We recently had the chance to spend time with David Greaves and Vesa-Matti Hartikainen of Jolla and take Sailfish OS for a spin. As you might recall, this open source mobile OS builds upon Mer (a fork of MeeGo that includes Qt) and uses the Nemo framework with a custom UI. Like any decent Linux-based OS, it supports both ARM and x86 devices. The company is also behind the Sailfish SDK which is in the process of being finalized but is still open to developer feedback (the source code is available). After seeing Jolla’s various demo videos and noting some UI similarities with MeeGo (swipes) and, strangely, with BB10 (peek gestures), we were eager to experience Sailfish OS for ourselves.
If you’re wondering why the mobile OS is usually shown running on Nokia’s N950 developer handset, that’s because Jolla employs many ex-MeeGo engineers, so the OMAP-based phone was a natural fit. We were first given a walkthrough of Sailfish OS, then allowed to play with it. Many apps are still being worked on and some are still off-limits (we got in trouble for launching the camera), but what we saw was pretty solid. Take a look at the gallery below, then hit the break for our hands-on video and first impressions.
Gallery: Hands-on with Jolla’s Sailfish OS