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Sailfish without Android support. Am I alone?

asked 2014-12-14 23:08:03 +0300

Jolla-be really different gravatar image

updated 2015-03-06 09:37:46 +0300

eric gravatar image

I've bought my Jolla Phone to have a different OS, so no Android support installed. Sorry for the developers involved and the market strategy. Simply to know if it is a common approach. By the way I'm very happy and I can use the phone with all the common tasks that are expected to be there.

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Don't know why you have been downvoted (just corrected this;) - Imho it's an absolute necessity and a cool strategy to provide Android support for things which now and likely longer cannot be provided natively. For me such a thing is e.g. the Here maps.

chappi ( 2014-12-14 23:29:22 +0300 )edit

To me android apps are a crutch to stay in contact with certain people hooked on wrong services or to use services myself that ignore our tiny ecosystem. Sad, but until the critical mass of users is reached to A: make sailfish attratcive to services or B: make those propritary services apps obsolete by having native apps or system integration. Both rather fare away but not impossible scenarios. So, crutchy Android support via Alien Dalvik is very necessary imho at the moment to give us a complete Smartphone experience!

mosen ( 2014-12-14 23:34:30 +0300 )edit

I don't have android support installed. I've played with it and on the whole I'm not impressed, but I also don't have huge requirements or expectations from the phone and I'm happier playing with terminal and learning about Sailfish OS as I go along.

I enjoyed the difference the Nokia N9 offered, especially upon deciding to open and play with terminal, but I sold it to get a Jolla and I'm quite glad I did. Jolla has a lot of work to do, but bit by bit, 'we' are getting there! :)

You're not alone!

Edz ( 2014-12-14 23:37:51 +0300 )edit

Haven't felt the need yet to install the android runtime. I have all the apps I need natively. Most of those so called apps are only insecure and privacy invading fronts for web services anyway, so the browser does fine in most cases inho.

Philippe De Swert ( 2014-12-15 00:18:25 +0300 )edit

it's a personal choice - you have to decide it by your own
there are a few android apps I use, where there might be only very few people, who would like to use it. so, I will not develop something - as well as nobody else.would do it for me as only user - ok for me, I'm able to use the android apps - great
the android engine is a chance, no need to use it

rudi ( 2014-12-15 00:53:40 +0300 )edit

18 Answers

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answered 2014-12-15 13:39:18 +0300

Aashish gravatar image

I prefer to use android apps on my Jolla as less as possible. Even though I have android apps on the phone, I keep looking for native ones in the Jolla store and warehouse to replace them.

In my opinion, native should always be preferred, but a lot of native do need a lot of improvement.

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I agree with u Ashish. Android apps invade our privacy that is one of the prime reason I shifted to jolla. But there is need for some good apps like the one from Android stores . And saifish does need some improvements in tthe OS . The keyboard needs some improvement .As there are some ttyping mistake when hit back key for corrections .Also there is some scope for battery backup I think .But hats off to jolla developer's for creating an amazing OS.

sailor ( 2015-01-02 09:21:44 +0300 )edit

Like Aashish, I too am forced to use certain Android apps (like Opera) either because native clients aren't available or existing native ones lack the features that I need / am used to. @sailor - A slight correction - "Android apps invade our privacy" isn't exactly the right perspective. The problem is with Sailfish OS that it doesn't allow the user to control what data / api an app can access. A developer can just as easily create a Sailfish app that invades the users privacy because a Jolla user still won't be easily able to restrict the app from doing what it wants to.

sifartech ( 2015-01-02 15:26:57 +0300 )edit

True. And while I appreciate the great community we have developing apps and supporting us, I wish there was a way to motivate people to spend more time into putting more features and quality into the native apps. I really, really love the native apps and eagerly wait for the day wherein I only need android apps for special needs.

Aashish ( 2015-01-02 16:04:51 +0300 )edit

answered 2014-12-14 23:16:36 +0300

midnightoil gravatar image

updated 2014-12-14 23:34:46 +0300

Q. What is a smartphone without apps?
A. Not a smartphone.

Q. What kind of ecosystem is a mobile OS in 2014 with no paid app support a year after launch?
A. One without apps.

Alien Dalvik is very necessary at the moment.

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The android support is nice feature for marketing purposes. I think in practice it should cover missing apps, but not the "core" applications. After a year or so many of the core apps should provide native implementations or a clear path. We need to make sure a) provide sufficient support for alien dalvik b) push development of native apps, how is the balance?

pmelas ( 2014-12-14 23:47:41 +0300 )edit

But on the other hand those android apps are killing the native ecosystem before it can evolve.

naytsyrhc ( 2014-12-15 20:03:12 +0300 )edit

@midnightoil, what do you need apps for? As far as I am concerned, "apps" are something an iOS user hungers after.

All the things and tools I need I can find as source tarballs and build with minimal modification on the device itself.

juiceme ( 2014-12-15 21:53:56 +0300 )edit

@juiceme congrats on being a hobby dev. afaik Jolla aren't in the market for hobby devices.

midnightoil ( 2014-12-15 22:24:59 +0300 )edit

smart guys usualy using phone for calling and some basic s... i think that calling texting email synced calendar and calc etc is fine enought for phone. but playing 90' games on cellphone or tablet well :D or needs to install TOOLS for wasting time is just crazy trendy fashion time to build smart tv, smart toilet paper and who knows what else

yea somebody can say that it is cool that you can edit photos there, or try your new haircut or remotely control your smart tv or pc by phone but same job can do any other remote controller and the bateries remains there for ages, strange habbits are arround, if someone has needs and willing to pay for app with same or less content like in classic browser :) most of the android store is rubbish, in style when you installing for ex flashlight, why there are apps wich asking you about permit for contacts. location and use internet, just not relevat to what application should do, and worst most users just clicking ok, i need this cool ap and then entering magic circle

i just dont understand to this fashion, so I am androind free too i think that for something is better bigger screen so tablet and than regular biig screen for regular work or regular gamming and as we dont have hdmi out or something how to use jolla as workstation or gameconsole i think jolla devs should focus at on own stability and bugs free os, not to focus (waste) time on porting android , if you need android apps, just buy some android device :D

jolla is exactly right phone for guys who just want to use phone as regular phone (zilions of symbian users knows what i mean) and on the other hand jolla is also for advanced users allows them fun and much more freedom than what was on market

with good qwerty OTH in the future it can kick iphones from the part of bussiness customers - it is todays wish to have durable smart enought qwerty phone offering todays communication standards

pan tau ( 2015-02-13 03:38:59 +0300 )edit

answered 2014-12-15 20:10:44 +0300

utkiek gravatar image

No. You are not alone. The tjc community has changed. Formely we discussed e.g. privacy, installing of openvpn or about landscape mode. Nowadays here are discussions about droid apps. Maybe today here are more consumers than nerds. Maybe there are less problems with native apps.

Idea: Make a tag "droid" like the sign in store for droid apps. This can help us to focus.

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FYI: droid and native apps are already distinguishable in Jolla Store, but there should be an.option to filter views to native only apps.

foss4ever ( 2015-01-01 05:11:27 +0300 )edit

I also want the filtering . I am sick of seeing the *droid stuff . I want more native applications. Yes I know it needs more developer effort. Please Jolla devels make more videos about actually making apps and please improve the developer documentation. I understand that IRC support is great but a lot needs to be done to encourage new app development from Jolla side.

pavi ( 2015-01-02 06:08:14 +0300 )edit

do as I did: in the foreground on the home screen app all sailfish, while the Android app to enter all inside a folder. so solve your problem. but the Android app when needed !! (See whatsapp). remember meego? it was perfect, but there were too many universal applications. On Jolla is no shortage of Android environment thanks !!

salkos73 ( 2015-01-03 12:30:42 +0300 )edit

answered 2014-12-15 21:12:53 +0300

Crypto gravatar image

updated 2014-12-15 21:17:55 +0300

I fully understand the OP, but I strongly disagree.

The Jolla store is massively outnumbered by the Android store in applications. One of the huge failures of Nokia N9 (and a primary reason for bad adoption) was the availability of Apps.

Furthermore, the purpose of an open phone is to maximize usability and features to fit the needs of the user. All my banking apps, mobile apps, games exist for Android only. I don't want to carry around a second device when my primary phone can allow me to use them.

I understand all the "purist" comments on this thread, but they are all personal opinions. Jolla, as a company, needs to increase their impact on the mobile market in order to increase their market share. That will not happen when it is out-featured by alternatives. Hell, there isn't even a Skype client in the Jolla store, not to mention 1000s of AAA apps (not games) that people rely on daily.

Everyone has the ability to remove Android support if they want to. That's not a reason to omit it entirely - freedom is maximizing features and allowing people to pick what they want. Purism and Freedom are mutually exclusive.

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I agree with your post but "Purism and Freedom are mutually exclusive." is horseshit.

nthn ( 2014-12-16 01:04:59 +0300 )edit

Your opinion is only personal as well.

Stability and freedom are in each others way occasionally, but purism surely isn't.

marsch ( 2014-12-16 09:14:55 +0300 )edit
  1. Failure of N9 is a totally different story. No apps and bad adoption was a consequence of cancelling N9 and not vise versa.
  2. Stop calling it "purism", it's a good word with a bad attitude.
  3. Running Android apps doesn't help Blackberry much. In the same time FireFox OS without Android support is growing (ok, I know it's another league, but hey...)
  4. Nobody wants to cancel Dalvik. It's about focusing more on native. You simply can't win with phone that "also can run Android apps", because native Android phone do and always will do it better.
MiLano ( 2014-12-16 10:01:59 +0300 )edit

I wasn't using purism in a bad way. As a dedicated Linux user, I have seen this attitude however. Omission of non-GPL OS features that are paramount to daily operation has crippled some distributions in the past. Others have adapted by bending the policy a little to stay relevant.

As for Blackberry... Running Android apps was supported but not possible without side-loading until OS 10.3 with Amazon store. Android support on Jolla is a lot more intuitive as all components are integrated and exposed to the user.

Re #4... Yes people have been making comments about canceling Dalvik.

Crypto ( 2014-12-19 13:35:51 +0300 )edit

@MiLano has the point there in his 1.)

N9 was cancelled because Nokia wanted synergy with WP, and that was the only real reason. Lack of apps (if there ever was a lack of apps, actually there were pretty much all you need) had nothing to do with it.

juiceme ( 2015-01-01 10:33:38 +0300 )edit

answered 2015-01-01 05:08:30 +0300

foss4ever gravatar image

updated 2015-01-08 13:04:25 +0300

No, you are not alone. I'd be using Jolla even if it didn't have Android-support at all (and currently after I have not installed AlienDalvik). I used to have it enabled for some months during last year or so to experiment with how does it work and what apps are available. The droid apps are (even in Jolla UX) just not cool or useful or #unlike enough for me to use them (even if some services out-there are only barely usable w/o them).

The only chance for Jolla and #SailfisOS to succeed in the long run is to increase and widen the reach, feature-completeness and popular service accessability with native Qt/QML/Mer/Nemo/Silica app provision. For this Jolla must focus more on #SailfishOS devs and initiate 3rd-party native collaborations, and ASAP make it possible to submit paid apps to.Jolla Store.

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answered 2014-12-14 23:48:17 +0300

mihlit gravatar image

I wanted to use Jolla without android support, but I found there is no native geocaching application, so I had to install android support to install cgeo.

Even if you do not need many applications, you probably won't be able to achieve "bearable minimum" with just native apps. Sure, it would be nice, but it's not possible. I don't think that no paid app support is the culprit. On N900 I had only free apps and had everything I needed (more games, geocaching app, offline voice navigation,...). I would guess that way too restricted api is bigger issue here. I (quickly) tried to port a few applications from maemo to sailfish and always hit some big barrier - it would require substantial changes for which I don't have enough time. I was working on some projects before I bought jolla and I can't stop all work just to get my phone to usable state.

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the official App Store doesn't even allow the submission of Apps using GPS yet ..

midnightoil ( 2014-12-15 02:53:35 +0300 )edit

I have been looking into making a geocaching app, but Groundspeak does not allow news app on their API, Garmins does not answer API key requests, and Opencaching.* seems to require a separate developer key for every region and have different API's. So for now I have shelved the project.

Kim ( 2014-12-15 15:33:23 +0300 )edit

I agree with you. It takes some time to customize the phone, so that it fits the needs. My experience with Android however is that the initial time for customization is less compared to Sailfish, but after this you spent more time tweaking this and that compared to Sailfish. However the show stopper for me ATM is the missing SyncML functionality and I can't sync my data the way I do with N9. I light a candle and say a prayer for the N9 every evening, so that it may work at least to the time when I will be able to use the Sailfish phone.

deloptes ( 2017-01-05 18:19:13 +0300 )edit

answered 2014-12-15 16:27:51 +0300

Fellfrosch gravatar image

At the moment I need still some Android apps, but i avoid that as best I can. At the moment I use apps for offline navigation, oflline dictionary and offline wikipedia further my beloved Crosswords and that's it. All apps are open source. I only use F-droid as Android Store.

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answered 2014-12-16 00:03:27 +0300

zappAtom gravatar image

I really love the "integrated apps" I still use a lot in my N9. From perfect messenger integration (XMPP, SIP, skype ;-), etc.) I think a phone does not need "only" apps but a good integration of core services. What I'll still miss on my newly ordered Jolla is:

  • SIP integrated
  • DLNA integrated
  • Offline maps (integrated in phone addressbook, etc)

Once Jolla gets a stock of such apps shipped with proper messenger integration (for lets say good protocls like SIP, encrypted "new" messengers), DLNA (PlayTo) from all media apps and file browser, then I think there's not so much need of Android anymore. If you wanna play games, ok, install them as Android apps but I hope Jolla focuses on a good stock experience and it will satisfy a lot of advanced users with this.

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answered 2015-01-01 18:06:14 +0300

thisisme gravatar image

I try to use native apps over their android equivalent, even if they have less features - e.g. libspotify and foursail. I do this because I want the platform to succeed. On the other hand, I need android support to run RSA SecureId app for the company vpn. And yes, I wouldn't have taken the leap to buy Jolla if it weren't for the Android support.

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@thisisme Great going , I am with you . Lets report more bugs and discuss on new features for native apps.

pavi ( 2015-01-02 06:09:41 +0300 )edit

answered 2015-01-03 21:47:20 +0300

mariner gravatar image

The only reason for Jolla's existence is its native capabilities, privacy and security. No-one needs more devices just to run Android apps. Android apps should be looked at as a short term measure. If they are relied on long term they will just kill Jolla. Why would anyone with any sense pay more much more than the going rate for less capable hardware and a system that has to emulate Android with all the inevitable bugs and inefficiencies?

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Completely agreee , Android apps are only for short term just to show that they work and if you are so dependent on a random app it works be happy for that. But basing entire sailfish development on the premise that there is already an existing android app or even prioritising compatability issues instead of native app development would just lead to a doom for both jolla and sailfish os.

pavi ( 2015-01-03 22:51:09 +0300 )edit
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Asked: 2014-12-14 23:08:03 +0300

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Last updated: Jan 09 '15