While searching for a new interesting story from Nokia and the ex-Nokia world, I came upon one that I can’t believe I forgot to mention. Back in November 202o was the seventh birthday of the first Jolla device known also as Jolla Phone or Jolla 1. This device was announced in November 2013, when the Nokia devices and Services department was a part of Microsoft and Nokia fans were finding it hard to believe that the era of Nokia phones is over.
Jolla was an alternative option for many Nokia fans that couldn’t or wouldn’t use Windows Phone, but also didn’t find the Android running Nokia X series so interesting. I remember seeing the Jolla device back at MWC2014, and how amazed I was with its super smooth UI, the possibility to use Android apps that were not available to WP. Also, I like the idea of utilizing the extra connectors at the back that could increase the usability of the Jolla Phone. here is a video that I took on MWC2014 when the English version of Nokiamob was just an idea so I hope you don’t mind my Croatian intro (maybe just mute the video). In this video you can see how the other half was being used. This is just a simple video that shows how the color of the Jolla logo could be changed by just rotating the phone.
Anyways, the official Jolla blog reminded everyone of Jolla’s first out of two smartphones ever made and announced that the support for Jolla device will end in 2020. The original Jolla phone got 34 software updates during its lifetime of seven years! The last update of the Sailfish OS software 3.4.0, Pallas-Yllästunturi since it is rather impractical to update a 7 years old hardware. The Android App Support implementation is now old and can’t be updated, the old BlueZ 4 Bluetooth stack is now also hard to update and the device has a super old 3.4 kernel, which is blocking Jolla from utilizing features from newer kernels.
I kind of expected Jolla to announce new hardware, but that won’t be happening, as well as the cooperation with Nokia Mobile which has hardware capable of running Sailfish OS. Instead of that, Jolla is encouraging sailfish OS users to check Sony Xperia devices that support Sailfish OS. Also, Jolla announced that it is working in collaboration with an active community of porters on enabling Sailfish OS for new 64-bit and Android 10 driver based devices. This means that new Android 10 devices will be able to run Sailfish OS, which also means that the slim alternative to smartphone software duopoly still exists.
Jolla was founded by ex-Nokia people which were developing a substitute for Nokia’s Symbian OS. Their effort resulted in devices like Nokia 900 that was running Maemo, and Nokia N950 and Nokia N9 which were running MeeGo, also known as the foundation of Sailfish OS. Jolla is now mostly focused on corporate and governmental customers and projects, but are also working on establishing Sailfish OS as an alternative OS to omnipotent Android and iOS, but mostly through the Sailfish X device project. They might never glow as Android, but it is nice to know that they are still shining.