The Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018 is at full swing in Barcelona and we've already seen a number of new devices being introduced. One that has caught our attention is probably Android 8 Oreo running Samsung flagship, the Galaxy S9. However, Android isn't the only mobile OS catching some media buzz at the mega event. Finnish company Jolla also announced the third version of its mobile platform, Sailfish OS.
The new platform brings some key improvements over its predecessors, most significant of which should be the 30% performance boost as claimed by the company. It will also have full cloud integration, including bookmarks, notes and photo syncing, a new multitasking interface and a fresh "Light" theme. Other features in Sailfish 3 include mobile device management, encrypted communications, and an integrated VPN. The company has also introduced remote lock and wipe feature, support for fingerprint readers, and enablers for blockchain-based services. New APIs are provided for the Camera, Location, WebEngine, Crypto and other services.
Jolla also announced a handful of new devices compatible with the Sailfish 3 OS. The devices include the Sony Xperia XA2, the Gemini PDA, and Inoi T8 (8") and Inoi T10 (10"), tablets by a Russian brand Inoi.
Jolla, however, seems to be changing direction with Sailfish 3, on the long term. Instead of fully focusing on smartphones, the new OS is targeted to function with low-spec hardware configurations, while still running select Android apps. The Sailfish 3 feature phones, to be announces later this year, will have VoLTE support to enable a high-speed connectivity experience.
"What sets Sailfish OS apart from its competitors in the feature phone segment is the capability to do low-spec hardware configurations and still run selected Android apps thanks to our unique solution," said Sami Pienimaki, CEO of Jolla.
Sailfish OS is, of course, still far from making an empire to rival Android, let alone topple it. But the company believes it's the world's only alternative mobile OS that can compete with the other big guns. However, it's clear that Jolla's niche status won't be changing anytime soon. Specially when so many 'alternative' platforms (Firefox OS, Windows Mobile and Ubuntu Touch) have fallen by the wayside. Even Tizen, backed by Samsung, seems to be beleaguered.
The company might have taken the right step by focusing Sailfish on feature phones. But there again, it faces competition from Android Go, the stripped down version of Android Oreo. If any other mobile OS will ever replace Android, only time will tell. Meanwhile, the MWC 2018 is still far from over, and we're fully committed to bring the best from the event to you. Stay tuned!