Friday, 31 January 2014

Could Jolla drop Beta sign with Sailfish OS Naamankajarvi

Sailfish Naamankajärvi 

Install: Settings --> About product --> pulley menu, check for updates. WLAN recommended.

System update in short

This is the third larger update for Sailfish, released 31-Jan-2014. Jolla has suprised their users with featuring a possibility to unlock the bootloader (OEM lock release), better landscape usability (now in: camera, gallery, browser), better battery life (NFC bug fix), calendar improvements and much more.

As the NFC bug will be fixed with this update, you can remove the temporary masking with this detailed guide. Masking can be safely removed either before or after installing the update.

    Top10 picks from the update (full changelog -

    • OpenSource improvement: Possibility to unlock the bootloader (under new recovery menu)
    • Battery life: NFC bug fix for better battery life 
    • Browser: Landscape mode in browsing, keyboard, gestures, app cover
    • Camera: Zoom with pinch gesture. Full 2Mpx resolution into use with the front facing camera
    • Calendar: Option to select calendar when creating an event + location of event
    • Store: Android apps are now identified easier with included icon
    • Phone: Option in the Phone settings to disable quick call from logs. When disabled, tapping on the call log entry will open the corresponding contact card
    • User experience: After screen time out, return to last active app (within 30 sec)
    • TOH connection: Ambience changes only if the TOH ambience is set as a favourite, or the first time The Other Half is connected to the phone.
    • Android: Improved access to phone sensors (all 5). Improved memory handling when running low on memory. SMS support in runtime envorinment (Android apps are not able to read or send any SMS, but they can now open the native Sailfish messaging app)
    • Several more updates and bug fixes, see all in the full changelog

    Known issues not yet fixed on this release

    • 4G/LTE connection. Official statement: LTE supporten countries and operators will be published later.
    • Camera support for more Android apps (still not working in Facebook, Twitter)
    • Navigation feature for Jolla's HERE Maps. No news about development. Several Android navigation apps are reported to work, some better, some worse.
    • Google's default calendar, contacts & events are only synched from internet to the phone - not the other way around. Adding or editing Google calendar events in the phone is useless.

    Problems reported after updating the system

    Upcoming Sailfish update releases

    • Jolla has stated that updates are planned to be realeased monthly

    Previous updates

    Sailfish Naamankajärvi ?

    Another update named by a lake. There are at least 4 lakes named "Naamankajärvi" in Finland, located at Pudasjärvi, Kuusamo, Suomussalmi and Oulu. All of them are quite small, the biggest one laying at Kuusamo, 7 565 km2.

    Jolla has stated that they are using lakes of Finland in naming updates of Sailfish OS. There are 187 888 lakes in Finland, including the small ones, so we might have more than few updates coming. Looking at the size of the biggest Naamankajärvi, we could speculate that this is not as big update than the previous one - but I'm still holding my breath for Sailfish Saimaa!

    Show a larger map

    Sunday, 26 January 2014

    Ambience background design

    This post is for helping people in designing their own ambience backgrounds for Jolla. Knowing how Sailfish OS handles images or photos when turning them into an ambience might give you some advantage to create the most beautiful backgrounds.

    While scrolling from screen to another, first thing to note is that the lower you go, the more Jolla cloaks the image - ending up with 100% cloaking in the 2nd launcher screen. Cloak is a partially transparent layer on top of your image, colored with the same tone as the text color which Jolla chooses from the image (see using greyscale images).

    Second, let's take a look at the pixel limits for each element and screen. Ideal size for a background image is 540x1600px to take the full advantage of the partial scrolling of the background. In this guideline, top is considered as y = 0 and the pixels mentioned are counted from the top.

    Pulley menu header, sized 540x113px, is visible only when the pulley menu on top is opened. If using e.g. a logo on this area, note that the first selection "Settings" is partially inside this area. When using a logo in center, leave it above 100px.

    Lock screen image begins right after the header, showing area from y=114 to y=1073 (height 960px). The upper part of the lock screen area is also used as a background for the pulley menu (from y=0 to y=430). The lower part is shared with the home screen. Area not visible on the home screen begins from y=114 and ends to y=353 (height 240px)

    Home screen image, y=354 to y=1313 (height 960px) is already cloaked strongly. Image is quite dark and toned with the text color, hiding any colourful details. The opposite colous (compared to the text colour) turns into grey.

    Home screen image bottom, from y=1074 to y=1313 (height 240px) is not shared with the lock screen. There, if you want to design a backround for your favourite apps, you can top it between y=1150 (right below the covers) and y=1184 (right above the app icons). It looks good in the middle, setting favourite apps background from y=1167 to y=1313 (height 147px)

    The 1st launcher screen background is so strongly cloaked that it doen't matter much in designing. Leaving it totally white tones it with your text color, barely visible (better visible with high screen brigtness). With white, 1/3 of your launcer background bottom differs from 2/3 on top which is cloaked from your home screen image. Area visible only on the 1st launcher screen is from y=1314 to y=1600 (using one launcher), or from y=1314 to y=1457 (using two launcher screens). 2nd or further launcher screen are cloaked 100%.

    Some suggestion based on these measurements:

    • Use a header, sized 540x113px. It's nice to have a hidden element, only visible when opening the pulley menu
    • Share a photo among rest of the screens, sized 540x1200px. The top of the photo works as a pulley menu background, the bottom is visible only in your home screen, the last 140px beeing left behind your favourite apps.
    • Use a simple, bright coloured square for the rest, sized 540x287px. With this square use can try to affect to your desired text colour (however if your photo is already colourful, Jolla might choose a color from that anyway).

    Download the image of this post to help you in design

    Image above has a full size of 540x1600px. You can freely use it - click it twice to open it in full size, save it to your computer and use it as a background on your image manipulation program. You can also see how it looks like as an ambience background on your Jolla to see the measurements in action.

    Share your Ambience designs or find great ambiences to your Jolla

    You can already find a lot of great backgrounds, all in the right size (540x1600px). So far there are mostly pure images (without header/other special designs), but I hope we'll see some full designs soon too.

    Jolla Ambience / background articles elsewhere

    Wednesday, 22 January 2014

    SailfishOS Ported to Nexus 4

    One of the most touching videos I've seen as a fan. SailfishOS is an operating system developed by Jolla. It's spreading to other smartphone models by experienced users, latest beeing Nexus 4. (Earlier seen on Nokia N9 & Nexus 7).

    Great video of installing and starting the new operating system by sledges (Youtube link)

    The story of Sailfish is just in the beginning - I wonder what will be the next conquer?
    Nexus 4

    Friday, 17 January 2014

    HowTo: Jolla and DLNA media sharing

    Basics of DLNA

    DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) is often wrongly understood as a streaming format, actually it's a non-profit trade organization founded by Sony (2003). DLNA supporting devices, apps and programs are using Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) for media management, discovery and control.

    A device/program/app supporting DLNA can include a media server, a media player, or both of these. Media is streamed from the server to the player usually via WLAN network on which both the server and the player are connected to. Several servers and players can be included into the same network.

    1. Stream from Jolla to your DLNA players

    I've managed in this using Android App "Smart TV WiFi Remote + DLNA". It's a free app, no accounts needed either, and it works perfectly on Jolla too. Here's the Installation guide:
    • pre-requisites: DLNA supporting WLAN router (most of them do). Jolla phone and your media player must be connected to the same WLAN network.
    • system-requirements: Samsung or LG television or Blueray player, or any DLNA capable media Player on your computer (I'm using a free program "Samsung All Share" on win7)
    1. Install Smart TV WiFi Remote + DLNA to your Jolla. I found it at Aptoide store as a trusted app. (Guide for installing Aptoide store can be found on a previous article)
    2. Start the app, select "DLNA" and select your desired folders to share. The app has access to both your Android and Sailfish folders, showing them as one type.
    3. After selecting, you can drop the app to your home screen and use your Jolla normally. Media sharing to your network stays on as long the app is running.
    4. Connect to your Jolla with your DLNA capable player. If Jolla is not found automatic, check your Jolla's local network IP (usually 192.168.X.X) from the phone or from your router and connect to it manually.
    5. After the player connects to Jolla's shared folders, you can just browse them and play the content (images, music, videos) of your player supported formats.

    2. Using Jolla as a remote control
     (possible at the same time when streaming media from Jolla)

    As the DLNA Server on Jolla can be left running, you can use another Android App on Jolla at the same time, remote controlling your DLNA Player. There are several remote control apps available for several TV/Blueray/DLNA players, just check the Aptoide store for your model. I'm using Samsung BD-5500 as the player, so I installed app "Samsung Remote" to my Jolla. In this photo I'm streaming a video saved to my Jolla, watching it from my TV and remoting the playback with Jolla:

    3. Stream to Jolla from Plex media server

    There are propably also other DLNA capable player apps which Jolla supports, but as I already wrote a review using Plex media server for this, here's an installation Guide for Plex:
    • pre-requisites: WLAN router on your computer. Jolla connected to the same WLAN network.
    • system-requirements: See the Install link below for supported operating systems.
      Plex is widely supported
    1. Install Plex to your computer. When using beta version 0.9.8, Plex account is not necessary, just pass it when asked and select the folders you want to share. With Plex you can share images, music, videos and movies to your home WLAN network.
    2. Install Plex version to your Jolla phone. I found it available at Aptoide store (add the store with writing this address at Aptoide) and 16 other stores. Note: This application has not been checked as trusted.
    3. Start the server on your computer. It's running only as an icon near the clock, and the settings are accessed via a web browser.
    4. On your Sailfish app launcer you only see an empty icon with the text "com", but you can start the app with tapping that. The icon is visible if you're using an Android launcer like GO Launcher EX
    5. Your media server should be located automatic by Jolla. If not, check your media server IP from the computer and set it up manually. After that you can browse and play your shared content on Jolla's screen. Plex transcodes the stream (if needed) on the server before sending it to your Jolla, so multiple video formats are possible.

    4. Remote controlling Plex player on Jolla with another phone

    While streaming media into Jolla, you can download a remote control for Plex to another mobile phone and control Jolla's playback from that. I succeeded in this installing an app called "Plex remote" to my old Android phone.

    Thursday, 9 January 2014

    Jolla streaming video with Plex media server

    Jolla as a remote for Samsung Blueray player
    Reading on mobile browser? Switch to mobile content for better view

    1. Overview

    Plex media server works perfectly on Jolla Smartphone. Here's a review to streaming media from computer to Jolla's screen, use Jolla as a remote control, and use another phone as a remote control for Jolla's Plex player. Everything introduced in this article have been fully tested to work. Installing guide is not included. In this review we:
    • stream videos from Plex media server to Jolla smartphone over WiFi
    • check  if Jolla works as a media server, sending content to other players in the same network
    • use Jolla as a remote control for a Samsung Blueray player
    • use Jolla as a Plex Player and another phone as aa remote control for Jolla

    2. Plex supported devices

    Plex software includes a backend media server (Propiertary sSoftware) and a frontend media player (OpenSource, based on XBMC player). Plex software (before version 1.0) can be installed for free on
    • Windows (XP with Service Pack 3 or later)
    • Mac (OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard or later)
    • Linux (Ubuntu 10.04->, Fedora 14->, CentOS 6->)
    • FreeBSD 9.1
    • NAS (Synology, Netgear, QNAP, unRAID, Drobo, Asustor). With some limitations.
    • Mobile devices: Android (inc. Jolla), iOs, Windows Phone 8
    • TV's & Blueray players (Roku, Google TV, Samsung)
    • Chromecast supporting devices (this is not free. Requires Plex Pass)
    From November 2013 Plex introduced version 1.0: Plex Home Theater. Latest version is available for computers running on Windows (Vista or later) and Mac (Snow Leopard or later).

    3. Plex on Jolla

    Version 0.9.8 works on Jolla, via Android Support, both as a player (no Plex Pass or account required) and as a media server (to use, account and paid Plex Pass required). Without Plex Pass Jolla is capable to play any streaming media supported by the device (e.g. H.264 video format). Media server can transcode most video streams, audio streams and subtitles to supported formats in desired quality. Plex Media Server including the media must locate on the same network with Jolla (e.g. same WLAN)

    4. Plex player on Jolla - Photo Review

    Plex on Jolla. View to the content of the Media Server
    In my setup, I have installed Plex Media Server on my Win7 computer and on Jolla Smartphone.
    Plex on Jolla. Watching a BBC document in 720p quality
    Additionally Plex Player is installed to my Samsung Blueray player (HT-D5500) and a remote control for that is installed to my Jolla. Here's a view to the remote control, each function works great on Jolla:

    Even more, I've installed a 3rd party remote control for Plex Player to another smartphone, so I'm able to control my Jolla from that. Maybe this doesn't seem too important, but it was required to fix the player screen size on Jolla:
    Screen overscan wizard is located on the Player Settings, and a remote control was required to adjust the screen. Using the touchpad of another smartphone (ZTE) I was able to adjust Jolla's screen for full use with the player. Some other settings on Jolla are shown below:
    As you can see on the right image above, it's possible to select Jolla to be advertised as a server. I tested that, of course, and I was actually surprised that the Plex player on my BD was able to connect to the Plex Media Server on my Jolla. So, the server was recognized, but sharing Jolla's files seems to require sync option, and I haven't activated a Plex Pass to be able to use that. After enabling sync it would propably be possible to share files stored in Android environment (as Plex server is running under Android Support on Jolla).

    Streaming video quality was absolutely great. I was able to strem 1080p videos over my WLAN network without any lagging. I did it just in testing purpose, streaming with this quality is useless as Jolla's screen resolution (540x960 px) has only a quarter of full HD quality (1080x1920 px)
    Plex on Jolla - adjusting stremaing quality while watching the stream
    Audio sync and quality were great too. For my first listening test I attached a DENON amplifier and a nice pair of Gradient speakers to Jolla's audio plug. I would have liked to test if Jolla would support any 5.1 audio stream too, but I was missing a suitable media for that. However, the stereo sound was absolutely fantastic.

    Subtitles time sync isn't adjustable on Jolla's player, and as subtitle files are also transcoded when needed, it's pretty possible that some subtitles are in sync and some are not. My testing night ended to watching a movie in my bed with a nice pair of light Sennheiser headphones. In that one, subtitles were in sync too.

    After watcing an 1h 30min movie, my Jolla had 25% less battery charge (screen brigtness at half). No lagging, no problems - everything seems to work as it should with Plex. I give this my full recommendation.

    Friday, 3 January 2014

    Workaround: Jolla rotation and video format problems

    Jolla phone - video formats

    With Beta releases, it's sometimes just needed to do something yourself. This time, unless a fix is released, it has to do with the video recordings using Jolla's camera. There's a minor bug in rotation, turning some videos upside down (and some photos too), and there's another problem related to Jolla's less common video format h.263. Oh... and the recorded audio quality isn't great either (I hope the problem is just in the software)

    Workaround for the rotation bug

    When recording a landscape video, turn your Jolla anticlockwise (to the left).
    This way the rotation angle will be 0. If you turn it right, the video will show upside down in your computer.

    Workaround for the less supported video format

    When sending videos to services like Youtube or Vimeo, the videos are automatically converted, and the file size & quality is reduced. No problem in here, if you're satisfied to the quality and the service.

    Jolla records videos in format mp4v/h.263 (MPEG-4 Visual Simple@L6 to be exact). Not all players, and especially not the common web players are able to show this (you'll only hear the sound).

    If you don't want to use 3rd party services, here's what you can do for the empty video frames and whining relatives: Convert your video to a better supported format. Here's a HowTo for mp4/avc1 format, which is well supported:

    For converting a video, I used VLC Player. HowTo:

    1. Save your video to any folder in your computer. You can transfer it via USB cable, Bluetooth or Email (attachment). Moving it via 3rd parties is not recommended, as it's usually converted in their desired way when uploaded, reducing the quality
    2. Open VLC Player (link is to the official download site)
      Select from menu: Media -> Convert/Save...
    3. Add... the video / videos you want to convert to the File selection list
    4. Click Convert / Save
    5. Browse Destination File. Select the Folder and write the name for the converted video, ending to text .mp4 (note the dot)
    6. Select any profile from the dropdown menu, as it need to be edited anyway. I used Video - MPEG4 + AAC (mp4)
    7. Edit your selected profile (click the tools icon)
    8. For encapsulation, choose mp4
    9. Video codec selections (this is what we convert)
      The selection boxes: Select "Video", unselect "Keep original video track"
      Codec: choose H.264
      Bitrate: 10 000 Kbit for max quality, 300-600 for web viewing purposes. This selection is the most important considering the file size and quality, and the processing time too. You could start with smaller values, and make another setting later if you're not satisfied with the outcome.
      Frame rate: 30fps for max quality, less to get smaller file size. At least 12 fps recommended.
      Scale 1 / Width 0 / Height 0 for original size, or change only one of the values for desired size.
    10. For audio codec, select "Audio" and also select "Keep original audio track"
    11. Save the settings (next time they will be ready in your selected profile)
    12. Leave the checkboxes unselected, and start. Convertion takes a while, you can follow the advance from the bar at bottom. After it's ready, the player shows its stopped (no notifications)
    You can find your converted video in the Folder you selected earlier. The original video is left unchanged. The format of the new video is mp4/avc1 (MPEG-4, Advanced Video Codec High@L4.0) which is recognized by most web players and html5. Html5 supported browsers are at least Mozilla Firefox (from v21), Internet Explorer, Google Chrome & Safari. Opera does not support mp4 - to gain visibility there, convert video also to ogg format.

    Sharing videos in mp4/avc1 format is currently the best way considering most viewers, as both the web and most players in several devices/computers support viewing this format. As an example, here's a 7 second teddy clip not using iframe or Java/Flash. The format is simply supported by html5 programming language. You shouldn't see this with Opera browser, but with most others, yes:

    Wednesday, 1 January 2014

    LTE 4G seen on Jolla smartphone UPDATED

    This image was shared in Twitter

    Update: LTE was officially enabled in Sailfish OS 1.0.7

    Unlike New Year - Jolla video recording and html5 test

    Jolla camera takes mp4 .h263 videos - which need to be converted to mp4 .h264 format for showing them in the web.

    For testing the supported video formats in Sailfish Browser, I made a Short HD video clip with Jolla Smartphone. Let's see which is/are the working way(s) to upload a video and watch it using Jolla's default Sailfish Browser: