Remember Jolla’s Sailfish OS? If you don’t, that’s ok. Sailfish OS is a Linux-based mobile OS that has a proprietary skin on it. Jolla puts their skin on it, but the operating system is developed in cooperation with Mer and is supported by the Sailfish Alliance. Jolla’s goal is to get it up and running on mobile devices and target those devices at developing countries, much like Firefox OS and Ubuntu Touch OS. The first Jolla phone is currently on sale in Europe. Sailfish is also intended to be used on other categories of devices, but that part hasn’t been fleshed out completely yet. The Android-related news here is that Jolla has ported their OS to the Nexus 4, and it will also presumably run on any Android device that has an unlocked bootloader. There’s a video, too, so you can see it in action.
This is a bit of a proof-of-concept, as Jolla intends to put Sailfish on their own devices and sell them. They don’t want to simply provide another Linux-based ROM for Android devices. The company realizes that they need to get some momentum, though. The best way to get the development community to pay attention is to port the OS to a device that tons of devs have. Canonical did the same thing when they rolled out their Ubuntu Touch OS on the Galaxy Nexus a few years ago.
Installation looks very easy. The entire installation video only lasts two minutes and ten seconds. The developer in the video uses ROM Manager to install the OS, so even that part is simple. It’s an app that some of us are familiar with using. The actual OS is not really shown. This video is more of a how-to for the installation process. We really only get to see the initial set up of the OS. Jolla is planning on porting Sailfish to the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 as well, and they’ve stated that they are going to continue to support the Nexus 4 along with those other two Nexus devices.
We haven’t found any place for you to download a flashable Sailfish .zip yet, but we’ll let you know as soon as we do. Are you at all interested in testing out the Sailfish OS on your Nexus 4?