The Finnish smartphone manufacturer Jolla which is responsible for the development of the Sailfish OS has announced that its software is moving out of beta and will soon be available for download to Android devices.
Jolla was founded by a group of ex-Nokia employees and its first device is currently available to order online (at a price of 399€ including VAT) to all European Union countries, Switzerland and Norway.
It distinctive feature of the device is referred to as the "Other Half" - a removable back cover that can activate content through an NFC chip. The idea is that third party brands will create "Other Half" smart covers and Jolla is announcing two at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week: an Angry Birds one from Rovio and another from Finnish clothing company Makia.
Jolla is also responsible for Sailfish, a gesture-based mobile operating system based on MeeGo that runs HTML5 apps. Jolla has created a proprietary interface that features "live multitasking", its software distribution core comes from the Mer project and it uses the Linux kernel. The Sailfish SDK is built on the Qt platform.
At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, Jolla is demoing how it is making Sailfish OS, which is now at release 1.0, available on Android devices.
According to Jolla:
Sailfish OS has been developed to be compatible with commonly available Android hardware platforms. Due to this advanced technology, Jolla is introducing the Sailfish OS experience as downloadable software to devices running Android OS. Users can soon start to enjoy the modern, gesture based Sailfish OS in selected Android devices and also renew the lifecycle of their existing older Android devices.
The Sailfish community has already ported the operating system into several devices including major versions of the Samsung Galaxy, Google Nexus, and Sony Xperia. Another ongoing community project is now porting Sailfish to Chinese Xiaomi devices.
The breaking news for MWC is that Jolla is releasing a Sailfish user interface launcher as an Android application, which can be used to simulate the Sailfish OS experience on Android devices. The app is scheduled to be available for download "in the near future" from Jolla.com and from "common Android market places".