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posted by Fnord666 on Thursday August 31 2017, @01:43PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the who-buys-an-os-in-2017? dept.

Jolla, of "where's my tablet" fame, has announced a plan the sell their SailfishOS for Sony Xperia X phones as an aftermartket upgrade. From the announcement:

Here are the hard facts you need to know:

Sales start date: September 27, 2017. Product – what you will get:

  • Sailfish OS image to flash to your Xperia device – our target is to have the downloadable image ready by October 11
  • Android support, predictive text input, and MS exchange support as downloads from Jolla Store to your device
  • SW updates for one year, after which a continuation program will follow
  • Clear instructions and support for downloads & installation
  • Jolla Customer Care service

Availability: EU, Norway, Switzerland; US & CA to be confirmed. Price: 49,90€ (including VAT)

Seems like quite the bizarre move for a company that has lost so much consumer faith.

Seen on Phoronix


Original Submission

Related Stories

Jolla Announces Sailfish 3 OS 18 comments

What, it's not Android?

Jolla Announces Sailfish 3 With Feature Phone Support – MWC 2018

Finnish mobile OS developer Jolla is attending Mobile World Congress 2018 in Barcelona, Spain, where the company has officially announced Sailfish 3, the next-generation independent mobile OS built on a five-year software legacy. The company also announced a handful of new devices that have joined the Sailfish ecosystem and it revealed its plans for a new branch of its mobile operating system which was designed specifically for 4G-enabled feature phones as it sets out to allow select Android app access on low-spec hardware for consumers who don't need or want a full-fledged smartphone.

One of the biggest changes introduced with the latest Sailfish 3 OS lies in the way the software can be distributed through regional licensing, providing full support for regional infrastructure which should lead to steady upgrade releases and more. As for the mobile operating system itself, Sailfish 3 should provide 30-percent faster performance, improved multitasking with the ability to quickly switch between applications, as well as a redesigned top menu containing actions and settings. The mobile operating system employs a new visual style comprising new ambiances, light themes, and animations, while also offering new security solutions including revised architecture, fingerprint support, encryption, remote locking and wiping capabilities, as well as enablers for blockchain-based services.

Sailfish OS.

Press release. Also at TechCrunch, Engadget, and NDTV.

Related: Jolla Tablet Ship Date Slips
Sailfish OS Maker Jolla: Funding Delay Results in "Temporary Layoffs"
Android is a Dead End
Jolla to Sell OS Image for Sony Phone


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31 2017, @01:57PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31 2017, @01:57PM (#562120)

    is that I don't need your damn customer care or tech support. I just need you to get the fuck out of my way, and let me program the damn device to do what I want, exactly how and when I want it.

    Every night I pray to St. John [von Neumann] to deliver unto us the IBM-or-IBM-compatible machine of the "mobile" world. Deliver us!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31 2017, @02:10PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31 2017, @02:10PM (#562123)

      Purism [puri.sm] is doing an open source phone. Go and give them money!

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31 2017, @02:34PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31 2017, @02:34PM (#562129)

        They failed to produce anything of true value the last time around; why now would they be able to do something this next time, especially with regard to a sector of computing as locked down as "mobile"?

        I'd rather see more efforts put behind RISC-V, and built up an ecosystem from 2 directions: The low-end and the high-end, and then one day have those ends meet at "mobile". If we're going to escape the proprietaryism, then we've got to do it thoroughly.

        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by zeigerpuppy on Friday September 01 2017, @01:20AM

          by zeigerpuppy (1298) on Friday September 01 2017, @01:20AM (#562374)

          I disagree, I think the current status of SailfishOS is quite an impressive achievement for a small company.
          The OS is usable and there's some innovative third party tools. It's a really difficult space to compete in.
          Firefox and Ubuntu failed in the same space remember. This company is vastly smaller and I think it deserves a bit more tolerance. I am in no way affiliated with Jolla but I like to see companies building software on a Linux base without Spyware build in.

  • (Score: 2) by Aiwendil on Thursday August 31 2017, @04:35PM (4 children)

    by Aiwendil (531) on Thursday August 31 2017, @04:35PM (#562173) Journal

    I find that idea to quite interesting actually. Having a third party provide updated software for a handset after the manufacturer has ceased support/upgrades.

    Actually kind wish something like that was available for my android phone - a third party that provides tested OS upgrades (in my case I need to stay within the android route). That - in combination with the third party batteries - would _really_ lengthen the lifespan of the devices (would in particular be useful for those of us that want our smartphones to be small and portable and not require its own separate messanger bag)

    • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Thursday August 31 2017, @06:17PM (3 children)

      by RamiK (1813) on Thursday August 31 2017, @06:17PM (#562234)

      Pick one: https://quickfever.com/best-android-roms-433840 [quickfever.com]

      Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_custom_Android_distributions [wikipedia.org]

      Or build it yourself: https://forum.xda-developers.com/chef-central/android/guide-android-rom-development-t2814763 [xda-developers.com]

      Personally I'm satisfied with LineageOS to the point I make my new device purchases based on what they support.

      --
      compiling...
      • (Score: 2) by Aiwendil on Thursday August 31 2017, @07:37PM (2 children)

        by Aiwendil (531) on Thursday August 31 2017, @07:37PM (#562270) Journal

        I am well aware of the download-your-own-ROM, I was more interested in having it properly tested by a company that also offers support when it goes wrong. (Since that is kinda the minimum for my work-phone, for my personal phone I wouldn't even blink before I switched ROMs)

        • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Thursday August 31 2017, @08:52PM (1 child)

          by RamiK (1813) on Thursday August 31 2017, @08:52PM (#562298)

          properly tested...offers support...minimum for my work-phone

          Writing to NAND flash (or really, any storage) is notoriously failure prone. The only way to address this is through parity and redundancies. Other than that, there are no software or service solutions to hardware problems. At best, you'll get an Indian guy calling himself "Marty from Microsoft Tech Support" going through service scripts over the phone or an Apple store genius resetting your phone to factory settings or replacing it altogether for a fine fee.

          Overall, buy an extra phone and setup a cloud backup in a way that lets you switch SIMs at a moment's notice. Anyone telling you differently is trying to sell you a bridge.

          --
          compiling...
          • (Score: 2) by Aiwendil on Friday September 01 2017, @11:25AM

            by Aiwendil (531) on Friday September 01 2017, @11:25AM (#562466) Journal

            Last person that tried to sell me a bridge actually delivered ;) (yes, that expression is hillarious if you work in infrastructure and at time actually order bridges)

            It seems I fail to be clear.
            What is needed is essentielly that it is vetted about as well as normal android upgrades from manufacturer per model, but for quite a bit longer (excepting the battery smartphone hardware tends to be useful for close to a decade, if you are lucky the mfg keeps updating the software for three years). Backed with some "oops, let us assign a tech for the bug and ship a new update"-support.

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31 2017, @05:48PM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31 2017, @05:48PM (#562221)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/sony_rootkit [wikipedia.org]

    never forget, never forgive

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31 2017, @07:35PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31 2017, @07:35PM (#562267)

      And the otheros fiasco.

    • (Score: 2, Troll) by frojack on Thursday August 31 2017, @07:57PM (3 children)

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 31 2017, @07:57PM (#562279) Journal

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/sony_rootkit
      never forget, never forgive

      I'm far more pissed off at Sailfish than I am with Sony.
      Sony never rooted any of my devices because I never bought their over-priced crapware anyway.

      But Sailfish took my money, failed to deliver a tablet, and never refunded the money.
      If any of them set foot in the US I hope they find a warrant waiting for them.

      They soured me on crowd funding in a way I will never forget.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 2) by etherscythe on Thursday August 31 2017, @08:33PM (1 child)

        by etherscythe (937) on Thursday August 31 2017, @08:33PM (#562294) Journal

        Overpriced it may be, but I found my Z3 Compact came with a rather good OEM distro (remember when you could get a week of use from a phone without needing to recharge? I've got that with Stamina Mode). I just wish root were supported, and the usual suspects have failed to deliver a good solution for that - one day I had a SuperSU update soft brick my phone and I haven't gotten it rooted again since.

        --
        "Fake News: anything reported outside of my own personally chosen echo chamber"
        • (Score: 2) by jbernardo on Friday September 01 2017, @01:52PM

          by jbernardo (300) on Friday September 01 2017, @01:52PM (#562497)

          Strange, my Z5 can be and is rooted. Thankfully I was even able to do a temporary root without unlocking, to backup the TA partition.

      • (Score: 2) by jbernardo on Friday September 01 2017, @06:43AM

        by jbernardo (300) on Friday September 01 2017, @06:43AM (#562425)

        I also got swindled by them. Their little game of lying to their backers on the tablet progress while all the backers amongst was being spent in adapting the OS for selling to OEM maybe wasn't illegal but certainly was immoral. And now their refund roulette, so that they can claim to be doing refunds as promised while only refunding less than 4% of the backers, is adding insult to injury.

        OTOH, I am quite happy with Sony Xperia line. Easy to unlock the bootloader, vendor provided AOSP sources and Images, and a light and fast android variant by default, together with great hardware. I just wish for removable batteries and a lower price, but even my Z1 compact is still working perfectly after 5 years, and has more than paid itself.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31 2017, @05:59PM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31 2017, @05:59PM (#562229)

    Unsupported (in initial release):

    • bluetooth ("the initial release will come with a half-baked bluetooth support." LOL, just like the N800!)
    • new sensors (e.g. barometer, step counter)
    • fingerprint
    • FM-radio
    • NFC
    • USB OTG

    No dealbreakers for me, although bluetooth may be a little annoying, as I would hope to connect a bluetooth keyboard. (Just like the N800.)

    Which leaves me torn...

    On one hand, I am just not interested in a pocket computer with neither a slide-out hardware keyboard nor a digitizer pen (I really want one with both, but still waiting for that...), hence my previous Photon Q and present Note 3 as main phones. The Xperia X looks like a fine phone, for people who just want a phone, but really not interesting for me, and big enough I'm not likely to carry both it and a Note 3. I wish this were for a tablet, rather than a phone -- I could always use a different tablet, but what am I gonna do with a second phone that I don't carry around?

    On the other hand, I'm an old N800/N810/N900/N9 fan, and have been very interested in Jolla's continuation of that OS line. In fact I threw some money (which I could afford to lose, thank goodness) at the whole where's-my-tablet debacle. So, for the cost of a $300 (more or less) phone? I can really see trying it. And if I do, I will pay $60 for the Sailfish image, instead of pirating it, because despite these guys having already taken my money and failed to deliver once, I really want them to succeed (if not for sentimental attachment to the olden days of maemo, just for the sake of diversity in the mobile OS market), so I'd rather be a legit customer able to report bugs and such.

    US & CA to be confirmed

    They say this is just about payment processing; there will apparently be no difference in the delivered OS image. So if it doesn't work out, I can certainly get an overseas friend to hook me up...

    • (Score: 2, Troll) by frojack on Thursday August 31 2017, @08:05PM (2 children)

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 31 2017, @08:05PM (#562281) Journal

      Don't spend any money on these guys. They are nothing but thieves. Every one of them belongs in jail.

      They know that the FTC will step in an grab their money if they try to sell in the US. Which is why they are probably looking for someone with clean hands to spirit their funds out of the country.

      If you fall into that astonishingly small category of people that got burned and you still wish them well, why not just demand a free copy in partial settlement for what you lost in the crowd source scam.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 01 2017, @12:21AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 01 2017, @12:21AM (#562352)

        I donated money to an indiegogo campaign -- they're careful to make it very clear that that's a donation you hope to get a reward for, not a contract or purchase. That's exactly why I only throw money I can afford to lose into this kind of thing. While I'm obviously not happy with the outcome, I don't see that I have any legal or moral basis to demand a settlement. And while I'd definitely balk at giving them $300 for a new device (I find the comments on Jolla's blog post demanding that they should sell phones preloaded with Sailfish utterly hilarious!), $60 is not a big deal.

        As for it being a "scam", or them belonging in jail, my perspective is that they tried to spend some of the crowdfund money getting their OS ready to sell/license to phone manufacturers, while honestly trying to keep enough back to get the tablets through -- and as I see it, they're not wrong to do that, as long as they really do keep enough back to do the tablets. But things went wrong with tablet project, and they hadn't reserved enough margin to deal with the problems. It's definitely a bad outcome, but, how can I tell whether their error was in estimating the risk of various cost overruns to get the tablets produced (i.e. stupid), or whether it was in deliberating picking a low margin, despite the known high risk (i.e. malice)? That's the fundamental difference whether it's a scam or not, and as an outsider, I just can't tell. Hanlon's Razor comes to mind... but malice or stupidity, I'm not gonna do high-dollar business with them again.

        Now on the other hand, I think they accepted normal webstore orders after the indiegogo campaign closed; those people were actually buying something, and not only do I understand why they're pretty pissed about it, I think they're entitled to a full refund. But since I'm not one of those people, I can get over the whole thing. (Now that I type that, it reads uncomfortably much like "fuck you, I've got mine"; maybe I'm wrong to let them off the hook as much as I do, but that is how I feel.)

        But do consider the big picture -- scummy as they are, they're not so different from Apple and Google, and right now Apple and Google* have the whole game to themselves. To me, the benefit of having another competitor in the game is worth pushing for, even if the third player is a little scummier than both of them.

        *It's worth noting that Jolla is a much more direct competitor to Android than Apple is -- Apple doesn't license iOS to phone manufacturers, so Google has essentially no competition in this area, and most companies can accept Google's terms or leave the smartphone business (AOSP is deliberately made an impractical choice, and only a huge company, like Samsung or pre-Elop Nokia, can develop their own OS in house). The rise of any serious alternative, whether it's Jolla or something else, will drastically reduce Google's leverage.

        • (Score: 1) by evk on Friday September 01 2017, @11:07AM

          by evk (597) on Friday September 01 2017, @11:07AM (#562462)

          I very much agree with this. I put money into something that I hoped would work out. It didn't, I got half the money back and may never see the rest. Too bad.

    • (Score: 2) by zeigerpuppy on Friday September 01 2017, @01:27AM

      by zeigerpuppy (1298) on Friday September 01 2017, @01:27AM (#562377)

      I think for those that didn't receive the tablet they'll be offering the sailfish image discounted as part payment (optional I think you can wait for full refund if you like). So in your case you may be able to use your existing 'credit'. I'm interested to hear how you go, good to see some SailfishOS users around here. I'm developing a SailfishOS compatible cloud stack at the moment, pm me if you're interested)

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by zeigerpuppy on Thursday August 31 2017, @10:44PM (2 children)

    by zeigerpuppy (1298) on Thursday August 31 2017, @10:44PM (#562326)

    SailfishOS is more ambitious than just another android ROM. It runs quite a different software stack that allows writing apps in python.
    It also has a nice interface which I prefer compared to Android.
    The OS is also closer to the meego roots and is privacy oriented.
    I have been testing the Jolla C platform and found it good as a daily device.
    The company certainly made a misstep when the tablet failed but it was a crowd funded campaign not a guaranteed device. They have also pledged to refund over time. There are certainly some very disgruntled crowd funders out there but I hope that the company can keep afloat. . We're desperately in need of a third mobile OS that isn't just a Trojan Horse to suck up data to Google or Apple.

    With regards to usability, the OS is fast and has a look of good tools built in, it has an android compatability layer which allows running Android apps on top of the OS (effectively a sandbox).
    At the moment the new version of the SailfishOS is for the Xperia X F5121 model only but hopefully more to come.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31 2017, @11:30PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31 2017, @11:30PM (#562342)

      We're desperately in need of a third mobile OS that isn't just a Trojan Horse to suck up data to Google or Apple.

      This is why I will continue to use BlackBerry 10 until it rots out underneath me and my Passport crumbles. Good resource for anyone interested in joining in: https://github.com/mordak/playbook-dev-tools [github.com]
      GCC and related tools for onboard development. Did I mention that all BBOS10 devices ship with Python (albeit 3.2) accessible from any terminal emulator?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 01 2017, @12:42AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 01 2017, @12:42AM (#562361)

        That really is very interesting (I mean it, thanks!), but still, just like iOS, BB10 is only an option on their own hardware. Google faces no real competition; they can dictate terms to anyone who's not RIM or Apple, and they have no option to say "no" and go with another OS. We need another OS that's marketed to smartphone manufacturers -- then competition will force both it and Android to give manufacturers what they want, which is at least one level closer to giving us actual users what we want.

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