updated 09:51 pm EST, Sat November 24, 2012
Multitasking-centric OS gets sneak peek in video
Jolla, the smartphone company started by a team of ex-Nokia employees, has released a pair of new videos showing off the OS that will power its handsets, SailFish OS. The videos showcase the user interface and multitasking capabilities of the operating system, which is said to be due for release some time in 2013. In one video, viewers get a peek at the kind of hardware that SailFish will run on, but details on Jolla's actual handsets remain scarce.
Central to SailFish's multitasking experience is the fact that users do not have to enter an app in order to interact with it. With the touch of a button, users can pause or play music, end a phone call, or interact with other apps from the multitasking screen.
Jolla has also, according to The Next Web, done away with some of the graphical elements standard to the modern smartphone experience, foregoing some menu bars and icons in favor of simply showing the process at work in an application.
In one video, which shows SailFish running on a Nokia N950, the various apps are shown to run on one screen, with the user opening new apps and controlling running apps through a series of gestures. When users go deeper into an app, the app expands to take up the whole screen, but otherwise apps are represented on a sort of home screen with minimized control interfaces.
The second video, shown below, shows an Android icon on one of its screens, hinting that SailFish will be able to run some Android apps. A comment on that video, posted by the official Jolla YouTube account, notes that, while the apps shown in the video are not Android apps, SailFish OS will be able to run many Android apps directly.
With a number of Nokia's MeeGo patents in hand, Jolla will, upon releasing its devices, be entering a very crowded tier of alternative mobile operating systems. With the vast majority of smartphones sold today running either Google's Android or Apple's iOS platform, Jolla may find itself jostling with Mozilla's Firefox OS, Microsoft's Windows Phone 8, Samsung and Intel's Tizen, and RIM's new BlackBerry devices for market share.