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Journalist writing about Jolla/Sailfish [not relevant]

asked 2015-05-04 17:00:04 +0200

dscally gravatar image

Hello everyone

I hope you'll forgive me using this forum but I am a journalist with an Irish newspaper - and a new Jolla user -- writing an article about Jolla/Sailfish as part of an article called "De-Google My Life".

I am interested in privacy issues and data protection, but have little technical

  1. How would you describe the Jolla/Sailfish experience for ordinary users (not developers)?

  2. How important do you think it is for people - particularly in Europe - to embrace a European phone/mobile operating system -- to liberate themselves from Google/Apple?

  3. I'm an ordinary user, though able to play around with my computer. Yet I'm having teething problems with some things like CalDav/CardDav (syncing with my Apple laptop). How realistic do you think it is that users depart the comfort of the "golden cage" offered by iOS or Android (with their cloud services) over abstract data concerns as flagged by Edward Snowden?

Many thanks for your help. Perhaps we can get an interesting debate going!

Derek Scally THE IRISH TIMES

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The question has been closed for the following reason "question is not relevant or outdated" by JSEHV
close date 2016-02-01 19:39:35.985160

Comments

1

Here's the article..

glenf ( 2015-05-15 09:54:15 +0200 )edit

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15

answered 2015-05-04 18:43:03 +0200

chemist gravatar image

1. How would you describe the Jolla/Sailfish experience for ordinary users (not developers)?

Limited? Although, Jolla is on its way to SFOS2.0, it is still beta0.9-ish though - I am using it as my daily phone though. But without using android you are boxed in with close to no usability. Unified messenger is of no use if there are no services available/integrated. Quiet nice are browser and email, for those who use it there is Google-sync and MSExchange, last time I checked *DAV did not work that well with my owncloud server though (need to check that again I guess). From the looks of it, SFOS2.0 will be the real deal in terms of stable release and hopefully drags more attention to developers so we see some more native solutions and most of all contributions to the already FOSS parts upstream. From a user perspective, it is faster and less buggy than most other "freshly rising" mobileOSs, especially android and iOS have been a lot worse in their early years.

2. How important do you think it is for people - particularly in Europe - to embrace a European phone/mobile operating system -- to liberate themselves from Google/Apple?

As this is a religious question, I find it very important to set people free from the corporate grab we currently have. Even though there is CyanogenMod I will probably not buy an Android driven device again any time soon. I despise both companies for their change in policy (or their hardlining). Apple used to be the artistic outlaw fighting its place against Microsoft, Google used to aim for free development yet both have become the biggest data-mining enterprises of our history, making money with what they know about us, worst part is they make you think that it is to give you a better experience just like anti-terror-big-brother laws should make you feel safe.

3. I'm an ordinary user, though able to play around with my computer. Yet I'm having teething problems with some things like CalDav/CardDav (syncing with my Apple laptop). How realistic do you think it is that users depart the comfort of the "golden cage" offered by iOS or Android (with their cloud services) over abstract data concerns as flagged by Edward Snowden?

What I see is people being hypocrites, on the one end they use WhatsApp, Hike.In, gDrive, dropbox, AOL, skype or some other service eating your address-book with great pleasure but on the other they try to deactivate all shipped-with data-farming, complain about A-GPS needing internet but post their location every other second to social-networks. People are ok with NSA BND spying to prevent terrorism but don't recognize that it is only about technology theft and who's market is to protect. So no, ordinary users need to have everything on a silver platter and it has to be mainstream already or they do not care. People buying a SailfishOS product only count as ordinary user to some extend in that regard, they probably do care more about freedom of choice than they do care about security.

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10

answered 2015-05-04 22:48:24 +0200

DavidJ gravatar image

Hello Derek

It's difficult avoiding a long-winded, rambling response but I'll give it a whirl.

I'd describe myself as a typical, non-technical user of my generation (60+). I have no interest in games, music, Facebook or Twitter but want to maintain good communications with friends and family and be able to record and share the occasional picture, video or sound file. I've experimented with iPhone, Android and Windows phones and hated them and I dislike the idea of storing personal stuff on anonymous servers. Prior to acquiring my Jolla in early 2014, I had been using my Nokia N8... a particularly difficult act to follow!

Although I know nothing about coding, I'm curious and prepared to be adventurous, to the point that I ditched Windows XP from my desktop PC in favour of Ubuntu. The idea of a new phone and OS from former Nokia people excited me and I ordered my Jolla as soon as I could. Initially there were some operational hiccups that caused me to become the butt of my sons' jokes but software updates came through regularly from Jolla and from my point of view most things are working the way they should.

Not really knowing much about the whole open source idea, I think that I expected there to be thousands of software geniuses out there who could develop native apps for Sailfish at the drop of a hat – although I've little doubt that there are geniuses out there, they aren't working on stuff that I want with the result that I have to wait for Jolla to get there and in the meantime I have to make use of the Android compatibility feature which is stuck on version 4.1.2 and won't allow Android apps to communicate with Jolla's Bluetooth. This prevents Android Here navigation from functioning properly if Jolla is being used hands free via Bluetooth and prevents Jolla from communicating with most fitness bands/watches.

The idea of a customisable phone is brilliant but we're talking about a very small demographic that won't be commercially sustainable and is unlikely to attract attention from app developers. A lot of the stuff that is being discussed on these sites is way over my head but there is some brilliance, notably some of the patches and routines developed by Coderus. The big problem is that for all the positives associated with open source and community development, progress, although good, can be painfully slow when waiting for official updates. Obviously, judging by the number of postings related to crashes and various bits and pieces not working, lots of users do various tweaks and run into trouble. With some exceptions, I've waited for official releases and probably because of this I've avoided problems. Remember, the camel is a horse designed by committee!

By the way, I'm in Greystones.

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answered 2015-05-04 17:25:41 +0200

Nieldk gravatar image

How would you describe the Jolla/Sailfish experience for ordinary users (not developers)?

SailfishOS is at its early stages. And I think you will find that most people actually do one of two things 1) they develop 2) they are curious about this new UI design and obviously the hardware. If you read these pages along with talk.maemo.org pages, there is a good indication that the device is not yet ready for ordinairy users. You will also find that the people who bought one is expressing hope that it will bcome more such a device.

How important do you think it is for people - particularly in Europe - to embrace a European phone/mobile operating system -- to liberate themselves from Google/Apple?

For the majority of the buyes. Probably not a big issue. You will find here, and on TMO pages, that people are regulary posting about the Andorid support, which is embraced by I would say a good lot. That being said, you will surely also notice by looking through pages, that many, if not most, do have a wish for more Android applications to be ported to a native SailfishOS version. So, atm many rely on Google compatibility, but, I would say most actually are hoping that Jolla will not need it in the future.

I'm an ordinary user, though able to play around with my computer. Yet I'm having teething problems with some things like CalDav/CardDav (syncing with my Apple laptop). How realistic do you think it is that users depart the comfort of the "golden cage" offered by iOS or Android (with their cloud services) over abstract data concerns as flagged by Edward Snowden?

Security have an abvious concern. I say that from responses to the builds I have developed which are for a big part related to security. But also, many users are asking for encrypted messaging services etc. So, yes, security (privacy) plays a great role in what I have observed

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Comments

1

Android support in itself does not make users dependent on Google. It just means that we can access services through existing Android apps as long as there are no native solutions.

It's only an issue when apps require Google Play Services, since that means you'd need to install those packages of Google stuff on your device. Unfortunately, Google is moving more APIs from Android Open Source Project to Google Play Services, so an increasing number of apps will not work on Jolla out of the box and Google-free.

bilgy_no1 ( 2015-05-04 23:11:08 +0200 )edit

Many thanks. I moved to Jolla from an iPhone via Android. I installed a Firewall App on my Android phone and noticed how much traffic was going to and from Google Play Services and other Google connections. If I run Android apps on a Jolla phone (not bought from Play Store), have I once again opened a back-door to Google?

dscally ( 2015-05-06 16:37:22 +0200 )edit
4

answered 2015-05-05 01:30:25 +0200

bilgy_no1 gravatar image

updated 2015-05-05 19:17:41 +0200

  1. Sailfish experience I think the os is still quite a bit away from being able to compete with the established platforms. However, Jolla are only a tiny company, and it's amazing how far they've come already.

For the average person, the OS is probably still too unfinished. Also, many apps are still missing even though we have Android support.

This may change quickly once more partners come on board with the ecosystem. We've seen that before with Android in its early stages.

EDIT: Re-reading my answer, I think I've been a little too brief in this section. It is true that the smartphone experience of the Jolla is currently limited compared to other platforms. However, I've also had a tremendous amount of fun getting to know the system and using it. The gesture based controls are very nice and I miss them when I use an Android device.

What I also like is being part of the adventure of a small and highly motivated company. I admire their guts taking on a multi billion € industry with only 120 employees and a community.

And truly, the responsiveness of Jolla is a joy in today's world!

  1. Privacy It bewilders me that so few people really care about privacy. That's one reason for me to support Jolla. The other is that I feel more comfortable with European services than with American. In most other regions, such as Russia and China, there are alternatives to Google and Apple. Why not in Europe?

  2. will people move over? Not en masse directly. But there is clearly space for diversification in mobile operating systems. It's feasible to develop an interesting proposition with local partners such as telecom providers or content owners. Once you get a critical mass, developers will stay to pay attention. Currently, I see this happening with Firefox, who are also signing up hardware partners. I hope Jolla can soon follow suit.

EDIT:

The basic functionality is there in Sailfish, although not as polished as in the other systems. E.g. There is no system wide copy/paste yet, which is bothersome in some instances. Also, sharing seems to work only with native apps, so sharing a link through a messenger service requires a lot of switching. It's little issues like these that might frustrate people coming from other systems. Personally, I bought into Sailfish for the idealist reasons, and have a high tolerance for stuff that still needs to be improved. Really, over the past 17 months, the system has already been improved a lot and feels more stable than at the start. Still, there is a long way to go...

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+1 for your comments on privacy. I really don't understand why people don't take it more seriously - however, a real alternative is required. I'm hoping jolla can begin to provide this

Ryan ( 2015-05-05 16:14:40 +0200 )edit
4

answered 2015-05-06 18:16:57 +0200

dscally gravatar image

Many thanks to you all for your informed and thoughtful responses. I'll be sure to post a link to the article when it appears.

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answered 2015-05-04 17:55:12 +0200

blubdibub gravatar image
  1. I think the user experience for normal users is good. Not perfect but good. I would call myself an advanced user. Somewhere between ordinary user and developer. In my opinion you can easily use Sailfish OS without too much technical knowledge. Of course, if you switch from iOS/Android/WindowsPhone the first few weeks might be a bit different but I think you can easily get familiar with how to operate a Sailfish phone. The big advantage is that everything runs out of the box. So the standard features are all implemented and they are as easy (or easier) to use than on an Android phone. And, if the user wants, there are many possibilities to adapt the operating system. Maybe there are some rough edges if you want to use some popular android apps (whatsapp,...) and the iCal support isn't quite mature but the rest works more or less fine. If the user has someone who can help him with the inital setup and getting all his services running, I think Sailfish OS is at least as user friendly as any other mobile operating system. If not, then it might be a bit harder as iOS/Android/WP still pretty do-able for a common user.

  2. For me this is an important issue. I have de-googled my life nearly completely. Also I don't use Apple or Microsoft products. I think many Europeans would do something like this, if it would be easier.

  3. I maintain my own server systems for stuff like sync and backup. As long as it works, it is fine. But if you have a setup like I do, it requires work. Installing the latest security patches, search for ways to implement the service in your existing devices... So here is a huge trade off between privacy and effort. I think if you are not technically interested you don't want to go through all the struggle of having self-hosted services or searching a privacy compatible provider. So many people I know (even technology enthusiasts) stay with Google/Apple/MS just because its easy. So as long as there isn't a simple (idiot proof) way for encrypted mail or secure (selfhosted) sync and backup space at no extra cost the majority will stay in their comfortable Google/Apple/MS cages.

If you publish your article online, please post a link.

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answered 2015-05-05 11:36:37 +0200

Ryan gravatar image

I'm a regular phone user, though a developer by trade - I have only a passing interest in developing for this platform. I've never really got into linux and have little interest in learning. I am certainly attracted by the fact that jolla is a European phone company, and has an interest in protecting my privacy. I also like the idea of the other half as a concept and feel this is something that can be exploited further.

I thought that jolla was an easy enough device to use, until I gave mine to my wife who - although she quite comfortable with computers and mobile tech in general - struggled to use it and gave up on it after about 3 weeks. The OS has moved on considerably since then, but first impressions last and if jolla is to progress into mainstream consciousness then I think SF 2 has to be on the money.

I'm not particularly bothered that sailfish is not used by everyone - though I would like jolla to survive and I hope that the current sales will keep them operating without going into huge amounts of debt. I do feel that there are quite a few people out there like me that are interested in this kind of device, but just don't know about it.

The best thing about jolla is the sense of community, and the regular agile iterations to the software. This gives me the feeling that I am a valued customer.

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answered 2015-05-05 12:27:18 +0200

ultraboy gravatar image
1. How would you describe the Jolla/Sailfish experience for ordinary users (not developers)?

Using the Sailfish OS with the swiping paradigm is (after a short while) intuitive and quite cool, actually. Swiping, not pushing buttons is how touchscreen phones should work. So the basic stuff is quite easy, really, esp. compared to Android which I feel is quite hard for beginners - iOS is maybe the most user friendly. The App store and other Jolla infrastructure screams beta / enthusiast, however, and bugs & stability issues and lack of native popular apps (even though there are Android workarounds) make it hard to recommend to anyone without reservation - you need to have a "religious" reason, really. (security evangelist, open source buddhist, free spirit...)

2. How important do you think it is for people - particularly in Europe - to embrace a European phone/mobile operating system -- to liberate themselves from Google/Apple?

In the long run, I'd say freedom of choice and embracing an open platform is important when the Internet of Things really gets going... no fun if your home lightning system & all health data are tied to one system and you are forced to change because you don't have the $$$ for a new iOS device. People just aren't good at thinking in a longer perspective, we want the cool stuff now. The OS actually isn't important, it is the apps and what you can do with the phone that people care about.

3. I'm an ordinary user, though able to play around with my computer. Yet I'm having teething problems with some things like CalDav/CardDav (syncing with my Apple laptop). How realistic do you think it is that users depart the comfort of the "golden cage" offered by iOS or Android (with their cloud services) over abstract data concerns as flagged by Edward Snowden?

The calendar and (at first, until recently) Facebook integration worked pretty well on the Jolla but a small company is of course vulnerable to the big providers constantly changing their API's and locking in services to certain devices (Google Play)... so I'd say 99,9% of people don't really care about if Google owns their data or not, as long as calendar syncing, photo cloud storage and e-mail works. And they will buy the devices on which all those services run the smoothest. Ideologically inclined people will be a minority, always, unless extreme things happen in the tech world. The Snowden business will be forgotten in a few years among normal consumers, quite probably.

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answered 2015-05-04 17:27:30 +0200

ApB gravatar image

1) It has its problems but nothing that you can't work around it with a bit of effort or by installing stuff from places like openrepos. Probably this little effort required for some stuff will most likely discourage the average mom/dad/joe.

2) For me its not about being European or anything else. As for liberating from G/Apple its up to the user, his preferences, workflow, needs etc. Doable if you want to and willing to sacrifice not having the latest cool apps games etc.

3) Most people don't care about privacy, security and stuff like that. They want to get their job done. Google and apple offer a seamless way of integration in all their products. Whoever (other mobile OS) manages to get to that point and respect the end users privacy will most likely gain users. But it might take some time. As i said it's up to the end user to decide what he wants to sacrifice.

As for CalDav/CardDav Jolla are on it. You can upvote/comment on the respective threads and people around here will also help with setting up stuff.

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answered 2015-05-05 01:09:12 +0200

pavi gravatar image
  • How would you describe the Jolla/Sailfish experience for ordinary users (not developers)?

I consider some people as ordinary users especially the ones who haven't yet entered an android / apple eco system , they were really in awe with Sailfish OS and its gestures. The most surprising thing is that they liked the camera while I was more critical towards it . For some android users the swipe gestures really confused them and I made or infact forced them to do the tutorial and they liked the sneak preview and swipe from top to close.

  • How important do you think it is for people - particularly in Europe - to embrace a European phone/mobile operating system -- to liberate themselves from Google/Apple?

It is important for every individual despite his nationality to get out of these companies dominance/key role in their lives. Well coming to europe, I really appreciate the hardline stance taken by EU and the regular reports of NSA on news which would really encourage people to be more privacy aware than those from other nations.

Coming to sailfish os , I can run my own console tools like journalctl to know whats happening , interact with the pure Linux aka Glibc shell and run all my console based commands like top , powertop to check whats going on with my phone. Iptables the standard firewall could be configured .. for the curious ones even PGP with Mutt is possible.

  • I'm an ordinary user, though able to play around with my computer. Yet I'm having teething problems with some things like CalDav/CardDav (syncing with my Apple laptop). How realistic do you think it is that users depart the comfort of the "golden cage" offered by iOS or Android (with their cloud services) over abstract data concerns as flagged by Edward Snowden?

Yes its really hard. Some of the most default things you expect from a phone these days is the calendar syncing and it does work with the latest update atleast with owncould for sure. Many people instead of sending data again back to google or apple would prefer the data sent to owncloud instance which many people host themselves.

https://together.jolla.com/question/534/implemented-in-10716-support-for-caldav-based-calendars-eg-google-calendar-released/

There are other main things like PGP , addons support to the browser , better threaded support to mail , Koffice port to edit documents , VOIP via SIP as a Telepathy extension ( already in roadmap) .

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Asked: 2015-05-04 17:00:04 +0200

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