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[Wiki] Features missing before I would recommend Jolla (to non-techies)

asked 2014-02-03 22:18:09 +0300

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updated 2015-02-22 13:33:32 +0300

I love my Jolla, but I think a few features are missing or confusing for non-techies. Below is a list of things that should improve or be implemented before we would recommend Jolla to others. In other words, features that are commonly expected on Smartphones.

Note (@avdwoude): The numbers in the front are the votes each question had collected. f it has an 'R' after the number it indicates the roadmap tag is present. I thought this would provide some more information to this overview. These numbers and roadmap status were last updated on "22 February 2015", and I will try to update them after each Sailfish release. It is good to see this list is getting smaller with each release.

Do you have anything you believe is necessary before you would recommend Jolla to others? In other words what are currently considered standard features on a smart-phone that Jolla lacks?

Note: This question is similar but not the same: https://together.jolla.com/question/15102/what-is-most-embarrassing-in-your-jolla-device-what-makes-you-not-show-it-to-your-friends-if-anything-really-the-top-things-no-minor-issues/

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Copy/Sync of contacts did work with several devices - Android is not MultiTaskAlike - I could use pictures from both parties in some android file picker - MMS is getting more and more obsolete but agreed - browser works as already shown - never occured to me...so one point is still valid and not a bug but a missing feature, so why don't all your friends have a jolla again? (btw syncing contacts doesn't even work from apple to apple or others as expected)

chemist ( 2014-02-03 23:25:05 +0300 )edit

"Show individual Android apps in the "running apps" screen. It is highly confusing that an Android app seemingly vanishes when you open another one.": Is not this exactly the behavior on pure Android phones? When you open an app, the other app goes into the background. You even have the standard Android icon to access the background and can kill the app in the background or leave it up to the system to kill it when the resources are required.

Only because Sailfish apps behave differently, this does not mean that Android apps can suddenly change their behavior. (Well, they could, if each one would run in its own Android environment -- eating up the corresponding resources.)

jgr ( 2014-02-03 23:26:19 +0300 )edit

@jgr I am not advocating a change in the way android apps work, nor how alien-dalvik deals with apps. I do understand that on Android only one app runs at any one time. What I am really saying is that the 'show open apps' list shown by appropriate icon in Android apps should be integrated with the 'running apps' screen on Jolla. I would be most happy if it would even only show a screenshot as it does not in that Android specific list. If Alien-dalvik would decide to kill the app, instead of removing it from the screen, it could merely restart the app. Admittedly that could be confusing too. Some integration is all I ask instead of duplicating UI/UX. But I am sure the Jolla sailors are aware of this issue and working towards a solution. I know I would if I would work for Jolla. :-D

avdwoude ( 2014-02-03 23:53:17 +0300 )edit

Like on BB, that is less confusing for non techies.

BonoNL ( 2014-02-04 01:35:04 +0300 )edit

The need for MMS support is highly localised. No one in my country uses MMS, but apparently it's in common usage in e.g. Switzerland?

lauramanes ( 2014-02-12 20:06:48 +0300 )edit

21 Answers

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answered 2015-04-09 12:01:40 +0300

pan tau gravatar image

there is no reason why not recommend jolla to NON-techies

i did recommend jolla to one non-techie partner 55+ years who was bored by WP or newer iOS and scared by Android, he is very happy Jolla user now, he check the current time and call and call whole day, sometime he reads or responds to sms , open calendar just to see what day will be next monday, or read some web news ...

it is not about geek/pro/non-techie question it is about what you expect from the phone....

personaly i have no android support installed in my jolla, but all jolla estentials are there, terminal enabled, meego, xbmc remote, imap, caldav, LTE, nice OTH, LED and all changable ambience text colors adjusted to fit my style, native support for streaming radios or mkv files are just cherries at the top of the cake, i am very happy user too

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answered 2014-11-06 23:28:24 +0300

NuklearFart gravatar image


This are some things I posted somewhere else and I think especially mail client and browser are most important

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answered 2014-11-02 10:52:09 +0300

Baswat gravatar image

updated 2014-11-02 10:54:21 +0300

This are missing for me to recommend a Jolla to others.... Gallery folder with date... Different ringtone for contacts... copy numbers from call list... 3G videocall... kalender where month and week are displayed easily seen... faster access to turn on/off wifi,data connection... moore keyboard option... wpn... built in step counter... moore app store... thread wiew for text and mail

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I'd also like to add a calendar cover that shows more than the current day like it has been on the n900.

rod ( 2014-11-02 11:19:02 +0300 )edit

answered 2014-10-31 11:35:16 +0300

cquence gravatar image

updated 2014-10-31 11:38:35 +0300

The showstoppers at the moment in my opinion are the following:

  1. Connection Stability (switching between WiFi/Mobile Data needs to be reliable) this includes the deep sleep behaviour which can have side effects like not getting notifications reliably in the backround while the phone is idle for too long.
  2. Contacts mass export/import and general management
  3. Voicemail notifications
  4. Better navigation [preferrrably with offline options]
  5. IMAP/IDLE support
  6. Enterprise WiFi support
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About IMAP IDLE - it can be already activated via terminal, check this thread: https://together.jolla.com/question/493/imap-idle-imap-push-for-the-e-mail-app/. Works quite well, only issue is keepalive timers are not there yet(may be Update 10)

zlatko ( 2014-11-02 11:22:01 +0300 )edit

@zlatko thanks I haven't noticed the comments on this thread.

cquence ( 2014-11-07 10:48:57 +0300 )edit

answered 2014-09-11 09:45:31 +0300

piwostar gravatar image

I would love to have integrated encrytion, maybe over gpg. especially for e-mail. security is a hot topic these days and in my opinion it is no alternative to use android apps all the time. i think emoticons would be a nice feature too, i don't need over 100 emoticons, but the essential ones like ;), :), :D, :o and so on.

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answered 2014-04-25 17:16:22 +0300

Nirkus gravatar image
  • activate 4G + CSFB (#2135) -- "LTE" is part of the device tech specs
  • support different types of reminders as offered by e.g. Google Calender
  • smaller, more smooth hardware
  • thread-view for email
  • more detailed information available from UI (battery usage, charging stats, show issues during creation of backup, etc.)

Just get groups of "non-techies", pay them to use a jolla and complain about everything they can find and fix that stuff. ;-) Do some iterations of that process and Sailfish should get a lot more smooth.

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Could you provide links to questions on Together for each individual item, so I can add them to the list?

avdwoude ( 2014-05-21 09:14:20 +0300 )edit

answered 2014-03-20 13:10:33 +0300

bilgy_no1 gravatar image

I think Jolla still needs to improve the way notifications work. E.g. the Mitakuuluu app needs to be started manually (or with a special app) before you can receive notifications. Same thing with Android apps (such as Yahoo mail app, or other apps with push).

There should be a white list of apps that are allowed to run in the background to receive push notifications. I don't need all the apps to be open in the multitasking screen, but I do need them to receive push notifications without having to start them manually after a reboot.

Second, and related to the first, I'd like to be able to assign notifications to be handled by selectable apps. E.g. Tweets in the notification screen to be opened by Tweetian iso the mobile browser, Facebook notifications to be opened by the Android app, etc.

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Is there an existing question on this that I can add to the list?

avdwoude ( 2014-03-22 13:03:12 +0300 )edit

Not sure, but I figure this would have been reported before? The search function on Together doesn't always show the correct threads.

bilgy_no1 ( 2014-03-23 22:29:43 +0300 )edit


This is about assigning apps to be opened when tapping a notification.

Couldn't find something about the other part of my suggestion. Think I'll post it.

bilgy_no1 ( 2014-03-25 18:58:36 +0300 )edit

Added a question on the notifications system:


bilgy_no1 ( 2014-03-26 21:46:25 +0300 )edit

@bilgy_no1 I've added the question to the list. Thanks!

avdwoude ( 2014-04-12 11:28:39 +0300 )edit

answered 2014-02-21 11:12:06 +0300

Giacomo Di Giacomo gravatar image

Since Sailfish OS is now very stable, the only real thing for normal users is that their phone behaves like other phones, which pretty much means Google Play and Google Services. Normal users can't and won't figure up why their phone is different from the ones used by persons they know.

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I disagree. That's like buying milk and then being upset that it isn't Coca Cola(TM). Jolla is not Android and you shouldn't expect it to be.

2Ti ( 2014-02-21 19:48:50 +0300 )edit

We are not talking about what I should expect it to be. The question is, what should Jolla have to be suitable for non-techies? The answer is, it must be similar to something widely available, and therefore either iOS or Android.

Giacomo Di Giacomo ( 2014-02-21 20:51:23 +0300 )edit

@giacomo i agree, as long as there are no jolla native apps, we (the non-techies) should have some alternatives.

peter-berlin ( 2014-02-21 21:00:18 +0300 )edit

@giacomo: I couldn't agree more. More native apps that fill the gap between what Jolla is now and what is commonly expected will go a long way for many users.

avdwoude ( 2014-02-21 22:54:54 +0300 )edit

answered 2014-02-21 07:48:06 +0300

orjans gravatar image

Different app store, preferably Play.

Yandex just doesn't cut it, sadly. The big apps aren't a problem, and often have native support, but for my part both banking and checking how much data usage I have left this month on my carrier are done through Android apps and neither my carrier nor bank will upload those to Yandex. They use Play so I have to use Play. (I have installed Play, works great, but I can't recommend my father to try the same.)

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I disagree. Play should definitely not come pre installed on the phone. One major reason for getting a Jolla phone is get away from Google. Having all the Google Services pre installed there would completely undermine that. Besides Google likely wouldn't sign up for that anyhow.

2Ti ( 2014-02-21 19:45:59 +0300 )edit

2Ti, I agree, Google is something to get away from, but still there's a handful of apps that I consider essentials and can only be gotten through Play. The question was what prevents me from recommending the phone, and these missing apps are a problem.

orjans ( 2014-02-21 19:59:53 +0300 )edit

Another approach is to let your Bank or carrier know that you want their app but can't install it because it is only on Play store. Make them aware it is important for at least some of their customers to have their apps available in other stores as well.

Other than that, you can of course always just download the apk from Google store. At least I found several websites that allow you to do so.

avdwoude ( 2014-02-21 22:57:50 +0300 )edit

avdwoude, I will tell them, but I fear it will only reach one person in support and end up in the trash. I do have these things installed, mind you, getting Play onto Jolla was fairly easy, but it is something that keeps me from telling people this is the phone to get.

orjans ( 2014-02-22 03:16:47 +0300 )edit

Access to Google Play would be nice, but it is probably contractually impossible for Jolla. Page 3 of this Ars Technica article http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/10/googles-iron-grip-on-android-controlling-open-source-by-any-means-necessary/3/ suggests that Jolla would probably need to join the Open Handset Alliance, which would then give Google the power to approve or reject any future phones.

Richie Cotton ( 2014-02-26 13:27:03 +0300 )edit

answered 2014-02-21 00:44:01 +0300

vattuvarg gravatar image

It is a bit sad, but with the world being what it is right now I would recommend Jolla phones as they are to people dear to me, even if they are considered non-techies. In fact, I already have. The alternatives may have more of everything and in a polished package too, but they always come with some kind of contract to seal in blood. I prefer seeing wild sailing fishes in their hands rather than chains around their wrists tied to shiny robots or beautiful white marble walls around a secret garden with no exits.

I have even asked for a smaller phone so that my fiancé and our two children also can have good phones that fit their smaller hands.

Enough of the pieces are done. I am typing this (rant?) on a phone that would have brought tears of joy to advocates of open source two years ago. Now it is a real tool that touch by touch spells the text that you will read. It's a phone that keeps the doors open, unlike the competition. There is a unlocked passage down to the machinery below. There are i2c lines to connect things.

There will always be bugs and missing pieces, but with Jolla and Sailfish the road ahead doesn't belong to someone else, it is forever open. It might not be impressive yet, but it doesn't need to be either. Even if the way to the future is a tiny path it will still get you further than any chains or walls.

OK. You can start voting me down now. But everyone that buys a Jolla phone will be a techie. ...and they will probably like it as much as I do.

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The Best Answer I've read in this thread.. ;)

foss4ever ( 2014-02-21 00:58:02 +0300 )edit

Brilliant answer! I couldn't agree more. I should really start advertising that aspect of the Jolla phone more to my friends.

avdwoude ( 2014-02-21 01:26:09 +0300 )edit

I agree with a smaller device. Currently, I assume, most of Jolla customers are male and techie. Males sre used to carry the mobile in pockets. This mobile is a bit to big, and its edges to hard to have it comfortably at that place. I do not think I would buy this form factor again.

kodiak ( 2014-02-22 11:30:15 +0300 )edit

Agree, while not all parts of my Jolla phone are open source (yet?), it is the most open plattform of those I know about and consider usable. When people ask me for a smartphone that will just work and have all the stuff like the Apple and Android stuff does, I would not recommend them to buy a Jolla thoug. At least not without a warning to expect a great, but work-in-progress kind-of device. I would like a smaller, more "smooth" hardware for my [organic] other half as well, though.

Nirkus ( 2014-04-25 17:07:55 +0300 )edit

Yes please to "smaller phones"! Great reply

andreibechet ( 2014-10-09 11:20:59 +0300 )edit
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Asked: 2014-02-03 22:18:09 +0300

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Last updated: Apr 09 '15