Back in November, Finnish startup Jolla publicly unveiled its Sailfish mobile operating system to the world. The OS is based on MeeGo, a platform Nokia created but quickly abandoned in favor of Windows Phone. But with Sailfish, Jolla — which itself employs several ex-Nokia staffers — is intent on carrying on the torch. And though we're still no closer to knowing when we'll see consumer devices running Sailfish on store shelves, Engadget has taken a lengthy look at where things stand today. In an eight-minute walkthrough video, you'll get a closer glimpse at many of Sailfish's unique interface choices that were briefly showcased two months ago. Overall the OS seems fluid and lightweight, though some app icons are in clear need of a revamp before the platform ships.
Gestures are a clear focus in Sailfish, a strategy that ideally will make the platform easy to navigate with one hand. A unique "pulley" menu system automatically selects items based on how far down you drag the screen, for instance, and critical info like battery status is just a swipe away. In lieu of a traditional back button, swiping from left to right will return to the screen you were looking at previously.
Slick and responsive, but does it have a future?
During the video you'll also get a demo of Sailfish's "ambience" system which customizes colors and other elements of the UI to match your chosen background photo — all on-the-fly. The effect is similar to the color-matching scheme Apple brought to iTunes 11, though it serves as little more than visual flair. Is there room for another contender to thrive in an already-crowded mobile landscape? That's debatable. With no solid launch date in sight, Jolla has time to plan accordingly. For now, it's exciting just to see another promising platform take shape.