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Jolla Announces First Meego Phone Available By End 2013

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the free-calls dept.

Cellphones 152

x_IamSpartacus_x writes "Jolla, the Finnish company that continued Nokia's work on the MeeGo mobile platform, announced details of its first smartphone on Monday. Availability for the Jolla device is expected by year end and can be pre-ordered now; the phone will be priced at no more than €399 (US $512.26). The Jolla hardware looks similar to that of Nokia's Lumia, with a clean, button-less front face that houses the 4.5-inch touchcscreen. The phone will use a dual-core processor and support 4G LTE in some regions. Internal storage tops out at 16 GB, but can be expanded via microSD card. The phone also includes an 8 megapixel rear camera with auto focus. The phone is also 'Android app compliant' which, in a move similar to that of BlackBerry, can help with available apps at launch."

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sweet (3, Informative)

chibiace (898665) | about a year ago | (#43774319)

hopefully we can get some traction going for this cool project.

Re:sweet (-1, Troll)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about a year ago | (#43774733)

MeeGo should be "MeeToo"

Android Compatible, so why don't I just get an Android? Please tell me, other than being former Nokia tech, why this is interesting at all? What feature does the phone have that Android, iOS or heck even Firefox OS don't have?

Re:sweet (5, Informative)

chriscappuccio (80696) | about a year ago | (#43774869)

Meego uses X windows, and other more traditional technologies than android, is just as fast if not faster, and works like 'standard linux' out of the box. That's kinda nice, eh?

Re:sweet (1)

Duncan J Murray (1678632) | about a year ago | (#43774877)

True Multitasking

Re:sweet (2)

kwark (512736) | about a year ago | (#43774937)

Please explain who the current mobile OS available aren't true multitasking?

Re:sweet (1)

kwark (512736) | about a year ago | (#43774943)

who should of course be how.

Re:sweet (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43775167)

Android doesn't have true multitasking, neither does iOS or Windows Phone. They are all one app at a time with background services.
This is true multitasking: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7emvUBpEkbU
This demonstrates switching between applications while they are still *actively* running, hell even the thumbnails are updating on the app switching interface. That's on a phone with single-core 600MHz CPU and 256MB RAM.

Re:sweet (4, Informative)

kwark (512736) | about a year ago | (#43775225)

"They are all one app at a time with background services."

Bullshit:
-Apps can multitask without Services, just use Threads.
-Android has multiple window support.

You are confusing the UI thread being stopped (when it is not visible) with threading/multitasking. Evidence of apps multitasking is for example a Samsung Note2 with multi-window support, although for some reason in the Samsung ROM you only can use some blessed apps multiwindowed, custom ROMs unlock this for app installed apps.

Using Services give extra features/hints to the OS. Like auto(re)start. It also gives a simple way to detach the UI from lightweight background tasks.

Re:sweet (1)

nedwidek (98930) | about a year ago | (#43775115)

And how do you figure this? WebOS has true multi-tasking as does Android. iOS has multi-tasking for Apple's apps and a limited multi-tasking for everyone else.

Or do you mean multiple windows on the screen at once? On phones that's just silly (screen size makes it impractical). On tablets it's a decent idea and Samsung(?) has done that with Android. The one thing is, how many times do you really need two windows up side by side? Plus since the devices are mobile and power is at a premium, showing only the app the user is interacting with is a really good indicator of which apps need to be quiesced. Any time I'm writing an Android app and I need to do something power intensive that does not need to be long running, I immediately start thinking about how I'm going to implement onPause().

Re:sweet (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about a year ago | (#43775273)

It has multitasking in the sense that your program can call fork() and expect the same behavior as you would get on a "regular" desktop computer.

Re:sweet (1)

nedwidek (98930) | about a year ago | (#43775449)

How in the hell do you figure that? Fork has fuck all to do with the definition of multi-tasking, true or otherwise. Fork is a C language construct that has been carried up into other languages that is only one way to spawn a new process. But even if it were the definition, I can call fork from Android JNI or NDK code (severely frowned on, but doable).

In android I can spawn services and use broadcast receivers to do exactly the same thing as fork()ing a child and communicating across a pipe. Same semantic, different implementation.

Multi-tasking is the ability of the OS to run more than one process at a time. Whether it is preemptive or cooperative, time slicing on a single CPU or multiple CPUs. If the OS allows multiple processes to be launched, regardless of whether those processes can fork() children, it is a truly multi-tasking OS.

Real multitasking (3, Informative)

Wesley Felter (138342) | about a year ago | (#43776115)

I used to have an N900 running Maemo with "true multitasking". A poorly-written app in the background (like Firefox with the "full Web experience" of Flash) would run down the battery in two hours. But at least I could use top to find the problem and kill -9 it.

Now I use Android where apps are specifically written to be aware of my battery.

Re:Real multitasking (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about a year ago | (#43776275)

With great power comes great responsibility.

Re:Real multitasking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43776335)

This still happens with Android, once in a while I experience huge battery drain without a clear cause. No running apps, nothing in battery status. I suspect a gps related bug. Had it in my 2 last phones, with CM 7.x and Samsug ROMs.

Re:sweet (1)

sethstorm (512897) | about a year ago | (#43775013)

Nokia made the point of striking the balance between open and usable before Android existed, especially with the Maemo platform. For example, I've yet to see Android get the connection UI right - where it detects that you're making an internet connection and provides you with a dialog box of available connections (versus quitting or opting for automatic connections).

Unlike Firefox OS, you'll have a terminal (and more direct access to hardware).
Unlike Android, it has no carrier-driven limitations.
Unlike iOS, you won't have to break into your own phone to get it to do what you want it to do.

Re:sweet (2)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about a year ago | (#43776267)

I use CyanogenMod, I have no carrier limitations. If I wanted a phone that came, out of the box without limitations, I would get Nexus 4. Of all the other complaints about Android, by Meego Fans, most of them are irrelevant (word of the day), because Android already does it, with the sole exception of X-Windows support. And quite frankly, that is irrelevant on a phone IMHO, that is unless X-Windows can do something better on a 4 in screen that Android, iOS or even Firefox does, it is more irrelevancy. At this point, it doesn't

Re:sweet (4, Interesting)

dtdmrr (1136777) | about a year ago | (#43775157)

The maemo/meego devices have given users root access out of the box, perhaps you have to take one minor step to indicate you know what that means, but that's about all. These devices are there for you, and don't really try to protect themselves from their users/owners. I haven't seen the sources for sailfish yet, but I gather many of the people at Jolla didn't like the portions of the os that were shipped binary only while they were at nokia. So I'd expect the openness to improve. From the sdk, it looks like they are continuing to use X11, so that means that pretty much any generic arm friendly linux application should run without porting (though there are pleanty of good reasons to specialise/port). For maemo devices, that meant there was just one simple package to install to add a debian chrooted enviroment, which of course gives access to the full debian arm repos.
Replacable batteries.
It looks like they have taken an interesting step following that philosophy with enabling functional expansion through interchangable backs.
Sailfish also has a pretty slick interface. I will hold off on judgement until I get a chance to use it for a while.
If a user-centric design philosophy (including openness/freedom) doesn't really matter to you, and you don't care about the user interface, yes it's just another phone. But then again, any modern cell phone is essentiall Turing-complete and you can build/connect accessories and power supplies around them. So at a high level of abstraction, no modern phone is distinguishable, nor should we expect to see one any time soon.

Re:sweet (3, Interesting)

Eunuchswear (210685) | about a year ago | (#43776415)

The maemo/meego devices have given users root access out of the box, perhaps you have to take one minor step to indicate you know what that means, but that's about all. These devices are there for you, and don't really try to protect themselves from their users/owners.

Not actually true with Meego - AEGIS prevents even root from doing various things.

Re:sweet (3, Insightful)

citizenr (871508) | about a year ago | (#43775493)

Hopefully app acl list will be USER defined instead of app defined.
How retarded is it for an app to blackmail you for Contact list/messages and phone calls just so you can play a game? How come its the app that decides and has the upper hand instead of the user? How come App can blackmail me and I cant simply REFUSE to give it data?
I want to be able to define ACLs per application. I dont give a shit what app wants, it can eat a duck for all I care. Phone status? sure, feed it fake USER DEFINED status. I dont need a game to know that I have GPS enabled. You want GPS data? Sure, let me feed N38 53.86205 W77 2.19162.
Its my phone damnit!

good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43774345)

I really wish them the best of luck with it. Nokia was an awesome company until Elop took over, with some neat things on the horizon. Even as a shareholder, I'm glad there was a mass walk-out of NOK employees and now a new company carries the torch.

Meh (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about a year ago | (#43775051)

What I'd like to see is a cheap little stick phone that does phone calls, text messages, and wireless tethering with a one week battery life. That is all I want from a phone. I have a nice smartphone right now, loaded with apps, which I use 99% of the time for phone calls, text messages, and wireless tethering. I bet a whole lot of people would buy one too.

Re: Meh (1)

AvitarX (172628) | about a year ago | (#43775169)

I'd buy one just to look at the battery tech that can teather in any meaningful way with a week between charges.

Re: Meh (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about a year ago | (#43775289)

USB tethering is always an alternative but if I could get five or six solid hours of wireless tethering out of it before needing a recharge that would do just fine.

Re: Meh (1)

Belial6 (794905) | about a year ago | (#43775825)

I easily get six hours of tethering out of my phone now. The phone could hardly be called 'little' by today's standards though.

Who gets root? (3, Interesting)

Culture20 (968837) | about a year ago | (#43774349)

Jolla, service provider, and/or device owner?

Re:Who gets root? (3, Interesting)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#43774569)

That's what I want to know too. With device owner root and a hardware keyboard this could be an N900 replacement.

Re:Who gets root? (2)

fromhell091 (1572879) | about a year ago | (#43775121)

A response from Jolla account in google+ to an asnwer about putting an Ubuntu on Jolla OS: 'It is quite a hackable device, made by hackers'

Re:Who gets root? (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about a year ago | (#43775543)

That's what I want to know too. With device owner root and a hardware keyboard this could be an N900 replacement.

I was hoping for a keyboard, too, but it looks like "the other half" is more accurately described as "your choice of back colors". Sad smiley.

Brace for impact! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43774363)

the Finnish company that continued Nokia's work on the MeeGo mobile platform...The Jolla hardware looks similar to that of Nokia's Lumia

I give them a day before Microkia sue them for everything.

looking forward to it (4, Insightful)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#43774427)

As a developer, I'd find an alternative to Java/Dalvik and Objective-C/iOS pretty appealing.

Re:looking forward to it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43774477)

You've had that option since at least January...

Re:looking forward to it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43774539)

Just think! You can port all your Blackberry apps with almost no effort! Oh....wait...nobody wrote any of those. Too bad.

Re:looking forward to it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43774485)

You can use more than just Objective-C for iOS. C and C++ work just fine.

Nice design (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43774453)

Looks pretty nice!!

Why no real specs? (3, Interesting)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43774467)

Why are there no real specs? Makes me think this thing will be years out of date.

I wish them well, but I am not going to settle for something that should have come out in 2011.

Re:Why no real specs? (2)

martinux (1742570) | about a year ago | (#43774565)

I agree that specs would be nice. However, as someone who's holding on to a N900 (a peerless mobile device IMHO) I'm just glad that between this and the efforts of the Firefox guys, we may see more open devices that let those of us who are interested in digging around under the hood can look forward to.

Re:Why no real specs? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43774711)

I agree, but it will come down to specs for me between another NEXUS device and this. The closed or locked down options just don't exist for me.

Re:Why no real specs? (2)

chriscappuccio (80696) | about a year ago | (#43774985)

The N900 is peerless, until you want a phone that can hold a SIM card, then it literally starts to fail after 3 months. The design is guaranteed to fail and is fucking depressing for such an expensive phone.

Re:Why no real specs? (1)

KiloByte (825081) | about a year ago | (#43775077)

I'm not aware of any widespread problems with N900 and SIM cards (unlike, say, the charging connector).

Re:Why no real specs? (1)

chriscappuccio (80696) | about a year ago | (#43775213)

Sorry, I was mixing up the N9 with the N900. I have an N9. They are legendary for SIM card problems. Similar to N900 but no keyboard and bad SIM holder...

Re:Why no real specs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43775367)

I never had any problems with my N9 and never heard about this.

Re:Why no real specs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43775331)

I've got 3 N900s, all 3 of which no longer have a functioning cell modem (or GPS, which seems to fail at the same time). I don't know how widespread the problem is, maybe I'm just very unlucky, but there were certainly others over at the talk.maemo.org forums that had the same problem.

I still use one as an alarm clock (I like the default alarm on it) and as a remote for MythTV (the keyboard is great for this, I recompiled a CLI program which sends my keypresses over telnet to my MythTV frontend). I also still sometimes take it with me when going out to use to SSH to my home computer. I do love that at its heart it is just Debian Linux with a great touch-friendly UI, but honestly there isn't really anything I want to do with it that I couldn't do on Android.

Re:Why no real specs? (1)

tokiko (560961) | about a year ago | (#43775237)

Huh? I've had my old GoPhone SIM card (still branded as Cingular Wireless) in my N900 for years without any problems. I just swapped it out of my old clamshell and into the N900.

Hardware-Software Integration (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43774507)

The cool thing is the back cover. It is possible to change it and get new features to the phone. It can unlock content or have a more powerful flash, etc. The call is a "The Other Half".
http://techcrunch.com/2013/05/20/jollas-other-half/

market share? (2)

D1G1T (1136467) | about a year ago | (#43774511)

If Blackberry and Microsoft with their $Billions can't compete with Google and Apple, how can a tiny project like this?

Re:market share? (1)

asmkm22 (1902712) | about a year ago | (#43774677)

They aren't even bothering to go after the US market. They're focusing on smaller, less competitive markets like China, Europe, and North Africa. Markets outside of the US are much less screwed up with monopolies and such.

Re:market share? (0)

Desler (1608317) | about a year ago | (#43774801)

China a smaller and less competitive market? You're joking, right? China Mobile alone has more than double the amount of subscribers than there are US citizens.

Re:market share? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43774881)

But not more smartphone subscribers.

Re:market share? (1)

Desler (1608317) | about a year ago | (#43774941)

Wrong. China surpassed the US in May of last year as the largest smartphone market. Want to try again?

Re: market share? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43775453)

My guess is that "dragging smaller competitor through courts until it's bankrupt" is harder to pull off in China

Re: market share? (0)

Desler (1608317) | about a year ago | (#43775495)

How so?

Re: market share? (1)

chill (34294) | about a year ago | (#43775789)

Maybe, but there is always "dragging smaller competitor through the streets until it's bankrupt" is always an option.

Re:market share? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43776401)

Sure. China still has relatively few smartphones that are owned by people with the last name of Johnson.

Re:market share? (1)

mpol (719243) | about a year ago | (#43774821)

> They aren't even bothering to go after the US market. They're focusing on smaller, less competitive markets like China, Europe, and North Africa.

The US is the smaller market compared to China.

You can even blame Nokia, for throwing away their business in Asia and Africa with Symbian, just to try to capture the smaller US market with Windows Phone. And they even hardly succeed with that.

I expect Jolla to sell quite good in China, and hopefully somewhat in Europe too.

Re:market share? (1)

dropadrop (1057046) | about a year ago | (#43774979)

> They aren't even bothering to go after the US market. They're focusing on smaller, less competitive markets like China, Europe, and North Africa.

The US is the smaller market compared to China.

You can even blame Nokia, for throwing away their business in Asia and Africa with Symbian, just to try to capture the smaller US market with Windows Phone. And they even hardly succeed with that.

I expect Jolla to sell quite good in China, and hopefully somewhat in Europe too.

Nokia has always been obsessed with the US market, but have still been happy with their market share in developing countries. Losing a foothold of the developing countries might not have happened due to trying to gain the US market even more, rather just due to better offering from competitors.

Working with operators is a big part of success in the US, as such the business model is very different from the rest of the world where most phones are sold directly to the consumer (possibly with a monthly fee, but still more transparently).

Re:market share? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43774857)

China and Europe are neither smaller nor less competitive.
They are, however, less screwed up with things like market control and lock-in, as you suggest.

Re:market share? (1)

Desler (1608317) | about a year ago | (#43774891)

They are, however, less screwed up with things like market control and lock-in, as you suggest.

Ignoring that China Mobile is state-owned, owns the vast majority of the market and the Chinese government both gives it protectionist benefits and frequently interferes in its affairs?

Less market control in China? That's a good joke.

Re:market share? (1)

CRCulver (715279) | about a year ago | (#43775253)

In China it's common for people to buy their own phones instead of getting them subsidized from the carrier with a contract. And once they buy those phones, they own them for real: there are no carrier-imposed limits on what apps they can install (or remove), and they are free to jump to another network if they desire. That is what the OP is talking about, I believe.

Re:market share? (0)

Desler (1608317) | about a year ago | (#43775409)

No, they claimed less market control and lock-in which are too separate issues. I was only responding to the former claim. Also the claim above of there being less issues woth monopolies is absurd when state-owned China Mobile has 70% of the market. That's far closer to monopoly than any wireless carrier in the US.

Re:market share? (1)

sethstorm (512897) | about a year ago | (#43774951)

Which is one of the problems, unless you're trying to sneak in some anti-American snark.

Re:market share? (0)

Desler (1608317) | about a year ago | (#43775483)

Markets outside of the US are much less screwed up with monopolies and such.

Another absurd claim. China Mobile has 70% market share. That's more market share than Verizon and AT&T combined have in the US.

Re:market share? (2)

mpol (719243) | about a year ago | (#43774803)

> If Blackberry and Microsoft with their $Billions can't compete with Google and Apple, how can a tiny project like this?

If everyone said that, we would not have Google or Apple. They too started as tiny projects. I wish them well, and hope to see them succeed.
The Nokia N9 sold well in China. It has allready been in the news that Jolla has good relationships with Chinese and European carriers. They will sell, probably some millions. Who knows where things are going.

Second/Third World backwaters don't matter. (0)

sethstorm (512897) | about a year ago | (#43776347)

They sold even more to First World destinations than the WhorePhone, the intended First World device. Nokia was just trying to do everything to kill it for the US and Europe in deference to the crippled WinMo WhorePhones.

Re:market share? (2)

KiloByte (825081) | about a year ago | (#43775123)

Unlike Blackberry and Windows Phone, you can use any Linux desktop software without any modifications. Repackaging stuff for Jolla is a matter of adding some touchscreen adaptations here and there.

Of course, they could avoided most of the problems by including a physical keyboard.

Re:market share? (1)

Belial6 (794905) | about a year ago | (#43775865)

Better would be to make the case a shape that would work well with a clip on keyboard. This way those that want a keyboard can have one. Those that don't can have the phone without it, and only one production line needs to be implemented for the phone itself.

Re:market share? (1)

evilviper (135110) | about a year ago | (#43775165)

If Blackberry and Microsoft with their $Billions can't compete with Google and Apple, how can a tiny project like this?

Android started as a tiny project, too.

And the answer to your question is, as always, to be technically superior. In this case in particular, compatibility with Android apps is a pretty good start, too, making switching much less painful.

There is an absolute cult following for the N900, due to being basically a full Linux system on a phone, and as a result, every desktop Linux app you could want, not found on any other mobile platform, could be had with MeeGo, such as the NX Client, and many, many others.

Android isn't bad, but it honestly is more thin-client than full computer... Good SSH client, good VNC/RDP client, but no NX, and no good local terminal emulator and no included local linux command-line commands. The oh-so-nice SSH client (VX Connect Bot) is just a GUI app, so no scripting and automation, X11 forwarding, etc., etc.

Re:market share? (1)

kwark (512736) | about a year ago | (#43775383)

Although the usual userland tools are missing, installing them is fairly easy after you got root access. On all devices since my G1 I have been running Debian in a chroot, X11 support is added by running VNC or and X server app. Sure on a meemo/meego device this was out of the box, but all the 2 N900 users I know have long since switched to Android devices. The N9 was never officially available.

Re:market share? (1)

evilviper (135110) | about a year ago | (#43775475)

Running a Linux system in a Chroot, and X11 available only via VNC, is a far cry from a native system.

Android app compliant? (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year ago | (#43774523)

Does anyone know specifically what is meant by "android app compliant".

Presumably, it is able to run the android VM (and API?) in addition to the other software and bring up the results in a window. Is this the case? Does anyone know how?

Presumably one ought to be able to do that on desktop Linux as well, but I've never seen a method to do it.

Re:Android app compliant? (1)

frovingslosh (582462) | about a year ago | (#43774651)

It means that if you could get the apk package you might be able to install and run it, but for the vast majority of packages that you want you will not be able to get the file because it is released through the Googlr Play store and you will not ave access to Google Play with this device.

Re:Android app compliant? (1)

Svartalf (2997) | about a year ago | (#43775085)

Heh... If that were solely the case, you wouldn't have "gapps" for CyanogenMod and the other custom ROMs for Android devices...

Google Play's in the gapps pack. ;-D

Amazon Appstore (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43775463)

for the vast majority of packages that you want you will not be able to get the file because it is released through the Googlr Play store

Just because an application is in the Google Play Store doesn't necessarily mean it's not also in Amazon Appstore. Open source applications are less likely to be in Amazon Appstore because of Amazon's $99 per year recurring fee, but they're also more likely to be in F-Droid or to have a downloadable .apk file.

ARM vs. x86 for NDK apps (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43774679)

Presumably one ought to be able to [run the Android application environment] on desktop Linux as well, but I've never seen a method to do it.

Part of the problem is that a lot of popular Android applications use NDK because they're ports of applications from other platforms that aren't written in Java. Most of these aren't compiled for anything but ARM, while desktop Linux is overwhelmingly x86 or x86-64. Applications that heavily use NDK would have to run in an emulator, and by that point, you could just download the Android SDK and emulate a Galaxy Nexus as if it were a Game Boy.

Re:ARM vs. x86 for NDK apps (1)

AuMatar (183847) | about a year ago | (#43775057)

But the NDK fully supports x86 as well as several flavors of ARM. So there's no reason for this to be the case, other than laziness (note that this only started around 1-1.5 years ago, older apps do have an excuse).

Re:ARM vs. x86 for NDK apps (1)

Svartalf (2997) | about a year ago | (#43775113)

The biggest problem's more that you'd have to make X86 versions and flag for them in the Play store- which is beyond a pain in the *ss.

There might be some other solutions there, but what you're talking to...that's pretty much a non-starter right at the moment. NDK support's one of the reasons Intel's had "issues" getting Atom into the space over ARM based solutions.

Re:ARM vs. x86 for NDK apps (1)

AuMatar (183847) | about a year ago | (#43775257)

I think intertia, power consumption, and lack of a value proposition are hurting atom far more than the NDK issue.

Rational laziness; 50 MB limit on .apk size (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43775425)

So there's no reason for this to be the case, other than laziness

There is a concept of "rational laziness". Where's the return on investment for making and testing an Android/x86 version of an application? In addition, several applications already appear to be at or near Google Play's 50 MB limit with one architecture alone, such as LibreOffice [arstechnica.com] .

Re:Android app compliant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43775473)

There was a company called Myriad who developed a product called Alien Dalvik that would run Android apps on a N900 running Maemo*, then there was another company whose name I forget who developed something similar and they demoed in on Meego. My guess is if they didn't pay to use one of these products then they developed something similar themselves.

*As a demonstration, they never released it since there were looking to make deals with OEMs and the like.

Phone hardware platform with expandability (3, Interesting)

molukki (980837) | about a year ago | (#43774555)

What I found interesting was the concept of extending the phone functionality by changing the back cover. Want a QWERTY phone? No problem, swap the back cover to one with keyboard.

Re:Phone hardware platform with expandability (2)

jovius (974690) | about a year ago | (#43774953)

Same here. It's an intriguing strategy they are trying to pull off. The central Jolla platform is expandable by third party hardware vendors, who can become the other half of the device, not just an external peripheral maker. This kind of modularity will surely become more prevalent in the future, because smaller and smaller parts are made to be smart in some way. The Jolla platform functionality will be quickly copied though, but hopefully the Sailfish OS will connect all together...

Re:Phone hardware platform with expandability (4, Informative)

jovius (974690) | about a year ago | (#43774983)

Just found this quote [techcrunch.com] by Mark Dillon the software director. Essentially anyone can create a cover (the tools are open):

“Of course we will be offering a choice of Other Halves for the user to buy but this is a place where we want to see others get involved. Designers can design Other Halves for the device, engineers or hackers or techies can design new interfaces and maybe add physical hardware features that they wish they had on their device but might have a smaller market than to deserve having a whole entire device,” he said. “We talked about 3D printing them today. So it could be those kinds of things, but really we’re offering a new kind of interface for a device so that people can really take their imagination, and I believe there will be a lot of third parties and a lot of people who have a lot of great ideas in order to help you use the Other Half of the Jolla device.”

No keyboard, no care. (2)

sethstorm (512897) | about a year ago | (#43774571)

One of the things about the N900 (and the N950) was that it not only packed a ton of those features, it also had the hardware keyboard.

I'd rather reflash an N900, warts and all, since this is just an N9++. Let me know when they make something like the N950 with that software on it, except that it's available to all this time around.

Re:No keyboard, no care. (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#43774667)

Maybe one of the changeable back modules could have a hardware keyboard.

Re:No keyboard, no care. (1)

islisis (589694) | about a year ago | (#43774769)

If only...

External Bluetooth keyboard (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43774685)

You could always buy a Bluetooth thumb keyboard and carry that.

Power Consumption (1)

sethstorm (512897) | about a year ago | (#43774787)

Whether it is by Bluetooth or by something like USB-OTG, a non-native interface would be power-hungry.

Re:Power Consumption (1)

dtdmrr (1136777) | about a year ago | (#43775207)

I still have not seen details about what sort of connectivity is provided to the back, so wouldn't make much in the way of assumptions of how one would connect a keyboard. If they do provide at least USB, that really isn't all that power hungry. If you're using the keyboard heavily, there's a good chance you are also usin far more power hungry systems (display, radios, etc). When not in use, it can be powered down completely.

Re:Power Consumption (1)

sethstorm (512897) | about a year ago | (#43776323)

I was just preempting the usual responses about attaching a keyboard - whether by OTG host or by Bluetooth.

At least with a GPIO-based keyboard, there is some more control over power usage without the need for the baggage of Another Protocol below it.

Die, CDMA, die! (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about a year ago | (#43774895)

If we had a real FCC, CDMA would have already been banned by now. This announcement or the unfettered Samsung phone announced at Google I/O is totally moot for all us Verizon Victims (and no; where I live, there is no real choice).

Personal hardware should be de-coupled from paid services, period.

Re:Die, CDMA, die! (2)

pavon (30274) | about a year ago | (#43775099)

That would have been a short-sighted decision. CDMA was a much better upgrade path form our existing networks than GSM was and better suited for large rural areas, which the US has more of than western/central Europe. Where the FCC screwed up was that the way LTE frequency was allocated let to greater fragmentation, when it should have been an opportunity to improve compatibly and thus competition.

Re:Die, CDMA, die! (1)

Carewolf (581105) | about a year ago | (#43776177)

Where the FCC screwed up was that the way LTE frequency was allocated let to greater fragmentation, when it should have been an opportunity to improve compatibly and thus competition.

You say that as if it wasn't the intention of FCC. I think that is what the parent poster was talking about, the FCC isn't doing its job in minimizing fragmentation.

Re:Die, CDMA, die! (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | about a year ago | (#43776439)

CDMA is being phased out. Sometimes the market works... over a period of decades...

Is it Freedom Friendly? Thats what I want... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43775101)

I don't really care about much else other than it has usable calendaring / syning / wifi / and a decent notes application. Something to replace my M500 that doesn't suck. I'd throw in a stylus if I could too. Then shrink it down, use a b/w screen, and avoid all non-free drivers/firmware components and where those are unavoidable separate them so your modem can't spy on you.

Do I get to be root on this device? (1)

Mirar (264502) | about a year ago | (#43775481)

Maybe they can make the first smartphone that I can be admin on without hacking my own hardware?

Then I could really imagine buying one just because of that.

Re:Do I get to be root on this device? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43775703)

Maybe they can make the first smartphone that I can be admin on without hacking my own hardware?

No, they can't be the first. The N900 (at least) got there first...

Where's the sodding keyboard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43776145)

The placed a pole on their web side and the majority of responders asked for a keyboard. The development phone they used was the nokia n950 (with a sodding keyboard) which never became available. If it had it may have gone a long way to saving nokia with its sole intact.

And now, when the people have spoken (by not buying nokia and asking nicely) once again 'nothing doing'. What we get is yet another 'You got choice because you can pick the color' crap.

Some of us want to do stuff with our phones, not have it match our shoes. Wheres the cluestick when you need it.

Very very disapointing and no sale.

And the price

A better Android than Android (1)

amorsen (7485) | about a year ago | (#43776425)

"A better Windows than Windows" was a main selling point of OS/2 2.0. It is argued that few developed for OS/2 because the Windows compatibility was so good that there was little point in doing native applications.

Is there a risk that the same thing can happen to Meego?

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