Sailfish OS Comes to Sony Xperia Smartphones

sailfish os

Sony have announced a new smartphone, the Xperia X. Most interesting is that this new offering doesn’t run on Android, it runs the Sailfish OS. Finnish company Jolla, who has been working on the Sailfish operating system since 2011. But, I hear you cry, what is the Sailfish operating system?

Back in 2012, Nokia announced it would be making a whole new range of smartphones to compete with Apple and Samsung devices. They revealed that the Lumia series would use the Windows 7 Phone OS and would be dropping support for the MeeGo OS, which had run the Nokia N series. Dismayed at the decision, the MeeGo team formed Jolla and continued work on the OS under its new name Sailfish. Early years were not smooth sailing, however.

Initially, Jolla announced a branded smartphone and tablet. The phone was released but struggled to get attention in the competitive market and was only taken on by a number of loyal enthusiasts. The tablet fared less well, being cancelled shortly into production, there are scarce few of these that made it to Indiegogo backers – many people who backed the project have only received partial reimbursement.

I used the Jolla phone briefly last year. It was quite nice, but had flaws. An interesting build design, it was different yet ingenuous, but lacking something. The camera was below par. The Sailfish OS lacked some very basic features, like multiple message deletion. That being said, it was smooth, sleek and different: totally different from any other smartphone operating system I’ve used. It also more secure and runs Android apps (although doesn’t support Google Play store).

There is a market out there for a true alternative to modern smartphone operating systems. At the moment, Android rules the roost, which is worrying because a single company (Google) essentially control a huge number of smartphone manufacturers. If Google don’t want to play ball with you, who would you turn to? Window Phone OS? While it’s not as bad as everyone says it is, it’s been over half a decade since it entered the smartphone market and is still no closer to any sort of decent market share.

Also, there are whole countries who would rather not give information about their people to Google. Both Russia and China have signed a deal with Sailfish to use the system on phones made in their countries, the Indian company Intex released the Sailfish powered Aquafish in 2016. Many companies have attempted to be the Android alternative – in recent years we’ve seen FirefoxOS, Ubuntu Touch and Cynnagenmod all fall by the wayside and Samsung actually have their own OS called Tizen, which they use on a small amount of Samsung handsets. Maybe it’s time to see what Sailfish have to offer.

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