Monday, 17 March 2014

Could Jolla drop Beta sign with Sailfish OS Ohijärvi

Jolla system update: Sailfish Ohijärvi

Urgent: Disable Openrepos before installing (tip from Kimmo Lindholm, thanks!)

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

System update in short

This is the fourth larger update for Sailfish, released on March 17, 2014. Jolla has announced that this update will bring the operating system to a ready stage for global commercial distribution. Does it get the system out of "Beta" is left for users to decide - In my personal opinion, unless the system doesn't enable all the phone specs it's not ready, but beta might have been changed to delta. LTE/4G support isn't there quite yet. Navigation is still missing. WLAN n might cause issues. Browser is better, but far from perfect. However, Sailfish has raised its sails - performance upgrades makes this phone fast now. Jolla has delivered a nice update with a lot of visual and functional improvements and bug fixes - let's get into these:

    Top12 picks from the update (full changelog -

    • WLAN tethering: Sharing your mobile network connection to other devices via WLAN is now possible from the settings > system menu.
    • Landsape support extended: Apps "Mail", "Messages" and "Notes" added
    • Camera: Selectable ISO (100-400), delay optins for shutter, new cover, selectable exposure value (EV -2 to +2). Grid added, especially good when photographing for a new ambience.
    • Browser: New browser engine should enable better browsing experience. Fixes still needed.
    • Virtual keyboard: New fonts and better visuals are there for a better writing experience.
    • Calendar: Events sync for both directions with Google calendar. Editing google events in phone (time, topic, description) is possible, but change of the sub-calendar will be implemented later. 
    • Email: Sync work better in selected interval. You can also find options to select the sending account & importance of the mail (tap on the three dots).
    • Store: New visuals, much better user experience. E.g. cCategories are moved to the bottom of the main screen (earlier on pulley menu)
    • WLAN connection: Connection should hold up slightly better now, but there are still isuues when using WLAN n.
    • Bluetooth connection: Syncing contacts with Bluetooth enabled for contacts, but only for a few phone models. Sync for events, and more phone models, is implemented later.
    • People: Improved vcf (contact card) import
    • The Other Half: The unique ID of TOH added to system info. This ID is needed e.g. when selling the phone - Jolla needs the number to reset the TOH for a new user. (yes, all TOH's are personal)
    • More: Some new settings, peformance improvements, bug fixes and visuals (e.g. tap-gesture on the lock screen lifts up the screen for a short moment, enabling a peek on battery, online status and mobile network info.) See all in the full changelog.

    Known issues not yet fixed on this release

    • 4G/LTE connection. Official statement: LTE supported 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.
    • WLAN n stability. Connection lost sometimes, especially when Bluetooth on at the same time.
    •  SD card support is improved now, but sometimes the card must be manually reattached to access the files.

    Problems after updating the system?

    Upcoming Sailfish update releases

    • Jolla has stated that updates are planned to be released monthly. This one was a bit late, but now we don't need to wait a full month for the next one.

    Previous updates

    Sailfish Ohijärvi ?

    Another update named by a lake. Ohijärvi is a very small lake (0,102 km²) located near Uusikaupunki, Finland.

    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 Ohijärvi, we could speculate that this is not a big update, but it sure makes using the phone much nicer again. I'm still holding my breath for Sailfish Saimaa!

    Monday, 3 March 2014

    Jolla Sailfish app development: LUT Code Camp

    February 24-28, 2014 Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) arranged an open Sailfish OS coding week
    Photo by Kalle Kareinen, IT student, LUT

    LUT Code Camp: Students encoding software for Jolla phone's Sailfish operating system

    Lappeenranta University of Technology arranged a week-long intensive course Code Camp to computer science students. Cource included teamwork to design and build software for the finnish mobile phone company Jolla's new Sailfish operating system.

    The course started on Monday, February 24 with the theory and ended on Friday, February 28 with a playful competition which took place between the students, judged by the teachers and representatives from Jolla. Jolla also lend 3 devices to the students for a month, enabling them to get familiar with it and have a deeper insight to the development.

    "There is a strong win-win situation for both our students and the business guests, as the company (Jolla) may introduce software platforms for future programmers, and students and staff (LUT) will have the opportunity to explore the company's fresh technology first-hand," says junior researcher Antti Knutas.

    Code Camp cource offered the basics of just finalized Sailfish operating system. Then, students developed applications utilizing the skills learned. In-depth learning of practices, and the details and good practices could be found on their own and the team's doing.

    "Code Camp aimed at achieving the same team working atmosphere which is needed in working life. At the same time a recent technology is learned. Previously, we have taken courses on web, tablet and game programming, and now the smartphone programming," explains Knutas.

    Technical expertise of the course was offered Jolla by the company's technical expert Pami Ketolainen and interest group coordinator Alberto Martinez.

    "The new operating system is investing on easy user experience. Sailfish operating system works with gestures and a person can at the same time to do many things, e.g. to download a file at the same time as the user chats, writes e-mail, uses Skype or plays a silent game," says Martinez who participates in a course on Tuesday.

    "Initial Special features include the fact that there are no solid buttons, but the phone is used with gestures. Users can run several programs at the same time and use the applications via so-called  shrunked icons [translator's note: active covers]," Knutas explains.

    Source: LUT (translated from finnish)