Jolla to unveil first Sailfish OS phone in May


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Jolla's Sailfish OS is one of the big players when we talk about upcoming mobile operating systems. According to TechCrunch, Jolla has announced that it will be unveiling the first handset to run Sailfish OS next month. Despite this, however, the launch date of the device remains unchanged. It will be launched in the second half of the year.

The company hasn't revealed the exact date, but its pre-sales campaign is set to start in the second half of May.

The company has also announced over its Twitter account that it will be taking payments for the phone before the launch. "Yes, there will be various options to show the support and get something in return. Stay tuned for the announcement in May," says the tweet.

We'll get a first look at the phone in May

Earlier this month, Jolla had released the Sailfish OS SDK installers to encourage developers to get started on development of native apps for the platform. Jolla's offering is in the form of graphical installers for Windows, OS X and Linux for both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. The SDK was released back in February during the Mobile World Congress, where Jolla was involved in a presentation for potential carrier and OEM partners. But the release of an installer means Jolla is even making things easier for developers working on all platforms.

At the moment, the Finnish company, made up of several former Nokia engineers, plans to license out its slick-looking OS to other device makers. They are encouraging the creation of customised, branded versions of the software for third parties, just like Samsung has done with TouchWiz for Android or HTC with Sense.

However, just like Google, Jolla will have a Nexus-like hardware series running Sailfish as it was deemed to be. Currently, Sailfish is still nascent, but there is baked-in support for Android, Qt and HTML5 apps. However, it is clear that Jolla wants to build an arsenal of native apps before the touted launch later this year. Native apps will take full advantage of the Sailfish features and will go a long way towards building a full-fledged ecosystem, rather than piggy-backing on existing Android apps.

The Sailfish UI's big focus is on multi-tasking without jumping in and out of apps. As is becoming the norm nowadays, there is also a big emphasis on gestures for navigation and selection of content. From the demos that we have seen so far, the company wants to focus more on one-handed interaction with the device than anything else. Currently running apps show up as interactive tiles on the home screen. Unlike Windows Phone 8, these tiles do not just show you glance-able information, but act as the first gateway into the apps. Users can perform any number of functions in the apps without actually entering them.