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Jolla Sailfish OS aloe

After teasing its plans to build a new MeeGo-based smartphone way back in July 2012 and then teasing its hardware and software throughout the following year, Jolla's Sailfish OS-powered handset officially went on sale in Finland last November for €399. We haven't heard much about Jolla since then, but today the company provided an update on its plans for expanded hardware distribution and future software releases.

The Jolla smartphone is currently available online in European Union countries, Switzerland and Norway, as well as in DNA stores in Finland. Jolla says that it's actively involved in negotiations to grow that list and that online sales in Russia, India and Hong Kong will get underway in the "near future." The company is also working to make its way into unnamed "main European markets."

On the software side of things, the Jolla smartphone has received three major updates since launch that've brought with them new features like landscape mode and camera zoom, better battery life and performance improvements. The next significant update will include even more big features, including additional performance improvements,new camera features, visual enhancements and more. Best of all? This fourth update, which will make Sailfish OS ready for global distribution, is expected to begin rolling out in early March.

One major feature that's already available in Sailfish OS is Android app support. Jolla plans to intertwine Sailfish OS and Android even further in the future by making the Sailfish OS experience available for download on select Android devices. No specific products were named, but Jolla points out that Sailfish OS has already been ported to Samsung Galaxy, Google Nexus and Sony Xperia hardware. The full Sailfish OS will be made available for download in the first half of 2014, with a Sailfish launcher for Android coming first to let users try the Sailfish UI while still inside of Android.

Rounding out its batch of big announcements, Jolla says that it's recently formed some notable partnerships. The company is teaming up with Rovio to create an Angry Birds-themed Other Half that'll offer a special user experience, F-Secure Corp. to give free secure cloud storage to Jolla users and Tieto Corporation to offer integration services to manufacturers that are interested in using Sailfish OS.

Jolla and its Sailfish OS have certainly come a long way since we got our first peek at it in Nov. 2012. While the Jolla hardware can only be officially purchased in a handful of countries, it sounds like Jolla is making progress on growing its distribution in other countries. Offering the Sailfish OS launcher and then the full OS itself to Android users will also help to raise awareness of the platform, which is especially important considering the limited availability of the Jolla phone.

What do you think of the Jolla phone and its Sailfish OS? Will you check out the Sailfish launcher and full OS experience when they're made available to Android devices?


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