Earlier this year, back in July to be specific, the Finnish company named Jolla announced that they’d be developing a new mobile operating system based on MeeGo, called Sailfish. Since then, we haven’t had a landslide of information come out of the company, but we have had a couple of different occasions to see the OS in action. It’s not the finalized product quite yet, at least not completely, but I will admit that from the last video demo I saw of the software, I’m more interested than I ever thought I would be.
When Jolla first unveiled their plans to keep MeeGo alive, by extension of another operating system, I didn’t give it much thought. Honestly, especially here in the States, MeeGo didn’t make that much of an impact – or an impact at all, so seeing another OS wasn’t all that worthwhile. With Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android, Microsoft’s Windows Phone, and Research In Motion’s BlackBerry 10, the competition is pretty stiff. MeeGo’s presence was barely felt here, and I didn’t really see how another OS could make much of a difference.
I’m not sure that’s changed, to be honest. With Windows Phone and BlackBerry 10 vying for third place, which is all important for people to talk about, it would be ridiculously hard for an operating system like Jolla’s Sailfish to wiggle in. And with a bigger focus on an expanded ecosystem for our mobile devices, a phone that’s, for all intents and purposes, all about just the phone doesn’t seem to have what it takes in today’s market.
I hope that isn’t the case though. Really, I don’t. After watching the hands-on time that Engadget grabbed with Sailfish, with Jolla’s David Greaves and Vesa-Matti Hartikainen, I just want to have my own handset. Sailfish is, at its most basic level, a happy combination between Windows Phone and BlackBerry 10, and there are even more gestures in there than I ever could have hoped for.
And while I love gestures, and the removal of small buttons on our touchscreen devices, it isn’t just that. It’s actually the keyboard, too. There’s a moment in the hands-on video, as they dig into the contacts app that the keyboard pops up from the bottom of the display. I love Sailfish’s keyboard. Yes, I know, I haven’t actually used it yet, and there’s a chance it could be terrible in use, but just look at it. I want it.
And while I love the look of the keyboard, it was actually only the tip of the iceberg for me. Later in the video, we get to see Sailfish’s “ambiance” feature. It starts with you changing the wallpaper on your phone, of which there are a ton of different options, but it doesn’t end there. When you change the wallpaper, the highlight color on the phone changes, too. It does this automatically. And it’s so cool to see happen.
Is this a revolutionary feature? Probably can’t throw a big word like that around quite yet, but it’s definitely new, and that counts for so much. And yes, that’s why I want Jolla’s Sailfish to launch, be available on a handset that’s worthwhile, and see a launch here in the United States. I don’t want it to be just an unlocked device.
Sailfish is a great idea, and the execution is going very well so far, based on the demonstrations that we’ve seen on video. But is that going to be enough in 2013? It will really depend on BlackBerry 10, on what Google has in store for a major update to Android, and whether or not Apple revamps iOS in the way that everyone believes they should. Will there be any room for Sailfish? I hope so, because I’d like to see some people using it out on the streets next year.
How do you feel about Jolla’s Sailfish? Do you think it’s going to be the next big innovation in software? Or will it make no impact here in the States? Let me know!
Images via Engadget