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Journalist writing about Jolla/Sailfish [not relevant]

asked 2015-05-04 17:00:04 +0300

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The question has been closed for the following reason "question is not relevant or outdated" by JSEHV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

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1

Here's the article..

glenf ( 2015-05-15 09:54:15 +0300 )edit

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1

answered 2015-05-06 21:36:48 +0300

meneer gravatar image

If you care about privacy, the best thing to do is to spread your identities and activities. 'Divide et Impera' still holds true as privacy is concerned. If you need an apple laptop for productivity and google apps in the cloud, then you are wise to pick another platform for you smartphone. That way the big providers are not able to profile you as one identity. So I have a split personality, no organisation knows all about me. I split my behaviour, takes some effort and some ease of use, but I gain some anonimity. So a Jolla with Sailfish fits nicely in this picture.

Then there's the matter of trust. Trust is a strange phenomenon. Ever since the Snowden revelations we know that at least the big American corps have to listen to not just their customers, but to governements even more. We don't trust them anymore. And that results in us leaving them for trustworthy initiatives. Either for companies that don't have to listen to govenments or for open source initiatives. I choose both: a small company and open source. Again, Jolla and SailfishOS fit nicely.

And the matter of sharing: using facebook, twitter, tumblr. By all means do so, but be aware that if you connect all services, then the providers can connect the dots as well. Or choose different solutions and different networks. I left facebook and joined a diaspora server. Not always convenient, but then again, it's my choice. And that's what freedom is all about.

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answered 2015-05-06 19:00:04 +0300

danfin gravatar image

this is such a sexy OS, very well done, nicely designed, a joy to look at and (mostly) easy to use. The calendar is perfectly useful yet not looking spectacular or crowded with functions. It's open OS leaves plenty to fool around in software, and the hardware is stylish. Swipe down do hook up is missing!

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answered 2015-05-06 18:16:57 +0300

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 2015-05-06 12:50:44 +0300

Pim gravatar image

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

I found the learning curve to be very short and the user experience to be very natural. The interface is clean and minimalistic. Whenever I have to go back to an Android device I find the interface a complete mess. But if people (whether ordinary users or developers) are used to something else and don't adapt easily, it could take some time. A first time user may be able to learn Sailfish more quickly than other interfaces. Everybody I show that you on Jolla can do everything with your thumb is amazed and wonders why their phones still have buttons.

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?

I think it is important but not the main driver for Jolla. There is a strong underdog appeal, people like to see a small company succeed. People also like diversity. They think it can't be right that in this industry that is supposed to be about innovation there are only two options to choose from.

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 there is room for improvements in Sailfish, there will be as they are actively developing it. In the mean time, no doubt the vast majority of users will prefer the golden cage, but the minority that doesn't is a lot bigger than the minuscule community of current Jolla customers, so their prospects for growth are substantial.

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Exactly, Jolla can very well be recommend for both heavy users and people not used to smart phones (check the how to videos and just start to sail). Jolla takes great care of its community.

JoHe ( 2015-05-06 14:58:39 +0300 )edit
2

answered 2015-05-06 08:43:45 +0300

Highmore gravatar image

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

I would put me in the ordinary user, I'm no developer and anytime I see a complex solution to a problem (especially involving lines of code) then I know I can't fix it. Having said that, I would say the Sailfish/Jolla experience is good - by no means perfect though. I use the Jolla as my everyday phone, and I get by just fine. Through the Android stores I've installed BBC Iplayer, Netflix, Tunein and a handful of other Android games and apps that don't exist in the Jolla store and they all work fine. Where possible, I use a native Jolla app in the (perhaps mistaken) belief that the system runs it more efficiently. That, and if possible, I'd rather use an app developed especially for the system. However, when I use my wife's Lumia 1020, or muck about on a friend's iPhone or whatever, I do notice that the OS is slicker than Sailfish. But, Sailfish is developing fast, and there are regular updates that increase usability all the time.

As for ease-of-use, I find Sailfish a breeze - I have come from the Nokia N9 so am used the a gesture-based OS. In fact, when I use my wife's Lumia, I find myself swiping the scree and feeling annoyed that nothing happens.

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?

I think there's an element of importance to this - I don't like how much of life has become digitalised, and how much so many different websites know about us. I've never been particularly active online - a little used Facebook account is all I really have, social media-wise, but even so it's worrying how much of ourselves is available, and how easy it is to uncover online vast swathes of what I would consider private information about people. Thus, I do like Sailfish and Jolla's approach to privacy, and their promises to never sell data etc.

As for the European company, it's nice to see the innovation, and it's also good to see ex-Nokia employees developing something new and fresh. Overall, I think that it's important to have some diversity in the mobile OS world, just to keep things from being dull or stale, and from keeping two companies from holding all the cards. I realise that Sailfish will never be anything more than a small niche, but at least it's something different - and it's great to see an active community play a strong part in the development of an OS, as well as the hardware with which to run the OS.

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?

Users coming from Android or IOS will have a problem adapting, I think, if only because you have to do a little more work to get things running well - finding patches on OpenRepos, for example. And yes, It's possible that people worried about privacy and data might leave IOS/Android/Windows Phone, but I think that it would have to be your biggest concern, as there are other phones (the Blackphone for example) that make a big deal out of privacy, and yet still run Android. However, the longer you stay with an OS, the more invested you are with it, and the harder it is to change. I think that's probably why OS users remain relatively stable. I came from the N9 though, which was being killed off and had bugger all apps anyway, so it's not a hard change to a new OS. However, if I had spent tens/hundreds of pounds on IOS apps would I make the change? Probably not.

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answered 2015-05-05 12:27:18 +0300

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 2015-05-05 11:36:37 +0300

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 01:30:25 +0300

bilgy_no1 gravatar image

updated 2015-05-05 19:17:41 +0300

  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 +0300 )edit
2

answered 2015-05-05 01:09:12 +0300

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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answered 2015-05-04 22:48:24 +0300

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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Asked: 2015-05-04 17:00:04 +0300

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Last updated: May 06 '15