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Sailfish OS Gains Two-Way Android Compatibility 130

Posted by Soulskill
from the made-with-actual-sailfish dept.
DeviceGuru writes "Jolla announced (PDF) that its Sailfish OS is now fully compatible with Android, letting the Linux-based mobile OS run Android apps, as well as operate on hardware configured for Android. This makes the MeeGo-based Sailfish OS the first alternative mobile Linux OS to achieve the feat. Jolla also announced that a second batch of pre-orders for its Sailfish-based Jolla phones will open later this week, after having sold out its first batch in August."
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Sailfish OS Gains Two-Way Android Compatibility

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  • by Therad (2493316)
    It is a shame this will never be mainstream.
    • I presume the relevant issue is that no US carriers will support it?
      • Re:Shame (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Teun (17872) on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @02:39AM (#44881301) Homepage
        And what is on a world scale relevant about a single market?

        Besides, what stops you from doing like the Rest Of the World and buying your own phone?
        Between the first Motorola I bought nearly 20 years ago and my present Nexus 4 I've never had one with a contract.

        • by GNious (953874)

          this is why they focused on chinese market - soon to be bigger than US market.

          • by dbIII (701233)
            I'd say it's already bigger. Even Nokia sold 53 million phones there last quarter so who knows how many Samsung and other phones got sold there.
            Think about it - if that continues for a year that's equivalent to 2/3 of the total US population buying a phone from the second, third or whatever ranked vendor in a year. That makes me think that the Chinese mobile phone market exceeds the entire US population by quite a bit.
        • Re:Shame (Score:5, Insightful)

          by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @04:46AM (#44881673)

          Besides, what stops you from doing like the Rest Of the World and buying your own phone?

          I've noticed that US folks tend to think that you can only get a phone from a carrier . . . and just assume that the whole world also works like it does in the US.

        • Re:Shame (Score:5, Interesting)

          by cbope (130292) on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @05:38AM (#44881845)

          In the US, almost NOBODY buys mobile phones off-contract. Yes, most of us know that is the worst way to buy a mobile phone, but the simple fact is most Americans don't want to pay up-front for the phone. The average US consumer will not do the math and figure out how much more they are paying on-contract, not to mention that US mobile call and data rates are among the highest in the world. I've been trying to convince my parents in the US, who are in their 70's and retired, to get phones off-contract, but they just don't get it. All they see is the bigger up-front cost. It's a cultural thing, Americans tend to want their stuff now and with no starting cost, even if it costs them more over time. I see this both in the consumer and business worlds.

          Carrier lock-in via contracts and locked devices is still a big issue in the US, unlike many other parts of the world.

          Disclaimer: I'm an ex-pat American living abroad for 12 years.

          • by evilviper (135110)

            In the US, almost NOBODY buys mobile phones off-contract.

            That's absolute nonsense. It's a minority for sure, but a VERY significant one.

            Sprint alone has 16 million pre-paid (Boost/Virgin) customers, which means they ALL bought their own cell phones. That's just #3 Sprint, and doesn't even include their dozens of MVNOs like Ting, Republic, etc. And of course that doesn't cover any of their contract customers who may have purchased their own phone.

            T-Mobile has switched to entirely pre-paid, so ALL their 35

          • Unfortunately, as someone else in this thread stated, the Major Carriers charge for the phone subsidy whether you're on a contract plan or buy your phone outright, there is no line item for the subsidy on the bill that can be taken off; which means there is no savings and you actually wind up ultimately paying MORE for buying the phone outright. Hang on to a phone that you bought subsidized through the contract through the two years and don't upgrade with another 2 year contract when you're eligible? Whil

          • It really is amazing more people don't do this. When I went out and got my own plan, I went with subsidy. Got a phone for like $50 from AT&T. But, the bill I was paying was $110/month. For a single line, a ridiculously low amount of minutes(I never talk on the phone, but if I did I could run through it quickly), unlimited text messages, and a data cap of like 1G

            2 years down the road I started looking to alternatives. This was a few months before T-Mobile started to be talked about being bought by AT

          • The average US consumer will not do the math and figure out how much more they are paying on-contract

            I'm not sure you've done the math yourself. A 300 dollar phone subsidized for 24 months costs the carrier about 12.50. An individual w/ data plan from ATT or Tmobile is 60 bucks a month. Straight talk is 45. 15-12.50 adds up to about 30 bucks a year (not much).

            I personally avoid contracts just because I don't like the lock-in (I rotate between 4 different SIM cards).

        • by evilviper (135110)

          And what is on a world scale relevant about a single market?

          The most valuable consumer market on earth? Nothing at all... It's quite insignificant I'm sure...

          Besides, what stops you from doing like the Rest Of the World and buying your own phone?

          You can buy whatever you want... But the carriers will tell you to go to hell when you want to get service for it. You decide what service you want, first, and then buy one of the phones that carrier is selling for whatever price they decide to charge for it.

          It'

          • by tepples (727027)

            And what is on a world scale relevant about a single market?

            The most valuable consumer market on earth?

            I think the insinuation is that the United States is no longer "the most valuable consumer market on earth"; the People's Republic of China is.

            It's partly a legacy of incompatible standards and varying frequency allocations.

            In areas where T-Mobile USA has LTE, I'm told that it uses a more compatible frequency plan, allowing imported phones to work better. So if you happen to live where you can get a T-Mobile signal, that might be your best plan.

        • by tepples (727027)

          And what is on a world scale relevant about a single market?

          Slashdot is operated by Dice, a U.S. company. There will usually be a U.S. slant to stories. That and the coinventors of the telephone in the first place (Bell and Gray) were both U.S. residents.

      • I presume the relevant issue is that no US carriers will support it?

        ...That sort of stupid logic is what ironically killed Nokia. Its even more ironic seeing Apple shares plummet (yes Again) at news that it failed to launch a cheap (to the consumer at least) phone on network with 740Million subscribers.

        Personally though I'm wondering when the American carriers will cut Apple of at the knees.

        • Once somebody else makes a phone that a LOT of people want to have? Not one of a couple dozen models a company makes. A phone.

        • by dbIII (701233) on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @03:46AM (#44881517)
          No, Elop is what killed nearly Nokia but it's not quite dead yet. Just last quarter they sold 53 million phones in China using the Sybian system that Elop tried to bury and halted all development on. Even hamstrung they sold more phones in a single market than Apple did in the entire world (new Apple record of 31 million phones in one quarter).
          Now do you get some idea of why people are taking the Nokia takeover so seriously? A company that has been utterly gutted in a blatant corporate raid is still selling more phones than Apple despite people being told by the CEO of the company selling them that the platform is doomed.
          • by Eunuchswear (210685) on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @05:13AM (#44881759) Journal

            No, Elop is what killed nearly Nokia but it's not quite dead yet. Just last quarter they sold 53 million phones in China using the Sybian system.

            Uh, not Sybian [sybian.com]

            You mean Symbian [wikipedia.org].

            • by grcumb (781340)

              No, Elop is what killed nearly Nokia but it's not quite dead yet. Just last quarter they sold 53 million phones in China using the Sybian system.

              Uh, not Sybian [sybian.com]

              You mean Symbian [wikipedia.org].

              Dude, vibrate mode is its killer feature.

            • It would explain the constant weird expression on Elop's face.

          • by hairyfeet (841228)

            Oh what total horseshit, the ONLY market Nokia has is in dumbphones where they measure their profits in pennies, they had not one, not two, but THREE internal OS teams all backstabbing and cockblocking each other at EVERY turn, the OS that so many here thought actually had a prayer, the MeeGo? Was was being actively sabotaged from TWO fronts [taskumuro.com], Intel for fear that the ARM version would get more sales than the X86, and the Symbian team for fear that MeeGo might steal their thunder, and for those that say "Oh a

            • Nokia has brand recognition that HTC can only dream of. The only reason Windows Phone has any traction at all is because of the Nokia brand. Samsung probably aren't the leanest company on the planet but they're making plenty of money on phones. I'd hardly say the Galaxy S4 and Note 3 (or for that matter the HTC One) are in any kind of "race to the bottom".

              • by hairyfeet (841228)

                Oh please! Nokia hasn't had GOOD brand recognition since the days of Win98, they have been trading on their past glory by selling shit dumbphones that you find in dollar stores. yep great brand, go get a Nokia next to the generic soda at Fred's. Sorry pal but this ain't 2002, Nokia has NO brand recognition that is positive as anybody who has had one of their shit dumbphones of the past 5 years can tell you. My mother refused to give up her dumbphone...until back to back Nokia shitphones that couldn't make

                • I don't know what country you live in but here in the UK Nokia has excellent brand recognition. I personally owned a few between about 1999 and 2005 and the N95 for example (released in 2007) was a huge success. I'm not interested in any forums full of 14 year old basement dwellers, I'm interested in the fact that quite a few people I know have been unfortunate enough to end up with a Windows phone because it had the Nokia name on it. I did own an N900 and it was a big disappointment which I couldn't wai

                  • by hairyfeet (841228)

                    And the UK is HOW big of a market again? And I'm sorry if you didn't hear but the consumer electronics market? VERY USA-Centric as what has been a hit here seems to translate well overseas, see iPhone,Samsung Galaxy, Huawei Ascend for examples. this is why most of the stock market isn't gonna pay much attention if you don't have at least one stateside hit and Nokia hasn't had one since they had Mulder and Sculley using Nokia on the X-Files.

                    And again with the rose colored glasses about the N series, the N se

                    • by dbIII (701233)

                      And the UK is HOW big of a market again?

                      Are you really going to play that game after I've mentioned China?

                    • From Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]:

                      The N95's main competitors during its lifetime were the LG Prada, Apple's iPhone and the Sony Ericsson W950i. The N95 managed to outsell its rivals. Despite Apple's much-hyped iPhone with its multi-touch technology, thin design and advanced web capabilities, the N95 had several key features against the iPhone, such as its camera with flash, video camera, 3G and 3.5G connectivity, GPS, third-party applications and several other features

                      Yeah the N Series was a huge failure *roll eyes*. By the

            • If you are going to call me a liar at least have the decency to check if it's a lie or not first. That number is real, which means the Chinese phone market must be enormous if even Nokia is selling so much stuff.
            • by dbIII (701233)
              A "few pennies" from 53 million phones adds up.
          • by evilviper (135110)

            Just last quarter they sold 53 million phones in China using the Sybian system that Elop tried to bury and halted all development on. Even hamstrung they sold more phones in a single market than Apple did in the entire world

            That number is no-doubt dumb/feature phones. A dying market with razor-thin profit margins, that nobody cares about any more. Nice way to twist things, though, just mention Symbian and people will assume you're talking about the smartphone platform, and not the tiny RTOS used on dumb

          • Just last quarter they sold 53 million phones in China using the Sybian system

            That word does not mean what you think it does.

      • by Therad (2493316)
        No, the problem is that they are late to the party and will have to compete with juggernauts like android. Microsoft with all their money has trouble gaining in this field. They will have a hard time attracting developers to their phone.
      • I presume the relevant issue is that no US carriers will support it?

        I don't understand.

        Why does a carrier need to "support" a phone?

        Once upon a time, in a previous century, you had to rent your phone from the "phone company", but those days are long behind us.

        • So are you telling me that I could build my own custom hardware and software and Verizon would allow me access to their US LTE network using it? Note that I spend most of my time in areas where only Verizon has decent coverage, the rest of them are a joke as far as I'm concerned. Not that I like Verizon all that much, but I've tried the others, Verizon is what works. I have not had the impression that Verizon allows you to tie any old piece of equipment up to their network. And if this ISN'T the reason
          • Oh, sorry, you are living in the previous century.

            Say Hi to Ma Bell for me.

            (Those who give up freedom to have a working phone network...)

            (P.S. I really am sorry, didn't mean to troll, I just forgot about those wierd non-sim networks).

            • In fact, I'm wrong.

              The verizon LTE network does use SIM's.

              There is no need for them to "support" a compatible phone.

              Apparently they refuse to activate phones they don't "support", but the trick is to activate the SIM in a "supported" phone and then transfer it to the phone you want to use.

              I suggest you contact your local consumer advocate or anti-monopoly authorities, Verizon seem to be behaving in anti-competetive ways that would get their arses kicked where I come from.

              • Just because the LTE network uses SIM's doesn't mean the phones themselves are now GSM Worldphones like AT&T's. Verizon and Sprint are still CDMA for voice & SMS, which means that the physical phone is still locked to the carrier... and the SIM won't activate the LTE network in an unregistered CDMA phone.
        • AIUI in the US only one of the major networks (t-mobile) gives users who bring their own phones a decent deal. Another (AT&T) doesn't forbid their use but structures their traffifs such that you effectively pay for a phone from them every couple of years whether you take them up on the offer or not. The remaining two use mostly "CDMA"* technology which doesn't use sims meaning you can only use phones the carrier will agree to activate. This may change with the introduction of LTE but AIUI that is not ye

          • by mspohr (589790)

            You can get an ATT "Go Phone" SIM card and a nice plan for $30/month which is what I have for my wife... more voice, SMS and data than she ever uses for her smartphone.
            I have a T-mobile plan which is even cheaper.
            You don't have to be stupid and sign up for the $100/month plans.

            • You can get an ATT "Go Phone" SIM card and a nice plan for $30/month which is what I have for my wife... more voice, SMS and data than she ever uses for her smartphone.

              In France 20EUR (27 USD) gets you unlimited calls and SMS to French mobiles and landlines, unlimited calls to European landlines, unlimited calls to US and Canadian mobiles and landlines and unlimited data (speed capped after 3Gb/month).

      • by Carewolf (581105)

        The phone will not be available in US not matter if the carriers want it or not. Jolla has right from the start said they would avoid the US due to the software patent situation there.

    • by tuppe666 (904118)

      It is a shame this will never be mainstream.

      I am confused why not you should see it it looks pretty good. There are still Billions of users still on feature Phones. Microsoft has insisted that their is a need for a third OS in the Market. There is no reason why this shouldn't be the one, and unlike many of the pretenders it has 1Million Applications on launch. It sounds to me like an ideal phone for those wanting a massive application support without Google giving Sailfish a major advantage of many pretenders. Currently Apple are only selling 13% of

      • by cripkd (709136)
        And are you sure Jolla strives to ocuppy the $50 dollars phone market?
        If you had $500 to buy a phone, what would you choose?
        • And are you sure Jolla strives to ocuppy the $50 dollars phone market?

          If you had $500 to buy a phone, what would you choose?

          Nothing even close to $500 most of the phones only a idiot would pay anything close to that. I have been looking at are around the $200, but I am waiting to see what the Nexus 5 looks like, but I don't have a contract so I'm really not in a rush.

          The bottom line is why should an OS not fit on a $50 and $500 phone...Android is already there.

          • by cripkd (709136)
            You kinda answered your own question.
            Mainly because Android is already there.
            If windows phone and blackberry missed the train on this one and Ubuntu and Firefox OS also taking a shot at this, what are the chances for yet another mobile OS?
        • > If you had $500 to buy a phone, what would you choose?
          I'd choose the $50 phone that does all that I need, the rest for blackjack and hookers. In fact, forget about the blackjack.

      • by Therad (2493316)
        I was one of those that REALLY wanted to buy n950. I didn't want the n900, first generations always have problems. So yes, I know it is good. But they are small fish in an ocean of sharks. (or a fiat punto among hummers if you want a car analogy ;)) But why are you talking about feature phones? This is a smartphone, it will not be as cheap as a feature phone to make. MS might want there to be a strong third alternative and there will probably be a third alternative in the same sense that Linux is the third
    • by gmuslera (3436)

      Android when launched looked like never would be mainstream. And a factor in its success was cyanogenmod letting install it even on phones that didn't sold with android, like old windows phones.

      If Sailfish releases a version that enable to install it in most android devices (i.e. this list could be a guide ) that way to gain market share and buzz around will be available. And when becomes popular enough the phones with it includes will be the natural continuation. [ubuntu.com]

      Also, not sure how much "secret sauce" it

  • no thanks (Score:4, Insightful)

    by frovingslosh (582462) on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @02:32AM (#44881281)
    They can call it "fully compatible" all they want. The real issue is that, unless devices that use it as their OS also have the Google Play Store app, then the experience will always be second class or worse. I've had devices that run real Android, but only get apps through alternative app sources like Slide or Getjar. This makes the experience awful or even dangerous. I don't see it likely that hardware running Sailfish OS will have access to the official Google play store, not when so many devices that run real Android don't. So this belongs more on a site of "news for chumps" than on a site for "news for nerds".
    • Re:no thanks (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Teun (17872) on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @02:42AM (#44881305) Homepage
      I don't care one cent about the Android compatibility, I want an Open Linux phone, a device that'll run things like Thunderbird. or Kmail and doesn't make me an entry in Google's or MS database for exploitation.
      • by ChristW (18232)
      • Re:no thanks (Score:4, Informative)

        by ChristW (18232) on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @03:00AM (#44881373) Homepage

        ..or, as mentioned below, http://neo900.org/ [neo900.org]

      • You may not care but for the most part people care about the ecosystem not the OS itself. If these OSes have any hope of getting off the ground they either need to attract a humongous number of developers or support the ecosystem of another established platform.

        Otherwise you'll find yourself with a dream OS but no hardware which runs it.

      • You are very right, grandparent poster has a good point.

        The solution: a free phone with an android environment , but in a sandbox.
        So all the pretty android apps can ask for my sms, mail history, photos, sd, wife and pet, and I can choose what to feed them. For serious work instead I use the GNU/Linux environment.

        Jolla are you listening? you are close to a killer phone, wait it's a killer home pc when technology lets it. Think about it.

    • by petman (619526)
      Google Play Store is just another Android app. The only reason that some Android phones don't have it is because the manufacturers choose not to put it on them, but Play Store is able to run on any phone running Android. Is there any technical reason why you can't install Google Play Store on Sailfish OS?
      • Re:no thanks (Score:5, Informative)

        by EmperorArthur (1113223) on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @03:35AM (#44881477)

        Google Play Store is just another Android app. The only reason that some Android phones don't have it is because the manufacturers choose not to put it on them, but Play Store is able to run on any phone running Android. Is there any technical reason why you can't install Google Play Store on Sailfish OS?

        No, just legal ones. Though the play store has so many permissions you might as well grant Google, and by extension the NSA, root access when you install the thing.

        Copyright means Google can set whatever terms they want when it comes to companies installing or people using the play store.

      • Re:no thanks (Score:4, Insightful)

        by mwvdlee (775178) on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @03:43AM (#44881507) Homepage

        Manufacturers need to pay Google a fee for Play Store. It is just an app, which they could install, and it would work fine, showing all the apps.
        It's just that the store would see the device as incompatible with every single app in the store, so you couldn't actually use it to install anything.

        • by dbIII (701233)

          Manufacturers need to pay Google a fee for Play Store

          So? How do you know they won't be paying google to licence it? They are paying a third party for the android layer after all.

        • Or they could put the Amazon App Store on there.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      They have confirmed that Google Play Store is not supported, but they are negotiating with other app stores (Amazon, Yandex ...)

    • Android compatibility is a plus for those very specific apps some people want, but Sailfish OS has it's own ecosystem, so it won't be second class. There's also plenty of meego/maemo apps being ported to sailfish OS.

      • by tepples (727027)

        Android compatibility is a plus for those very specific apps some people want

        Unless the publishers of "those very specific apps" choose not to make them available to the public as an APK or through any store other than Google's.

        • That's quite right; users can't obtain application which the developers don't wish to sell/give them. Nothing new here.

          • My point is that people choose devices to run applications, and that involves choosing devices by compatibility with the stores on which developers choose to release their applications. If a user's must-have app is exclusive to Google Play, the user is locked into Google Play devices. It's not like game consoles, where someone can just buy one device of each platform and have them share a home Internet connection, because carrying capacity is limited. Consider before smartphones became popular: how often di
            • My point is that people choose devices to run applications, and that involves choosing devices by compatibility with the stores on which developers choose to release their applications. If a user's must-have app is exclusive to Google Play, the user is locked into Google Play devices. It's not like game consoles, where someone can just buy one device of each platform and have them share a home Internet connection, because carrying capacity is limited. Consider before smartphones became popular: how often did people carry both a DS and PSP? Besides, cellular carriers in Slashdot's home country tend to impose a separate monthly fee on each device.

              But this device not targeted to that particular country which has a very unique culture when it comes to mobile phones and carriers.

              Also, the lack/presen

    • by cbope (130292)

      No, this belongs on a "news for nerds" site. If you are so dependent and coddled by the whole app-store experience, then you are not a nerd and you need to use that other news site you mentioned.

      A real nerd/geek/whatever label you want to use is not going to be bothered that he/she can't get their apps through a single source.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Madoc (107)

      f-droid.org is an alternative to Google Play that's full of open source Android software, pre-built from the source. It's like the debian of the Android world.

      I use it on all of my devices, both those with Google Play and those without.

      • f-droid.org is an alternative to Google Play that's full of open source Android software

        By default, F-Droid hides any application that includes antifeatures [f-droid.org]. So how should one fund the development and maintenance of an open-source Android application, especially a game, without including antifeatures? The business models I've always been told about for open-source games are to make the code open-source but add advertisements (antifeature Ads), or do as Id Software does and make the code open-source but restrict the distribution of the meshes, textures, maps, audio, etc. on which it relies (ant

  • I think there is a demand for a device that has an operating system made by a company not based in the US. After the recent stuff, how many people trust apple, or google, or microsoft not to have inserted under pressure something to spy on us to the us government. If my own government wishes to monitor me, and if it has good reason to do so, then ok. But I don't see why a foreign government should have that ability too.
  • by cripkd (709136) on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @03:32AM (#44881469) Homepage
    If only HTML would support the text tag...
    • by kthreadd (1558445)

      It is very common with press releases.

      • by cripkd (709136)
        Yes, but how hard can it be to also have a text version on a press releases web page?
    • by Njovich (553857)

      What are you doing on Slashdot? We don't read articles here. I find the fact that you are asking this very disturbing.

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