Jolla have today announced some significant improvements to the Sailfish operating system, introducing version 2.0, which includes some improvements under the skin particularly when it comes to running Android applications and support for a wider range of processors and hardware. In essence, Sailfish 2.0 is scaleable from smartphones to tablets and includes support for Intel's new Atom x3 processor, which Intel half-heartedly announced the other day and confirmed today. Jolla have also bolstered Sailfish 2.0's improved security and improved the notifications and events viewing systems. There's easier access to main functions through a swipe gesture, too.
Sailfish has had the ability to run Android applications for some time and the improvements to the operating system are not yet detailed. Because Sailfish OS is not Android as such, it is unlikely that it will support the running of Google Play Services and this will constrain application support, but providing support for these features is a way of helping developers bridge a gap from Android across to Sailfish. Jolla also declined to provide details about the improvements to device security other than the operating system has been designed with openness and security in mind.
Adding support for existing Intel Atom processors plus the new Atom x3 is an important step because whilst Intel dropped subsidies for the Atom processor, the processor is still popular with tablet manufacturers. Most of the current value tablets using Intel Atom processors use a 64-bit, qua- core processor and compare favourably with the ARM competition for general purpose duties, but can experience some lag when it comes to 3D graphics capabilities.
Another important announcement from Jolla is that Sailfish OS is now ready for licensing to other manufacturers partners. Jolla have openly invited Chinese, Indian, Japanese and Russian vendors to join the Sailfish OS alliance and build devices that offer the Sailfish OS. Jolla also stated it is working with software-based companies such as Tieto Corporation and The Qt Company so as to offer full-scale system integration services for these vendors.
Sailfish OS 2.0 will debut with the Jolla Tablet, due in the second quarter. It's going to be a tablet in the 8-inch category, based around a quad core, 1.8 GHz Intel processor backed up by 2 GB of memory and a high resolution, 2,048 by 1,536 pixel screen. The device will include at least 32 GB of local storage plus a MicroSD slot. As I've written above, it's not due out for at least another month, but Jolla and Sailfish are making all of the right noises to make quite a splash in the technology scene providing they can capture interest from other manufacturers.