Jolla's Sailfish OS now compatible with Android applications, hardware
Jolla's open-source Sailfish mobile operating system is now compatible with applications and hardware optimized for Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android.
Android apps run directly on the Sailfish OS without any modifications, enabling users to install consumer favorites like Instagram and WhatsApp from any Android app storefront. Jolla said it will partner with app store operators to guarantee seamless downloads to Sailfish devices. The company nevertheless stressed the importance of native software development, stating on Twitter "Native apps are the only way to utilize the Sailfish UI to the full."
Jolla has also made Sailfish compatible with Android smartphones and tablets based on multiple chipset and hardware configurations, enabling vendor partners to exploit the existing Android hardware ecosystem to accelerate their Sailfish rollout plans. "We believe Sailfish with Android compatibility is a highly relevant mobile operating system option for major mobile companies in Europe and in Asia," Jolla CEO Tomi Pienimäki said. "We are already in discussions with several major Asian vendors regarding this opportunity."
Sailfish, first announced in late 2011, is based on the open-source MeeGo platform, which combined Nokia's (NYSE:NOK) former Maemo platform with Intel's erstwhile Moblin efforts. Jolla has raised $258 million from a variety of telecommunications industry players to launch Sailfish, and it will distribute the OS to device manufacturers free of charge, generating revenue by licensing proprietary software features and from intellectual property rights.
The first commercial Sailfish devices are slated to reach consumers later this year. Finnish operator DNA has signed on to sell and market Sailfish smartphones, and Jolla has said that other carrier deals are in the pipeline as well. Jolla has also launched the Sailfish Alliance, which unites OEM and ODM manufacturers, chipset providers, operators, application developers and retailers.
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