likely to be in Amazon Appstore because of Amazon's $99 per year recurring fee, but they're also more likely to be in F-Droid or to have a downloadable .apk file.

    • Presumably one ought to be able to [run the Android application environment] on desktop Linux as well, but I've never seen a method to do it.

      Part of the problem is that a lot of popular Android applications use NDK because they're ports of applications from other platforms that aren't written in Java. Most of these aren't compiled for anything but ARM, while desktop Linux is overwhelmingly x86 or x86-64. Applications that heavily use NDK would have to run in an emulator, and by that point, you could just download the Android SDK and emulate a Galaxy Nexus as if it were a Game Boy.

      • by AuMatar (183847)

        But the NDK fully supports x86 as well as several flavors of ARM. So there's no reason for this to be the case, other than laziness (note that this only started around 1-1.5 years ago, older apps do have an excuse).

        • by Svartalf (2997)

          The biggest problem's more that you'd have to make X86 versions and flag for them in the Play store- which is beyond a pain in the *ss.

          There might be some other solutions there, but what you're talking to...that's pretty much a non-starter right at the moment. NDK support's one of the reasons Intel's had "issues" getting Atom into the space over ARM based solutions.

          • by AuMatar (183847)

            I think intertia, power consumption, and lack of a value proposition are hurting atom far more than the NDK issue.

        • So there's no reason for this to be the case, other than laziness

          There is a concept of "rational laziness". Where's the return on investment for making and testing an Android/x86 version of an application? In addition, several applications already appear to be at or near Google Play's 50 MB limit with one architecture alone, such as LibreOffice [arstechnica.com].

    • by dbIII (701233)
      It means they have an added library that lets android apps run in a similar, but more complete, way that wine can run MS Windows apps on other systems. The library is closed source and costs a bit which is why you don't see it on desktop linux.
  • by molukki (980837) on Monday May 20, 2013 @12:58PM (#43774555) Homepage
    What I found interesting was the concept of extending the phone functionality by changing the back cover. Want a QWERTY phone? No problem, swap the back cover to one with keyboard.
    • by jovius (974690)

      Same here. It's an intriguing strategy they are trying to pull off. The central Jolla platform is expandable by third party hardware vendors, who can become the other half of the device, not just an external peripheral maker. This kind of modularity will surely become more prevalent in the future, because smaller and smaller parts are made to be smart in some way. The Jolla platform functionality will be quickly copied though, but hopefully the Sailfish OS will connect all together...

    • by jovius (974690) on Monday May 20, 2013 @01:49PM (#43774983)

      Just found this quote [techcrunch.com] by Mark Dillon the software director. Essentially anyone can create a cover (the tools are open):

      “Of course we will be offering a choice of Other Halves for the user to buy but this is a place where we want to see others get involved. Designers can design Other Halves for the device, engineers or hackers or techies can design new interfaces and maybe add physical hardware features that they wish they had on their device but might have a smaller market than to deserve having a whole entire device,” he said. “We talked about 3D printing them today. So it could be those kinds of things, but really we’re offering a new kind of interface for a device so that people can really take their imagination, and I believe there will be a lot of third parties and a lot of people who have a lot of great ideas in order to help you use the Other Half of the Jolla device.”

    • by gmuslera (3436)
      I already was aware of the OS, but the replaceable back cover took me by surprise. It have a lot of disruptive potential. Want keyboard? Better camera? Other sensors? Integrate it with bigger hardware? Could end being the raspberry pi of smartphones.
  • by sethstorm (512897) on Monday May 20, 2013 @01:01PM (#43774571) Homepage

    One of the things about the N900 (and the N950) was that it not only packed a ton of those features, it also had the hardware keyboard.

    I'd rather reflash an N900, warts and all, since this is just an N9++. Let me know when they make something like the N950 with that software on it, except that it's available to all this time around.

  • If we had a real FCC, CDMA would have already been banned by now. This announcement or the unfettered Samsung phone announced at Google I/O is totally moot for all us Verizon Victims (and no; where I live, there is no real choice).

    Personal hardware should be de-coupled from paid services, period.
    • by pavon (30274)

      That would have been a short-sighted decision. CDMA was a much better upgrade path form our existing networks than GSM was and better suited for large rural areas, which the US has more of than western/central Europe. Where the FCC screwed up was that the way LTE frequency was allocated let to greater fragmentation, when it should have been an opportunity to improve compatibly and thus competition.

      • by Carewolf (581105)

        Where the FCC screwed up was that the way LTE frequency was allocated let to greater fragmentation, when it should have been an opportunity to improve compatibly and thus competition.

        You say that as if it wasn't the intention of FCC. I think that is what the parent poster was talking about, the FCC isn't doing its job in minimizing fragmentation.

        • The OP made the point that with GSM hardware is decoupled from paid services, so he was talking about the advantage of the GSM (2GSM, UMTS, LTE) standard.

          The GP is wrong in suggesting that it would have been shortsighted and is using a lot of the myths that Qualcomm spread about GSM to promote that view. Qualcomm could have made a decent phone standard, but they felt the carriers wanted "a digital version of AMPS" and that's pretty much, functionally, what they originally created, with messaging and data

  • "A better Windows than Windows" was a main selling point of OS/2 2.0. It is argued that few developed for OS/2 because the Windows compatibility was so good that there was little point in doing native applications.

    Is there a risk that the same thing can happen to Meego?

    • Well, that was not the only issue with OS/2. I think IBM had no idea how to reach home users, or didn't really care for OS/2. I recall reading about OS/2, how awesome it was, how it was much better than Windows... and then seeing IBM machines bundled with Windows. I mean, if they won't support their own system, if they won't throw their weight behind it, who would?

      • Well, that was not the only issue with OS/2. I think IBM had no idea how to reach home users . . .

        Yeah. A stack of 30-plus floppy discs for the installation is a bit off-putting. So is an unrecoverable error on disc 25 -- "start over". Memories . . .

  • by TeknoHog (164938)
    No keyboard. Less space than an N900. Lame.
  • In testing the Mi-Go [wikipedia.org] Phone did have some sound problems, occasional whispering effects, and a small percentage of violent madness. Also a somewhat larger percentage of non-violent madness, whimpering, screaming in the dark, fetal position, and hallucinations.

    On the good side, unlimited data plan, and discounted rates for Miskatonic University students and faculty.

    Pug

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