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Jolla: Ex-Nokia Employees Launch Smartphone (MeeGo Resurrected) 141

Posted by samzenpus
from the back-again dept.
mrspoonsi writes "A team of ex-Nokia employees has released the first handset running on a new smartphone platform. The Jolla phone — pronounced Yol-la — is powered by open-source operating system Sailfish, but can run most apps designed for Google's Android platform. The platform — originally called MeeGo — was developed by Nokia, but dumped in 2011 in favour of the company adopting the Windows Phone system. Nokia released just one handset running the software, the N9-00. Antti Saarnio, chairman and co-founder of Jolla, told the BBC in May that MeeGo — now called Sailfish — had not been given enough chance to succeed."
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Jolla: Ex-Nokia Employees Launch Smartphone (MeeGo Resurrected)

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Duper

    • Re:doop (Score:4, Funny)

      by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Friday November 29, 2013 @12:37AM (#45552863) Homepage Journal
      THE STORY SHALL BE REPOSTED UNTIL THE CRYING CEASES.

      Think of it as less of a dupe and more of a commandment to buy one.
      • *sigh* (Score:5, Interesting)

        by CreamyG31337 (1084693) on Friday November 29, 2013 @01:16AM (#45553023)

        Actually, as an experienced MeeGo developer, this just makes me sad because they won't sell one to North Americans. Nokia did this to us with the N9 too, but at least they sent me a developer device. These guys still haven't released the official GSM/LTE frequencies it supports for some stupid reason, so I don't even know if I should bother trying to import one.

        • That is mindblowingly sad. :( I wanted one, too!
        • Re:*sigh* (Score:5, Insightful)

          by kthreadd (1558445) on Friday November 29, 2013 @01:31AM (#45553067)

          Jolla is a very small company and doesn't have the resources to ship to the entire world from day one. I'm sure they will ship to North American customers as soon as they can.

          • That still doesn't explain why the information on frequency support on the shipping model is hard to come by. One presumes that they settled that quite some time ago...
            • Re:*sigh* (Score:5, Interesting)

              by GNious (953874) on Friday November 29, 2013 @03:17AM (#45553267)

              From Jolla's website:

              GSM/3G/4G LTE* (Works on 6 continents).

              Which doesn't answer your question, but should mean that it works unless you're living in Antarctica :)

              GSM Arena says:

              2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
              3G Network HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100
              4G Network LTE

              yeah, probably not trustworthy, but one would hope they have a (semi-)official source for it.

              Disclaimer: Mine is in the mail... :)

              • by geert (2624)

                From Jolla's website:

                GSM/3G/4G LTE* (Works on 6 continents).

                Which doesn't answer your question, but should mean that it works unless you're living in Antarctica :)

                In my old school days, America was one continent, so 6 includes Antarctica ;-)

                • by fatphil (181876)
                  Eurasia, America, Africa, Oceania, Antarctica, ... what's missing?
              • That means it should work well as a 3G (HSDPA/HSPA+) phone on the AT&T network but only partly on T-Mobile. T-Mobile still uses their 1700MHz frequencies for HSPA+ in some markets, though it is in the process of transferring HSPA+ to 1900MHz and reusing the 1700MHz spectrum for LTE.

                LTE probably won't work with any US carrier. LTE compatibility is more complex than HSPA compatibility; at the current state of the art, separate LTE phone versions are necessary for the US and Europe.

                Whether that is sufficie

          • Jolla is a very small company and doesn't have the resources to ship to the entire world from day one. I'm sure they will ship to North American customers as soon as they can.

            Actually, even when a big fat company like Samsung launches a product, many times it is initially available only in Korea for some while.

          • Is this a "permission from the FCC" thing? I got on Jolla's mailing list, tried to purchase when they said that the were taking orders, found out I couldn't, and then later gave money to the Neo N900 guys, because even though they seem to be very small and in early stages of development, they're willing to do business with me.
          • Jolla means dingy, so SHIPping to North America might take some time. All bad puns are intentional.
        • by Anonymous Coward

          Look, stop whining and use a reshipping service. I did that to get a Lytro to Europe. There were absolutely zero issues sending it to Indiana instead ;)
          If you want your device, there are ways to get it.

        • by phrostie (121428)

          I wish these had been out when i got my G4.

          maybe by the time i get my next phone they will be here.

    • If it is Meego, what is it based on? Atom (like Intel originally planned?) or ARM?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      You do realize that they are not doing this on accident don't you? Why create new content when you can just recycle the old?

  • Dupe comments on a dupe post. Dupe-a-licious!
  • Dupe comments on a dupe post. Dupe-a-licious!

    --
    This exact comment has already been posted. Try to be more original...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 29, 2013 @02:29AM (#45553165)

    If it's a Finnish company not owned by Microsoft or any other company in cahoots with the NSA, this could be the only smartphone worth buying anymore.

    • If it's a Finnish company not owned by Microsoft or any other company in cahoots with the NSA, this could be the only smartphone worth buying anymore.

      Yes i agree with you . But i have read somewhere on net that there is some problem in Sailfish OS specially in sending SMS may be i am not sure but i hope that the developers have rectified this error.

  • Pro (Score:5, Funny)

    by MrEricSir (398214) on Friday November 29, 2013 @02:53AM (#45553223) Homepage

    "Antti Saarnio, chairman and co-founder of Jolla, told the BBC in May that MeeGo -- now called Sailfish -- had not been given enough chance to succeed."

    Antti's brother, Prro Saarnio, disagreed.

    • by twosat (1414337)

      That's the first comment on Slashdot that I laughed at until I cried!

    • by Anonymous Coward

      "Antti Saarnio, chairman and co-founder of Jolla, told the BBC in May that MeeGo -- now called Sailfish -- had not been given enough chance to succeed."

      Antti's brother, Prro Saarnio, disagreed.

      Antti's father Konttra made racist remarks concerning formerly 100% Finnish Nokia and its new ties to American decadent degenerate Microsoft.

  • TFA has it wrong. N9-00 was never released, N900 was. I have/use N900.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      TFA has it wrong. N9-00 was never released, N900 was. I have/use N900.

      n900 was Maemo 5 (aka Fremantle). n9 was Meego/Maemo hybrid. has rights to be called Meego but didn't meet spec 100 percent. for example it uses debs rather than rpms. it was not officially launched in a lot of western countries due to desire to target windows phone.

      meego is not now called sailfish as article implies. most meego development is now done in the mer fork. jolla contributes here, and then adds custom ui.

  • by master_p (608214) on Friday November 29, 2013 @05:29AM (#45553783)

    ...and I am sold.

    I tried the iPhone. Didn't like it, too much of a walled garden.

    I tried Android. It's UI sucks. Huge incosistences all around.

    I will stick with my N900 until a Sailfish phone with a hardware keyboard arrives.

    • by fatphil (181876)
      The n900 (and n9) UI were hugely more inconsistent than the first Android (2.x family) device I used for a few weeks, although the subsequent Android (4.x family) device I used for a few months after that was not as consistent as the earlier one - apps had started to introduce their own "menu" buttons on screen in random places, and not have anything useful on the system "menu" button.

      Spiral zoom in browser - great! Spiral zoom in image gallery - no chance!
      Volume zoom in pdf viewer - passable. Volume zoom i
      • by master_p (608214)

        I was never bothered by those inconsistencies in N900's UI.

        Athough they do exist, they are irrelevant for me, unlike the UI inconsistencies of Android 4's UI.

    • by efscher (797504)
      Neo900, perhaps? :)
  • I've been a loyal Nokia fan during their "it" days. Heck I still have my Nokia 5800XM with a 2.5G simcard in it! Bloody thing is locked to Orange. My first great disappointment was with the N810. Everything took ages to load even the GPS. Everything sort-of needed a user manual to operate and the battery life was horrendous. Nokia's lack of quickly getting onboard with touchscreen (on their normal phones) alienated me and in the end I went for an iPhone. Problem solved! There was no way I was going to buy o
  • As soon as I read the line "...but can run most apps..." a feeling crept in that they most probably doing something wrong or had to make some hard compromises - just replicate the damn Android API, piece by piece, it is open is it not? "Most" today is a recipe for disaster - nobody likes almost working things. Jolla - talk with Google, certify Jolla as Android API compatible to a degree it is possible to actually "certify" for that kind of thing, and don't make yourself smaller than need be by stating "can

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by queazocotal (915608)

      'just replicate the damn Android API, piece by piece, it is open is it not? '
      The open parts of the API work.

      The problem is that increasing parts of the android API are closed, being implemented not by open source code, but by closed source binaries with licences that do not permit redistribution by other manufacturers.

      http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-10/21/googles-iron-grip-on-android [wired.co.uk]

      'Play Services is a closed source app owned by Google and licensed as part of the Google Apps package. Any feature yo

      • by dbIII (701233)
        Jolla's way around that is to licence a compatibility layer from some people that have been working on it, and with google, for several years. Thus there is a money trail from them to google and in return google allows their stuff to work on this phone. There's been articles about it even here but probably more than a year back - the N9 was supposed to use this thing but Nokia was gutted before the deal went through.
        • I believe you're referring to hybris.

          This is unfortunately not relevant directly to the above.

          It does make running an OS on an android system without having to rewrite your own low-level hardware drivers easier, as you can use the existing closed-source ones.

          It does not implement the bits referred to above that are not part of the android platform as such - but are now 'Play Services'.
          These are not low-level hardware drivers, but middleware.

          • by dbIII (701233)
            I suggest you read one of the earlier articles on the phone or a similar source instead of speculating aloud (or even taking my word for it).
      • by knarf (34928)

        Play services does not equate Android, nor does Android need it. My Android-based devices do fine without any Google apps. While I mostly push stuff to them through adb (the Android Debug Bridge) I also have FDroid (an alternative, all-free-software) repository installed 'just in case'. Everything works fine. I build the distribution myself - except for the rather large quantity of binary blobs needed by the hardware, alas - and install it myself, disabling stuff I don't want (ThrottleService in ServiceMana

      • by Rob Y. (110975)

        I thought moving stuff to Play services was to get around the OEM's refusal to update the OS. They couldn't get their latest OS versions out to the public, causing enought API fragmentation to make trouble for developers - and PR trouble with reviewers (if not customers). So they moved new functionality to a user-upgradeable module releasable via Play. If that module happens to be closed source - because it's part of Play itself, I don't think you can assume that the purpose was to take Android proprieta

        • Whatever the 'goal' - it has that function.
          The new play services APIs are not in the open-source code.

          The only way as an OEM to get those APIs available, and to be able to run the increasing number of apps that require them is to either reimplement them - which may run into patent issues - or to comply with all of the google terms and conditions and get them to bless your device.
          Which means doing nothing that google does not like.

          This _INCREASES_ fragmentation that vendors that choose not to, or are not leg

    • They licenced an android compatibility layer from people who have talked to google a lot over five years or so and who had decided to "replicate the damn Android API, piece by piece" quite some time back.
  • they are doing way better than nokia.
  • The platform â" originally called MeeGo â" was developed by Nokia

    Uh what? It's a merge of Moblin, from Intel, and Maemo from Nokia. And the nicest-looking interface is from Moblin. Nice Nokia fellation, though, submitter.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Submitter probably meant MeeGo Harmattan which ran on the N9. That UI wasn't from Moblin or Intel. MeeGo from Intel was a mostly Gtk+ (and Clutter) based UI. N9 a Qt based swipe UI.

  • The Verge has posted a hands on with Jolla. It's not good news:

    Yes, it sounds very reminiscent of the Nokia N9, but in practice it's highly unintuitive and unwieldy to the point where the entire UI paradigm can be considered broken. Screen transitions and in-app animations go from left to right, inviting the user to swipe from right to left to go back, but thatâ(TM)s not how youâ(TM)re supposed to do it. A notification pops down from the top of the screen, but if you try to swipe down to view it,

  • I'm one of the guys who got the phone two days ago. You can read my quick review here [blogspot.fi].

    To summarize: the user interface based on swiping works quite nicely, even if a bit confusing at first, and the phone works OK as a minimalistic smartphone. On Day 1, there still are quite many bugs and usability issues that need to be worked out.

    Compared to Android or iOS, the visual simplicity of the user interface views is extreme, no buttons or decorations almost anywhere. When you open the phone app, you just see a ve

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