updated 10:16 pm EST, Sat December 29, 2012
Multitasking, gesture-driven Sailfish OS gets demo
Jolla, the smartphone company composed of former Nokia employees, has given perhaps the longest look yet at the Sailfish operating system that will power its forthcoming handsets. The company spent about eight and a half minutes with Engadget, exploring the novel interface aspects underlying Sailfish. Jolla still has yet to show off any of the hardware its system will run on; this most recent walkthrough is run off of a Nokia N950 developer handset.
The demonstration runs through a number of the gesture-based interactions that will allow users to navigate and control Sailfish. Users are able to move backward through apps by swiping from the left edge of the screen inward. They will also be able to bring up and select menu options by pulling from the top of the screen down.
That last action will trigger one of the more novel aspects of the Sailfish interface. When moving between menu options, Sailfish devices will provide audio and haptic feedback, potentially allowing users to interact with the device without needing to look at the screen.
Some of the video retraces ground previously covered in earlier peeks at Sailfish. The multitasking experience is given a clearer view in this video, which shows the demonstrator calling up a music player only to pause and restart it by swiping left and right on its icon in the multitasking screen.
Also shown off is the ability to set the "ambiance" for the OS' interface simply by choosing a picture. The OS then programmatically parses the picture, determining the dominant colors and developing a color scheme to apply to the interface aspects.
Jolla has not released any information on when consumers can expect to see their handsets become available.