Mobility

Jolla unveils Sailfish 3 mobile OS, with ports for Sony Xperia phone and Gemini PDA

At Mobile World Congress, Jolla announced the latest version of its open source Sailfish OS, which includes additional security features for business.

Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • The development of Sailfish 3 was focused primarily on security for business users.
  • Jolla's Sailfish OS is coming to more Sony Xperia handsets, as well as the Gemini PDA and 4G feature phones.

Jolla announced plans at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018 for Sailfish 3, the next version of the fledgling open source mobile OS. The update, which is planned for Q3 2018, will include device and communication encryption, fingerprint detection, a mobile device management (MDM) interface, and an integrated VPN. These additions are part of a reworked security architecture built to entice business users who need a secure, locked-down phone.

Sailfish 3 also includes the ability to use modern Android apps, through the use of Alien Dalvik compatibility layer, as well as VoLTE, Bluetooth Low Energy, USB OTG, cloud integration, and enablers for blockchain services, according to the firm's website.

At the event, the company also demonstrated Sailfish running on more devices, including the Sony Xperia XA2 and the Gemini PDA, a crowdfunded pocket computer styled after the Psion Series 5. Sailfish 3 is also coming to 4G feature phones. The device profiles for feature phones and the physical keyboard-equipped Gemini are new to version 3.

SEE: Mobile device computing policy (Tech Pro Research)

Jolla was founded in 2011 by ex-Nokia employees working on the MeeGo project, which was abandoned by the company in favor of Windows Mobile. The company had produced one phone and a tablet with difficulty, after which the hardware division was spun off as an independent company while Jolla focused on licensing the OS to manufacturers.

This strategy has apparently succeeded for the company. In a partnership with Open Mobile Platform, Sailfish has been certified by the Russian government for use in government operations, with the first Sailfish phone—the INOI R7—shipping last year.

INOI is demonstrating two Sailfish-powered tablets, in 8" and 10" configurations, at MWC 2018. Devices sold in Russia are configured without the Android app compatibility layer. According to TechCrunch, Open Mobile Platform CEO Pavel Eyges described it at a press event as "absolutely Google-free," owing to security and privacy concerns.

Similarly, Jolla has partnered with the Bolivian technology firm Jala to produce the Accione, a Sailfish-powered phone. According to the press release, Jala sought out Sailfish as it is an "open-source based mobile operating system that can ensure technological independence for Latin America."

Many companies have tried and failed to exist as the "third pillar" of smartphones. According to a recent Gartner report, phones not running Android or iOS comprised just 0.1% of the mobile market in 2017, or 1,493,000 devices worldwide.

Since Jolla was founded, webOS, BlackBerry 10, Firefox OS, and Ubuntu Touch have been abandoned for smartphones, while Samsung has continued perfunctory yearly releases of Tizen smartphones in India, the most recent being the Z4. Windows 10 Mobile is receiving only security updates—the last Windows 10 phone is the Wileyfox Pro, which ZDNet reviewed, though it appears the manufacturer has entered administration before it could hit store shelves.

Also see

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Image: Jolla

About James Sanders

James Sanders is a Java programmer specializing in software as a service and thin client design, and virtualizing legacy programs for modern hardware.

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