SFOS could replace BB10 for business, security

asked 2018-11-29 20:20:59 +0200

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For more than a decade I used Blackberry devices. They were feature-rich and secure. Then, sadly, the iPhone toy-device phenomenon took place, followrd by Google's Android, and security (and Blackberry, for all intents and purposes) flew out the window.

This left these choices: IOS, Android, and Sailfish OS. IOS has a good-sized market. Android has a huge market of people to whom security and privacy do not matter at all. What happens to SFOS remains to be seen, but there's a huge potential for it to become the mobile operating system of choice for serious users. It was that potential that led me to switch to it when BB10 pretty much ceased to be supported.

SFOS ain't soup yet for serious and business users (and serious business users!), but it easily could be. Making it so would open a new audience to the OS while in all likelihood please the organizations and countries currently backing Jolla.

This would require (at least):

  1. A secure system or the ability to achieve one through a secure framework which licensees could adopt. This would include access to secure communications via a robust VPN system as part of the base OS and secure email through third-party providers. Perhaps this could be achieved via an easily customized secure webapp framework for access to secure corporate and private commercial servers. (We're currently in the position that the installed base is too small for third-parties to justify making their own native apps, and Jolla is too small to provide them itself. The lack of access to secure sites prevents the user base from growing -- it's the usual chicken-and-egg situation. A secure webapp toolkit would go far in solving both problems: making the things they need available to those who would adopt SFOS but can't, thereby increasing the size of the user base, making it more attractive to corporate developers.)

  2. Some serious work on the telephony stack. By this I mean especially voice over 4G, voice over IP, and especially voice over WiFi. The last of these has been a basic feature of cellular telephone operating systems for years. It is offered by many if not most cellular providers, many of whom offer reduced-cost or no-cost calls over WiFi. (For example, TMobile does not charge for incoming WiFi calls.) Even BB10 had this feature, and it hasn't been under development for years now. Additionally, many parts of the world lack comprehensive cellular coverage; their WiFi footprint is much larger. The technology exists, and could be added to Sailfish.

  3. More robust cloud access. This, again, might be achieved, at least as a stopgap, through the webapp toolkit mentioned above, though that would be a stopgap only. Cloud storage is increasingly important to businesses and other organizations.

These are features that ave basic and essential. Everything else, as desirable as it is -- a good, secure browser is near the top of the list -- is secondary to these basic functions. They are also things that cannot be developed purely by the community. They require a substantial degree of Jolla involvement.

If they were brought into existence, SFOS could quickly become the OS of choice for serious users. Blackberry lost its focus -- I remember when a big issue among what became its user base was a lack of "stickers." SFOS has a strong community of great developers and loyal users. I believe with the development of the things mentioned above, its base would grow. And we'd provided the stickers, if they were desired.

The news this week underlines the fact that the world's most popular mobile operating system is not secure, it is not private, cannot be made either secure or private, and is produced by a company whose purpose is the very antithesis of security and privacy. Some people don't care, but I believe a significant number of users do care. The opportunity is ripe for Jolla and SFOS to serve those users.


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I concur. Being a former BB10 user who clung on to the bitter end, this is an unfulfilled niche in the marketplace.

SValmont ( 2018-11-29 20:31:55 +0200 )edit

Keep an eye on the Librem phone. Step in the right direction.

Not sure how you'd secure sfos via terminal in a way that's usable day-to-day... Or how you'd go about auditing it. Its not designed for work in any case: Try editing a (real-world) spreadsheet, or filling-out & signing a pdf form, or writing a document using various sources, or annotating & resizing images, or quickly writing quotes/invoices using existing data, or planning a trip for several people... List goes on. Can do these with Android/IOS + apps, but not while working under NDA as there's no way to prevent leaks, besides working offline.

We're still a long long way from getting back to where the n900 left off.

cpb ( 2018-11-29 22:56:01 +0200 )edit

And persons who find the need for that can, in the short term, employ Googledroid applications for those things -- and with the few necessities I mention, still have a more secure device than they would with native Android. Meanwhile, the SFOS install base would grow to the point where there would be justification in developing the more secure native apps.

depscribe ( 2018-11-30 01:11:51 +0200 )edit

I agree, there is a gap in the market and Jolla is perfectly positioned to take it. All current SFOS users and Jolla partners will benefit from it.

Nova ( 2018-11-30 10:07:38 +0200 )edit