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Remove Android Support from Sailfish OS

asked 2016-02-24 13:45:43 +0200

zackbuffo gravatar image

updated 2016-02-24 16:55:56 +0200

I know there are many sailors around, who heavily make use of the Android compatibility.

Anyway my suggestion for Jolla is, to get rid of the Android layer. It takes too much dev power to maintain android support and improve Sailfish OS significantly.

Imagine to not have Android onboard: The user has to decide at first (and a bunch of people would take this as a reason to stop using a Jolla phone), but if one goes with the decision pro a clean Sailfish OS, the experience is a stable and fast UI. And that's the word to spread...

Having no Android anymore, it would in the following produce a desire to have more native SOS apps as a Android substitute available and running (speaking of apps like whatsapp etc.). The amount of native SOS apps would increase faster. For Jolla it would be easier to prioritize, because there is no need to split forces for Andriod-support and Sailfish OS development - it's only Sailfish.

The SOS core apps would benefit from that. Take calendar for example, to name one. The calendar runs smoothly with the current feature set, but has many things that could (and should!) be improved, so that it could catch up with the mature calendar apps of the other major mobile OSes.

To have Android support onboard you have two second-best solutions in a box. Android-support will never be as good as native Android - not from a data and being Google-les perspective but from a system and performance perspective. And Sailfish OS is limited in its development because of a generally reduced dev power. So, free Sailfish OS from Android to let it become really mature!

Just a thought...

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I think the best option is to let the user decide. The current option, in short.

objectifnul ( 2016-02-24 14:27:27 +0200 )edit

The problem is, that there are critical android apps which have not been ported to sailfish such as whatsapp (if you use a 3rd party client, you may be banned) and a lot more of apps only available on android.

Without android compatibility, the jolla phone would not be an option for manypeople as primary phone

SeñorMaligno ( 2016-02-24 14:37:18 +0200 )edit

android support is one of the advantages of sailfish over ubuntu phone (and those are slowly but surely becoming rare)...

mornfall ( 2016-02-24 14:39:09 +0200 )edit

How about... release the entire Android compatability package as open source software so other people can help develop it, and Jolla focuses on improving the OS and native applications? Or... release all of the rest of the OS and applications as open source software so other people can help with that, while Jolla fine tunes Android support. ...or how about just open source ALL THE THINGS!! :)

drcouzelis ( 2016-02-24 16:07:15 +0200 )edit

@drcouzelis, yeah, sorry about that -- the android layer is not from Jolla, it's a closed-source 3rd party app (which jolla is licensing)... so jolla can't open it, unless they buy out Myriad (the makers of alien dalvik)...

mornfall ( 2016-02-24 16:39:56 +0200 )edit

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answered 2016-02-24 14:46:01 +0200

evo3de gravatar image

updated 2016-02-24 17:07:16 +0200

I don´t like your Idea, it would be a quietus for Jolla and the hole Sailfish OS Projekt. Less new costumer, less new manufacturer, less new devices and so on...

edit: Alien dalvik solves the hen / egg problem, by more market share the native apps comes by himself

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Cuts both ways though. Proper apps aren't being developed. And SFOS is missing stuff.

ApB ( 2016-02-24 14:52:48 +0200 )edit

Another example of the necessary android dependency is the Turing phone.. Some backers were outraged that Android was swaped by SfOS and even with garanties that Android apps would still run...

Amilcar Santos ( 2016-02-24 18:44:33 +0200 )edit

@Amilcar Santos irrelevant. SFOS needs highly polished native apps. See Windows phone for example. It has instagram snapchat developed by a guy and his apps (the instagram app to be precise) are considered from what i heard far superior to anything else. Have you seen something like that happening in SFOS. No.

ApB ( 2016-02-24 19:10:53 +0200 )edit

@ApB Not so irrelevant, because highly polished apps only happens if there is money envolved. The company where I work had a app for the kazakhstan goverment (and it was free) were I voluntered to develop the app for SfOS (in a week) and they rejected every time because they didn't see any profit there... Also the Windows Phone is on a downhill...

Amilcar Santos ( 2016-02-24 20:03:44 +0200 )edit

@Amilcar Santos Making money as a dev has nothing to do with Turing. They jumped on SFOS out of nowhere and i don't see them reaching far. And while i don't disagree in general highly polished apps also happen -less frequently of course- when a dev cares and isn't a hack. We have example in the Store. Jolla should -ASAP- give the opportunity to devs to make money. This should be a high priority.

ApB ( 2016-02-24 20:46:36 +0200 )edit

answered 2016-02-24 15:03:21 +0200

cemoi71 gravatar image

updated 2016-02-24 16:56:16 +0200


this option would mean that sfos won't give any interest to new customer to give a look inside sailfish with the poor amount of software that it have.

User decision is far to calculate and anticipate to null with this option. just for the comfort of some current user, how viable is to jolla with it? i guess to null ..

anyway, if for their own the end-customer don't want to have any trace of android, then he could choose not to activate the support.

For me, i think that for the survival of the os. It need to be able to integrate an amount of apps from an other platform. Function of it is to bait as much as potential consumer as possible.

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At the time I thought about buying a Jolla phone, I took initially Android support into account. But since I own the phone, disabling Android layer was one of the first things I did. I think the core of Jolla and Sailfish OS offers enough quality to be worth a thought, if someone is looking for something really new. And it's still improving... Me personally, I think Android support is not the best vehicle to trigger user interest. Jolla and Sailfish OS should stand for itself.

zackbuffo ( 2016-02-24 16:27:24 +0200 )edit

@zackbuffo i agree with you for the ideal case. every system should stand to its own ecosystem. but you know how is the business on the world and how thinks the majority of people. "poor app shop? that's not for me". How could you bring then that the interest to sfos?
I don't still get a viable alternative to solve this point of view.

cemoi71 ( 2016-02-24 16:50:52 +0200 )edit

that is only an option if you don't want to use any 3rd party services (railways, banks, non-XMPP chat, etc. etc.)

mornfall ( 2016-02-24 16:50:55 +0200 )edit

wrong place here, therefore comment deleted

meldolion ( 2016-02-24 18:12:49 +0200 )edit

@zackbuffo "disabling Android layer was one of the first things I did" How? It's not pre-installed on the device, you can't disable it without installing it first. And you need a Store account for that.

jollailija ( 2016-02-24 18:43:21 +0200 )edit

answered 2016-02-24 15:17:27 +0200

Giacomo Di Giacomo gravatar image

So what applications am I supposed to run without Android support? All applications I use, except mail and Web, are only available as Android. You cannot even use Whatsapp (I have been blocked already for using Mitakuuluu). Otherwise, Firefox OS, Ubuntu mobile or Tizen would be more appealing than SFOS.

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As I wrote, my assumption would be, that in short term there is a bit of a shortcoming, but with no apps available I would expect Sailfish substitutes for all the common apps after a while, as it would make more devs than now develop and provide them.

In addition to that it might put a bit of a pressure on Jolla to provide a larger amount of core apps.

zackbuffo ( 2016-02-24 16:20:30 +0200 )edit

Let's enter reality mode. There is no way that mainstream applications will come to SFOS soon if ever. There are less than 100,000 SFOS devices in the world, out of over 1,000,000,000 smartphones. That's 0,01 percent, or 100 parts per million. Whoever would code a SFOS app except hobbyists?

Giacomo Di Giacomo ( 2016-02-24 17:24:32 +0200 )edit

answered 2016-02-24 16:29:37 +0200

hoschi gravatar image

updated 2016-02-24 16:40:49 +0200

Support for non-native applications is always a workaround, native applications are the solution. At least for the current phone Android was 'sold' as feature, you cannot remove it.

You can deprecate it for new devices, but you will need at least Jingle Audio/Video for XMPP and native apps for Textsecure or so.

Well. Android Support is integrated already (removing existing features is extremly problematic) and it has of course a negative effect. It is a workaround, which reduces the need for high quality native ports in a bad way. Like a drug.

Same for WINE on GNU/Linux, but the native foundation was and is broader. Steam eventually killed many reasons to use it, especially the ports of Half-Life and Counter-Strike. Byebye ugly workarounds, problems, glitches and bloat...

Most need for Android on Sailfish OS is generated by an Closed-Source app with and proprieatary commercial network behind. WhatsApp.

Replace it by XMPP or Textsecure or get and native app for it, which is accepted by Facebook. This shows pretty much why Closed-Source is so evil. Even if you avoid it totally, they disturb you through their userbase ("We play only Windows-Games, you have also have to...Here is my Word-File...I can only use Skype...).

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answered 2016-02-24 17:15:56 +0200

cemoi71 gravatar image

One of the solutions for this would be to bring enough money to finance a huge campaign of sfos apps. With competitions, reviews etc etc. So that sfos works on its own ecosystem, and apps.

How would you do this? with which money? and how many? Don't tell that's impossible,but only with the power from hand is a little bit an unicorn.

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And note that this is the tactic that Microsoft have used with WP - throwing money and help at devs. They have really deep pockets and phone penetration that doesn't round down to 0% and have still got pretty much nowhere.

vitaminj ( 2016-02-24 18:37:57 +0200 )edit

as i know, ms has not so much app too, and try to get to the same concept as jolla and ubuntu. bring the android app on their system. currently there is nothing, but want to reach it. need to find where i read that... then.

cemoi71 ( 2016-02-24 18:46:22 +0200 )edit
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Asked: 2016-02-24 13:45:43 +0200

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Last updated: Feb 24 '16