Jolla released Sailfish OS 2.0, showed off the first tablet to run the OS, and announced plans with SSH to develop a security-hardened version of Sailfish.
Finland-based Jolla had a huge success on Indiegogo last November with it Jolla tablet, the first tablet to run its Android-compatible, Meego Linux based Sailfish OS. At Mobile World Congress today, the 128-employee company first publicly demonstrated the tablet and the newly released Sailfish OS 2.0 that runs on it. The Jolla tablet will ship to Indiegogo backers in May, at which point the tablet will go on sale for $249.
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The new tablet and Sailfish OS 2.0 received high marks in a first look from Engadget, which had previously panned the Jolla phone and its earlier version of the OS. The tablet was praised in particular for the newly simplified UI, which uses a variety of dragging and swiping gestures. In a separate post, Engadget quoted co-founder Marc Dillon as saying that Sailfish users can be assured that “We are not going to sell user data.” Perhaps emboldened by the recent verbal challenge to Google from Cyanogen’s CEO, Dillon goes on to says Android is designed to collect data from its users with the explicit motive of selling it.
Like the very similar, Android-based Nokia N1 tablet, which was announced about the same time, the Jolla Tablet runs on a quad-core, 64-bit Intel Atom processor (the Z3700, according to ZDNet). It also similarly offers an iPad Mini-like design, featuring 7.9-inch 2048 x 1536-pixel Retina-like displays.
Speaking of Intel, Jolla announced it will work on a mobile device that supports the Intel Atom x3 announced today, which was formerly code-named “Sofia.” The SoC comes in various low-cost flavors with integrated 3G and 4G modems.
The Sailfish OS 2.0 UI, which is also now available on the Jolla phone, removes all onscreen buttons, replacing their functions with gestures, such as a double tap to wake the phone. The OS also offers better security and privacy features, enhanced notifications and events views, and improved Android app compatibility, says Jolla.
At Mobile World Congress, Jolla is actively searching for new partners, according to the ZDNet story. Jolla co-founder Antti Saarnio is quoted as saying: “We feel that Sailfish OS is the perfect platform for OEMs, content owners, m-commerce companies, and others to build differentiated mobile products.”
Security-hardened Sailfish to compete with new Blackphone 2
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Sailfish security will be enhanced even more for an upcoming “security hardened” version of the Jolla phone to be developed with Finland’s SSH Communications Security, which is best known for the SSH Secure Shell encrypted communications protocol. The phone will be sold to government security agencies and others looking for a highly private, secure phone. Competitors include Android phones running Samsung’s Knox firmware, as well as the Android-based Blackphone.
At Mobile World Congress, Silent Circle showed off a security hardened, ultra-secure Blackphone 2 smartphone due this summer, as well as an 8-inch Blackphone+ tablet due this fall. Both run a new version of PrivatOS, Silent Circle’s forked Android derivative. The Blackphone 2 has a faster, 64-bit processor, an improved, 5.5-inch HD screen, and more RAM than the original.
According to Techcrunch, Blackphone developer Silent Circle is buying out Geeksphone’s share of the project with the help of $50 million in new financing. It’s also gaining some Geeksphone staff including co-founder Javier Agüera.
More information on the Jolla Tablet may be found at Jolla’s website.