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Sailfish Can Officially Be Installed To Android Devices 118

Posted by timothy
from the jolla-good-old-chap dept.
jones_supa writes "Talouselämä Magazine met Jolla CEO Tomi Pienimäki and asked a puzzling question. If Jolla truly is compatible with Android devices, is Jolla going to let individual users to install the Sailfish operating system on the Android devices that they already have? Pienimäki answers: 'That is the plan. We are on device business and OS business. It is fairly easy to install the OS on Android devices'. He says that especially in China, changing firmwares is a mainstream thing. About half of the smartphone buyers are upgrading their older or cheaper devices with a better version of Android. Therefore, Jolla's plan is to get some Sailfish installations sneaked in, too."
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Sailfish Can Officially Be Installed To Android Devices

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  • Interesting. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MrEricSir (398214) on Saturday November 30, 2013 @05:13PM (#45563513) Homepage

    So this means both Sailfish and Ubuntu Phone can be installed on Android devices. This is an interesting development -- perhaps we're moving toward a PC-like standard for phone and tablet hardware?

    • Re:Interesting. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mwvdlee (775178) on Saturday November 30, 2013 @05:30PM (#45563575) Homepage

      perhaps we're moving toward a PC-like standard for phone and tablet hardware?

      Well; most Android devices have a bootloader you'll have to hack and void warranty if you do so.... yes!

      • by hydrofix (1253498)
        So the next logical step is that someone starts selling Android hardware where you can replace the OS component without voiding the warranty.
        • Re:Interesting. (Score:5, Informative)

          by substance2003 (665358) on Saturday November 30, 2013 @05:48PM (#45563643)
          I believe such a phone already exists.

          http://oppostyle.com/find-5/8-find-5-white.html#/capacity-16gb [oppostyle.com]
          • by AvitarX (172628)

            Wow, wish I knew about that, probably would of gone with it rather than a Nexus 5.

            Priced very competitively, and I'm really missing burst mode from my One S.

            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by EETech1 (1179269)

              If you are using Android, try using "fast burst camera (pro)" I love it, and it works better than my stock camera at taking burst shots.

              Everyone always asks how I got such a perfect shot with my camera, I don't tell them I took 50 and went through them all to get just the right one:)

              Cheers

              • by AvitarX (172628)

                Is that the one by Spritefish?

                • by EETech1 (1179269)

                  Yes, it is. Sorry, I was going to link to it, but I ran out of time (are you on that damn phone again!)

                  It works really well, you can adjust the amount of RAM for buffering and the burst speed as well as many other settings. It also can make GIFs out of your shots.

                  It can take a while to store all the photos (you can take a lot in a very short time) and every once in a while Android will say it's not responding, but it is just busy dumping RAM to disk (a fast SD card helps a lot here) so don't force close i

                  • by AvitarX (172628)

                    Thanks, I purchased it assuming that's the one you meant, I was somewhat unsure as they don't call it pro (simply dropping the lite).

                    My only gripe is that I can't use anything over 1080P (there's a checkbox to enable higher resolutions, but it doesn't appear to actually allow them).

                    I loved the gif making, and it is indeed fast.

                    Also, the lite version is pretty complete, so good on them for being cool people.

          • Re:Interesting. (Score:4, Interesting)

            by hydrofix (1253498) on Saturday November 30, 2013 @06:47PM (#45563865)
            Interesting. It's slightly better hardware [gsmarena.com] than Jolla for €100 less. But at least for now without Sailfish OS, of course.
            • I'm not sure a higher resolution, twice the memory and a camera with more than twice the megapixels qualifies as only *slightly* better.
              The Jolla does have LTE over the Oppo but that seems to be of small consolation.
              • by Lennie (16154)

                Depends on what more memory and higher resolution does with the battery life.

                If the Jolla device has twice the battery life, I wouldn't mind paying for that.

            • by Luckyo (1726890)

              From what I heard about this particular model, it has some issues like 3G that doesn't work in some places in EU at all (in addition to having no LTE at all), ROM that comes with it is very buggy (which is the main reason why they update it as much as they advertise it - they kind of have to). And the ROM it comes with is apparently still on 4.1, so you really should get cyanogenmod for it.

              So like most of these chinese android phones this one has its issues, that are often not known until someone you know g

              • ROM that comes with it is very buggy

                Oh for fucks sake.

                This is Linux, not Android. There is no "ROM".

                Since it's RPM based (boo) you just need to do a "yum update".

                • by Luckyo (1726890)

                  I am talking about the chinese android phone, not the jolla one. I'm sorry if I didn't make it clear in the initial post, I figured that with things like "3g that doesn't work in Europe" and "version 4.1" would make it evident enough.

        • by Burz (138833)

          See http://www.fairphone.com/ [fairphone.com]

        • htc used to.it was called the htc hd2. they accepted the warrenty what ever os you had stuck on it,i think it was 9 different os's you could load onto it,and it would run. then folk started locking the bootloaders etc.
        • Re:Interesting. (Score:5, Informative)

          by suy (1908306) on Sunday December 01, 2013 @02:32AM (#45566441) Homepage

          As I understand it, that is not going to happen if you want Google's bless (i.e. their applications and Google Play Services, which are critical for some applications to work). Read Google’s iron grip on Android [arstechnica.com], especially page 3.

          Since the Kindle OS counts as an incompatible version of Android, no major OEM is allowed to produce the Kindle Fire for Amazon. So when Amazon goes shopping for a manufacturer for its next tablet, it has to immediately cross Acer, Asus, Dell, Foxconn, Fujitsu, HTC, Huawei, Kyocera, Lenovo, LG, Motorola, NEC, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, Toshiba, and ZTE off the list. Currently, Amazon contracts Kindle manufacturing out to Quanta Computer, a company primarily known for making laptops. Amazon probably doesn't have many other choices.

          Seems like a terrible move against market freedom. Even worse for consumer freedom.

          • by jovius (974690)

            Google play and services can be installed [blogspot.fi] on Jolla (and other devices too?).

            • by suy (1908306)

              Yes, I saw that earlier this morning, but I wonder how legal is that, and how easily you can be blocked by Google. I doubt is a solution for a vendor.

              • by hydrofix (1253498)

                It's obviously not "legal", as per the Ars article you posted (thanks for the interesting read BTW) these Google Play components are proprietary closed-source apps, that are only available under a license to the Open Handset Alliance members, which Jolla is of course not, since it's manufacturing a non-Google approved version of Android. So while you might be able to install Play on your Jolla, I would think its impossible for Jolla to ship their phone with Google Play pre-installed. Though depending on oth

      • by dbIII (701233)
        According to some guy called bingoUV on the other Jolla thread most android phones have unlocked bootloaders that you don't have to hack - and his specific example was "all Samsung phones in the last two years". That doesn't seem correct to me, especially since I had a little Samsung "pocket" phone that was locked down tight. Is he correct or do these things come with locked bootloaders that have to be exploited to get in at all?
        • by Luckyo (1726890)

          He's likely talking about Chinese versions of said phones, as well as generally phones on Chinese market. At least some of them are known to be open.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Boot phone to fastbootmode by holding volume down while powering on.
          Attach usb cable.
          In the Android SDK directory is a program called fastboot.

          fastboot oem unlock

          This unlocks the boot loader but also wipes the system.

          Most if not all Android phones should support fastboot.

      • by bingoUV (1066850)

        Void warranty - yes. For those who flash a custom ROM, it is typically trivial to flash back the original ROM, so it is possible to take most advantages of the warranty. But, of course, it is against the warranty contract.

        Hack - depends on the definition of "hack". Samsung hasn't released a bootloader locked Android phone device in 2 years. HTC hasn't released such device in slightly less than 2 years. Sony has an application on their own website to open bootloaders for most of their Android phones.

        Yes, you

    • by gmuslera (3436)
      The problem in both PC and phones are drivers, not all are open, or not all are available. But as Android phones must have them, you can build other linux based OSs on top of android/cyanogenmod base system, and thats what are doing Ubuntu Touch, Firefox OS, and apparently Sailfish.
    • by mellon (7048)

      Bits, or it didn't happen. I'm looking forward to this if it's real, but we haven't seen any actual code drop yet. As for a PC-like standard, not really—there are too many variations in the hardware. E.g., different CPUs require significant differences in the drivers, plus there's the whole rooting/bricking issue. It would be great if market pressure for what you're describing started to develop, but we certainly aren't seeing that at present.

  • The Chinglish. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by adolf (21054)

    What is this crazy moon-man language?

  • Ugh, this again. You have one piece of software, you have one piece of hardware, and one piece of firmware. You do not "change firmwares" but rather you "change (the) firmware." You wouldn't say you "update the informations" or "upgrade your hardwares" or "go change your clothings" -- would you? Grammar, please.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      This are egregious errors.

    • But you *do* say "update the data", "upgrade your components", and "go change your clothes". "Informations" isn't a word. Nor is "hardwares" or "clothings".
    • I don't know how grammatically correct it is, but I have heard people say for example "if the hardware problem persists, consider switching laptops".
  • then KitKat unwraps Ubuntu. i'm hungry.
  • by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Saturday November 30, 2013 @05:41PM (#45563627) Homepage

    Talouselämä Magazine met Jolla CEO Tomi Pienimäki and asked a puzzling question. If Jolla truly is compatible with Android devices, is Jolla going to let individual users to install the Sailfish operating system on the Android devices that they already have?

    That certainly is a puzzling question if you have absolutely no idea what Jolla and Sailfish are.

    Go ahead, rant and rave all you want and ask me how I dare to read Slashdot if I don't know what they are already, but would it kill you just to give a hint of what Jolla and Sailfish are? At least then I'd have some idea whether the article might fall within my interest without having to research it. That is what a summary is meant to be for, isn't it?

    And it can be done so easily without looking like you've dumbed it down - they do it all the time proper news sites.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Thank you for posting this, even though you'll surely get flamed six ways from Sunday for it.

      This kind of news item on this site is a perfect example of the myopia and arrogance that runs rampant here. I've been reading this site since it's earliest days, and I still check in (via RSS reader) a couple of times a day. But I am constantly amazed by how hard people here work to ghetto-ize themselves -- just like the so-called "Linux community".

      Here's a hint: If you want to maintain the security of being a fr

      • by foobar bazbot (3352433) on Saturday November 30, 2013 @07:56PM (#45564359)

        ... I am constantly amazed by how hard people here work to ghetto-ize themselves -- just like the so-called "Linux community".

        Here's a hint: If you want to maintain the security of being a fringe player with no responsibility that everyone else laughs at, then keep up your lazy, selfish ways. If you want to be a major player, then clean up your act.

        Right now, I have a free OS that does what I need it do, and that I can tinker with whenever I feel like it. And I've got plenty of choice -- i presently use Arch, but I've used (and could go back to) netbsd and slackware, and I could go pick up gentoo, debian, etc. if arch stopped updating, or decided to go in a direction I don't like.

        What do I get out of making the "Linux community" a "major player"? At best, those things stay the same when it becomes "a major player" -- in fact, it's liable to become worse, because of the need to cater to the lowest common denominator (cf. Ubuntu).

        You say lots of other people (who I don't care about) would start using Linux? OK, then maybe they should wish Linux community becomes "major player" (in reality, they should probably just use OS X -- all the same UNIXiness, a nice polished layer of user-friendliness, and neither them nor we of the Linux community need to get on one another's nerves!), but you're not preaching to them, you're preaching to me, and I just don't care what OS they use.

        You say the increased market share would force manufacturers to provide hardware drivers? Well, that might actually be a good argument -- particularly if there were some reason to suppose this doesn't just mean more buggy binary-only drivers. (If this argument was sound, wouldn't we see lots of good from the "success" of Linux by way of Android in getting usable hardware drivers? No, we've got a ton of binary junk, and dozens of separately-maintained hardware-specific forks.) And the only times in the past decade I've run into this hardware-support problem that Linux supposedly has were 5 years ago when I had trouble with a USB-attached webcam in a laptop, and 3 years ago when I made the mistake of getting a UMPC with GMA500/Poulsbo graphics because I skipped the research, thinking Intel graphics==good support. I'm sure there's a lot of unsupported hardware out there, I'm just not running into it very often, and when I do, I don't see any evidence that being a "major player" would actually make it any better.

        And I'm just not insecure enough to need the validation of knowing I'm a Major Player, or to care that "everyone else laughs at [us]" (And I note that's the one argument you could be arsed to actually make... good lord, man, see a shrink!) -- unless there's some real benefit to me, I don't see a reason to expend effort helping people who don't care enough to help themselves.

        • by exomondo (1725132)

          What do I get out of making the "Linux community" a "major player"?

          Well the one key thing I can think of is better support from hardware manufacturers and major software developers.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        The real problem is more that many talented geeks start to believe that only what they're good at & understand is worthwhile -- which might explain Slashdot's lack of editors -- and thus that anyone with different knowledge/talents must be (to quote someone below) a "dumbass." The attitude not only leads to unnecessarily complex writing, it drives the users away that do have the right combination of tech knowledge &writing talent needed to do a much better job.

        The problem isn't universal among Linu

      • - Jolla is a company that formed from Nokia employees that resigned over Nokias wholesale shift to Windows Phone and started their own company
      • - Sailfish is a smartphone OS based off the MeeGo [wikipedia.org] operating system.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by pspahn (1175617)

      And you'd think if someone was paying for a slashvertisement, they would want to make sure potential customers/users knew how to pronounce the name.

      Since they didn't, I'll just go ahead and let everyone know that it's pronounced JOE-lah and that any other pronunciation is totally incorrect.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        It's pronounced yol-lah. "Jolla" means dinghy in Finnish.

        • by pspahn (1175617)

          Which I would have never guessed.

          Honestly, I figured it was either hoya (as in La Jolla) or hawl-ah (like hollar/holla). But if they want to name their phone after a crappy little boat that's their deal, though, I can see why they would prefer to keep it a secret.

          • by aliquis (678370)

            The name make sense.

            Jolla is created by former Nokia employe(s) and Sailfish is a continuation of MeeGo which was a Nokia OS.

            When Stephen Elop had had become CEO of Nokia and revealed the future direction about how they would ditch Symbian, just relase one MeeGo phone and switch over to Windows Phone he compared the situation to a burning oil platform where you may not want to jump into the cold water but ..

            And if you look back at that and where Nokia went it isn't all that weird that someone took their lit

            • by aliquis (678370)

              .. or that people who are left into the water may want to get picked up by one and rescued :)

          • Honestly, I figured it was either hoya (as in La Jolla) or hawl-ah (like hollar/holla). But if they want to name their phone after a crappy little boat that's their deal, though, I can see why they would prefer to keep it a secret.

            Your reply oozes with negativity.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by preflex (1840068)

      would it kill you just to give a hint of what Jolla and Sailfish are?

      They gave you several hints.

      "Jolla CEO Tomi Pienimäki": Hmm. Jolla must be a corporation. That name sounds Finnish.

      "If Jolla truly is compatible with Android devices...": Jolla seems to be making some sort of cell phone software.

      "Is Jolla going to let individual users to install the Sailfish operating system ..." Sailfish is an operating system for cell phones.

      So, Jolla is a Finnish cell phone company that is producing an OS called Sailfish. It will be installable on Android devices. It

      • by Jiro (131519) on Saturday November 30, 2013 @07:06PM (#45563991)

        Generally, the detail which is important to the reader is what distinguishes the referenced item from other things like it. It is uninformative for a Slashdot article to name a disease, type of food, operating system, or anything else without saying what it is. Just the fact that the reader can figure out that it is a disease, food, or operating system doesn't make the article informative. It's possible to figure out something from almost any article, no matter how poorly written. It's still poorly written.

        • by preflex (1840068)
          I agree. The article and summary are badly written. However, parent was complaining there was no "hint" as to the identities of Jolla and Sailfish. He was so emphatic about the word "hint" that he used the emphasis tag. I simply pointed out that there were plenty of hints available, and that those hints should indicate whether the article might fall within his interests. He could simply ask, "Am I interested in installing an alternative OS on an Android phone?". If yes, research Jolla and Sailfish. If
        • Alternatively, they should put that gizmo which makes a nice underlined thingie on the word, which you can click and then read an interesting article about the word with the thingie and the gizmo on it. ...I think they're called "hyperlinks", or so I'm told.

      • "Jolla CEO Tomi Pienimäki": Hmm. Jolla must be a corporation. Who the fuck knows where it's from? Startups generate names from a version of scrabble with added "ly" and "io" pieces.

        "If Jolla truly is compatible with Android devices...": Wait just a second, if I read this first, I'd think Jolla is a piece of software, not a corporation. Which is it? Now I have to search on the net instead of getting info from the summary like is proper.

        "Finnish company Jolla CEO says their MeeGo-based operating system S

    • Sorry about that. We'll be appending Wikipedia to every article in the future. It's not like you could search it or Google on a separate browser tab, anyway, right?

      • by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Saturday November 30, 2013 @08:05PM (#45564415) Homepage

        It's not like you could search it or Google on a separate browser tab, anyway, right?

        It's not like I should have to, if Slashdot wants to be a news site which informs its readership. Call me lazy if you wish, but I prefer to be less mystified after reading the news.

        • I'd say it's a fair wager that the number of parties that are interested in this and know what Jolla/Sailfish is outweigh the number of parties that don't know but are still interested. Slashdot is not intended to be a general purpose news site, and it has no reason to spoonfeed all readers on subjects that they are quite likely to already be familiar with.
      • ...Or we could just stop going to Slashdot and find the news ourselves. How about that? Since Slashdot doesn't give us the links anyway...

    • It's got some slight new UI twists. Other than that, in this benighted post-Snowden era, not one whit of apparent concern for security and privacy.

      In looking for a new name, they should have called it MeeToo.

    • I dare to read Slashdot if I don't know what they are already

      Perhaps if you read slashdot, say, two days ago, you'd have come across this. [slashdot.org]

      Don't blame us because you were stuffing yourself with turkey and can't be bothered to stay up with what's going on in the tech world. It's a fast moving world--please try to keep up. :^D

      Seriously, though, it's a worthwhile note to editors.

    • by Shavano (2541114)

      I'm more interested in what advantage there might be in running Sailfish instead of Android -- if any?

    • but would it kill you just to give a hint of what Jolla and Sailfish are?

      Maybe the editor has a slightly higher reading comprehension level?

      If Jolla truly is compatible with Android devices, is Jolla going to let individual users to install the Sailfish operating system on the Android devices that they already have?

      Now the only thing left is what is Jolla, and it is obvious that it something to do with Android devices.

      • Maybe the editor has a slightly higher reading comprehension level?

        It's a very poor editor who assumes everyone knows what he knows.

    • What 'proper news sites' are you talking about? Even significant amounts of tech press dumb things down, let alone news sources aimed at the general public.
      • Take the current top story in the World section on BBC News:

        Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has rejected protesters' demands that she step down, amid ongoing clashes in Bangkok.

        Surely anyone even remotely interested in reading about that would already know who Yingluck Sinawatra is, right?

        Here's another one from Technology:

        Amazon, the world's largest online retailer, is testing unmanned drones to deliver goods to customers, Chief Executive Jeff Bezos says.

        I'd argue that far more people reading the BBC website will know what Amazon and Jeff Bezos are, than Slashdot readers would know what Jolla and Sailfish are.

        It's not dumbing down; it's for not pissing off the readers who need that little bit of extra information.

        Judging the moderation of and number of

  • So Sailfish / Jolla supports all baseband chips that can be found on all Android devices in China? In addition to ST-Ericsson, Qualcomm, Huawei, Samsung, MediaTek, etc.?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      So Sailfish / Jolla supports all baseband chips that can be found on all Android devices in China? In addition to ST-Ericsson, Qualcomm, Huawei, Samsung, MediaTek, etc.?

      From what I understand about phone OS and cell phone hardware in general, there is some hardware abstraction for this. The drivers to baseband chips are fairly straight forward, and, since Sailfish is Linux, I would expect these drivers can be taken from Android (which also uses Linux for its hardware drivers).

      The question to ask is: "what apps does Sailfish support?" Simply having another UI for my phone doesn't really do me any good if I can't run anything useful on it. And, by useful I mean decent pho

      • by foobar bazbot (3352433) on Sunday December 01, 2013 @01:01AM (#45566053)

        It will support Android apps.

        Think of how desktop linuxen can support Windows apps using WINE -- they mostly won't be mistaken for native apps, some won't run, some will have odd glitches, some will run just fine. (I'm not saying that the proportion of apps in each of those categories will be anything like WINE, merely that there's bound to be some of each type.)

        If the Android app support is good enough, it could make a huge difference in uptake -- after all, if anyone who can flash a custom ROM can flash Sailfish instead, then install all the apps they had under Android, then carry on like nothing's changed, it won't take much UI improvement/novelty to get a bunch of geeks to do just that, thus boosting their install base well above the number of handsets Jolla sells themselves. That larger install base makes development of Sailfish-native apps more attractive, which means more native apps, which means more reason to switch from Android to Sailfish.

        Of course, if the Android app support isn't good enough, people will flash back to android because only half their apps work, Sailfish won't have the big install base, so you'll never get the native apps to replace all those borked android apps, and the whole thing collapses in a heap of fail.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Think of how desktop linuxen can support Windows apps using WINE -- they mostly won't be mistaken for native apps, some won't run, some will have odd glitches, some will run just fine. (I'm not saying that the proportion of apps in each of those categories will be anything like WINE, merely that there's bound to be some of each type.)

          ..just like with normal android:)

  • by neuro88 (674248)
    I think I may very well put this on to my S4. I got the S4, because nothing else really looked appealing to me, but I'm really not a fan of touchwiz. If this is better than touchwiz (very hard not to be), then I'll give it a shot.

    The fact that Sailfish uses Wayland also makes this very interesting to me.
    • by jalyst (978032)
      It won't run well on anything that's not officially sanctioned/supported, people STILL don't seem to get the the Sailfish(Jolla) model/plans. Nemo will probably be slightly better longer-term, but it needs more time...
  • If they dropped X11, then I can't share my device screen out. What exactly is the advantage of Sailfish over Android if it's just another isolated device like android?
  • When their website doesn't even properly display on my phone.

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