Jolla unveils Meego-based Sailfish OS
Jolla has unveiled the UI for its Sailfish operating system for smartphones and other mobile devices at the Slush conference in Helsinki. The company also announced that it will provide a cross-platform SDK for application developers in the near future.
Sailfish is based on Mer, an open source distribution of the discontinued Nokia/Intel/Linux Foundation project MeeGo, and components of Nemo Mobile, a UI layer based on the MeeGo Handset UX. The company plans to offer its mobile operating system to device makers as well as ship its own phone in the first half of 2013.
Jolla, which was launched in July by a number of former Nokia employees, has raised €200 million in funding and aims to find a market for its upcoming devices in Asia where it sees the most potential for growth in the mobile industry. Catering more to its home market, the company also announced a partnership with ST-Ericsson to ship Sailfish on its hardware.
The version of Sailfish Jolla showed at the Slush conference was running on a Nokia N950 developer phone and its UI is reminiscent of the Windows Phone interface in places: users can organise several applications next to each other in an overview mode which allows them to manipulate more than one application at a time. The interface, which is based on Qt, also has a strong focus on typography and tiled images as design elements.
Application developers looking to develop for Sailfish OS should be able to download Jolla's SDK soon. In the meantime, a self-build version of QtCreator is required. Jolla is also promising QtCreator plugins that will automate building of UI components for the operating system. At this point, Jolla has not expressed any intentions to open source their own UI layer it is building on top of Mer and Nemo Mobile. More information about the platform is available on an FAQ page on the Sailfish web site.