Video: Jolla UI Video ( + Demo on N950 ) Update: A better demo on N950

| November 21, 2012 | 167 Replies

Jolla just revealed the UI for their Sailfish OS. To me, it is a Harmattan-Playbook OS hybrid. The UI brings with it a double tap to wake feature (based on the demo we saw on stage), swipe to exit apps, swipe up on homescreen for the launcher, swipe down for the status info (battery, carrier signal etc.) and much more!

The multitasking view is on the homescreen in a similar manner to Playbook OS, with the same sort of “cards” as BB10 and Harmattan. What is better though, is the fact these act like widgets. For the music player, you can swipe the square on your homescreen, and it will change tracks. Clearly this is the best multitasking experience seen on a smartphone. The “ambience” feature is cool. Simply choose an image and “create ambience”, for the color scheme of the device to adjust to the selected image.

There are two videos below, the first being the official presentation as posted by Jolla, with the second being from a Finnish site, which shows the demo on an N950.


Something to point out; from the event we saw a list of partners such as carriers like DNA, but also software companies like Opera. Myriad appeared on the screen too. Sound familiar? They were the company behind making one of the android compatibility layers for MeeGo. In case you think it is a different Myriad, the second video linked shows an Android icon, plus the Sailfish OS wiki QA page, mentions Android apps.

What do the Android app developers need to do get their apps run on Jolla devices / devices based on the Sailfish OS?

Many Android(TM) applications will run on Jolla devices unchanged (Android is a trademark of Google Inc.). If you want to take advantage of all UI and other features of Sailfish OS and make your applications fast, you can port your applications to native QT/QML. There are extensive guides available on how to do that.

I am definitely excited and pleased for the ex-Nokians who have achieved something remarkable in a relatively short time.

Update: Here is another demo on the N950, and is better in my opinion, this time being shown by Jolla’s Senior Designer, Jaakko Roppola.


Category: Event, Jolla, Linux, MeeGo, Video

About the Author ()

Hi! My name is Michael. Like the others, I'm also a Student, living here in Sydney. I have a real passion for the latest technology and I'm a real Nokia buff! My aim is to keep those of you, like myself, updated with the latest in what's going on in the Nokia World. Currently sporting N9 & Lumia 820, with other Nokia devices in my posession. Get in touch on Twitter via @MFaroTusino, Google Plus or even simply drop me an email at mike.mnb[at] or tips[at]
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  • swain

    The new OS has a lot of potential and moreover it looks pretty awesome.
    I think there will be a fine day when Nokia will welcome Sailfish to home and that will be the day many Nokia fans(may be turned to ex-fans) will buy a Nokia phone without thinking about what OS is running inside or how much RAM or how many cores are ticking inside.

    • sumodk

      R u still using nokia 808. Is it worth buy?

      • swain

        The price of 808 has dropped heavily but I won’t recommend it now. Better go for 820 as it may be priced similar to 808.

        With 808, you have to live with occasional freezing, occasional drop of wifi, less apps and a 169 gm brick.

        If you need a super cameraphone, xenon flash and feature-rich belle fp2, 808 is still an option which can’t be ignored.

        And Yes, I am still using it and proud of it’s snaps.:)

  • chernov

    sailfish running on the n950. oh the irony

    • dss

      Does it say Nokia on the device… I can’t see any branding on it.. I wonder how Nokia feels about that.

      Also, from what I see so far.. harmattan is better.

      • Pathetic

        I agree with you , the ui of jolla does not compare to the meego harmattan . nokia UI is simply beautiful . the advantages that I see in this project is the openess and myriad , Nokia still may reconsider if the N9 had myriad , right now nokia were rubbing elbows with android. why will such assholes in nokia ?

        • Grazy

          i sort of agree, I like some of the new features but prefer the swipe UI (N9 where you see your app move and the layer underneath come into focus. This is not as smooth but the gesture is almost the same! and i prefer moving left and right not up and down.

          The open app controls from multitasking screen reminds me of the concept windows phone cube thing! did MS patent that idea recently?

    • Gäst

      Jolla wont show their new device until late december, so i guess they used another device.

  • Tak

    Finally something to be a fan of in a Nokia page.

    • j


  • Great to see some real news, hope to see real phones soon too!

    • they said they will announce the devices on december

  • Daniel

    the ui is awesome, now just wonder about the hardware. do they really find a good manufacturer on tat

    • dss

      They should just buy the Nokia factory in Finland.

      Otherwise.. they are stuck with Foxconn, Compal.. the usual.

      • incognito

        I don’t think a small, almost-start-up-level sized company could afford their own manufacture. It will be quite some time before they’ll be able to invest in manufacture – provided they are interested in that in the first place.

        • jiipee

          And what Nokia did in Salo was mainly assembly. And the operations were handled mainly by Foxconn. And the assembly premises are already sold forward 😉

          In a interview by Finnish tv, they’ve said that they would like to have the assembly made in Finland, but it is tricky since all the infra is already lost. All the former Nokia subcontractors are sold to Asia (eg to Foxconn) or have went bust (Elcoteq). Elcoteq was very much run down by Nokia since they abruptly terminated their contract and switched those volumes to Foxconn.

  • Julius

    I like the ui, it makes bb10 look like windows mobile 🙂 i like the consistency and look, hoping that they implement the synergy of social networks and rss-feeds in a way that can match harmattan.

    • migo

      Hardly. It has some neat things that BB10 doesn’t, but BB10 is still much better thought out for usability.

      • Shane

        Hold on there big boy, you wouldn’t be casting judgement long before you’ve actually used both would you*, yeah that’s pretty common for you though isn’t it.

        *like the poster you address.

        • migo

          Don’t have to have used both. Sailfish defaults to going to the multitasking interface, which makes the transparent swipe useless. If it went to a notifications interface it would be great. BB10 has already gone through several revisions to get to the usability it has now, while Sailfish is going to need at least another year of testing and design to get to a similar point.

          • Shane

            Sorry but you most certainly do, it’s still not nearly as far along as the device you’re comparing it to, & neither are in totally finished states. You do if you’re being totally impartial & clinical, which you’re not.

            • migo

              No, if you have an understanding of how things work, you can tell just by watching how well something will work. That’s the same type of critical thinking necessary to develop a good UI in an efficient manner. It’s something I’m capable of, and you, evidently, are not.

              • Shane

                Demos of the full extent of the UX IS NOT all out there yet, if you play an active role in the dev side of things with them you’d know that.

                And again, videos ARE NOT a substitute for using/testing the device “in your hand”, no matter how much you may want to claim so, based solely on you supposedly possessing greater powers of critical thinking.

  • am i the only one who wants to install sailfish on my n9?

    • glenn

      no, you are not alone…. i can’t wait !

    • Golan

      Eventhough i should spend $20..

  • viktor von d.

    i don’t like the transparency in the os. looks tacky with images behind those cards.
    the ui has potential,it looks right now like a combination of nokia ui concepts,wp and bbx.
    also the swiping stuff doesn’t seem to easy to use on a day to day basis when you move fast with your phone and don’t want to put to much attention when operating with your finger. the n9 had a beautiful ui,simple,easy to use, straight to the point. they have a chance if they are gonna license it, get other oems support. if the os is fast,fluid,stable then i hope it hits android hard

    • migo

      The transparency for swiping over is good, it’s more practical than Harmattan. On the flip side, transparency over to the multitasking UI is a lot less useful than transparency to notifications.

      • jiipee

        I like it as well. It could still start minimizing as a card to the spot it takes on the multitaskin grid. It would give better visual signal on what is happening.

        • migo

          That minimisation is something that Apple would do. Visually appealing but practically useless.

          The other thing they could do is go the widget route with multiple home screens, so you could have a notifications widget, or a multitasking widget, or whatever other widget you want so it is tailored to how you want to use your phone.

    • Viipottaja

      Fully agree… the transparency needs to be, IMO, adjusted down a bit, now it seems a bit confusing. Not sure how well the interacting with the Tiles and the Pulley Menu work also on a day to day basis.. seems like the demoing guys do it very carefully, but it might also just be (hopefully is) them trying to make sure its not missed by the media.

      • Aard

        The transparency allows you to quickly see the device status. If you check the video you’ll see that once the application gets transparent you can see the clock, battery status, network status, … easily readable, far bigger than it would be possible in that tiny status bar. If you only push a bit, and then remove your finger you’ll be back in the application: The transparency allows us to get rid of the status bar, _and_ allows you to easily view system status from any application, even non-native ones.

  • Paul Grenfell
    • Sam


  • EmmanuelM

    Wow .. This looks great pretty cool, I need to buy a N9 now..

  • EmmanuelM

    Ho by the way… Did anybody noticed the very small number of comments for any Lumia related post on this site ? Generally between 5 and say 30… Here we are already at more than a 100…

    • Pierre Lavoux

      I think MeeGo based mobiles are more attractive and inspiring for users, that is the reason. I also think we are observing a moment that creates the history of the mobile industry. That is amazing for me this is happening without Nokia. I really would like to buy a MeeGo Sailfish mobile from Nokia, and I hope one day this will be possible – before or after there will be left the burnt earth under platforms only 😉 that was irony of course.

    • migo

      That’s because there’s a lot more Lumia news. And the Symbiots have generally stopped trolling Lumia posts.

    • Sam

      bcoz next to nobody cares for WP crap!

    • Tomi


    • swain

      There is a smell(flavour) of Nokia in Sailfish which is not there in WP and people like that smell:)

      • Tired


  • belle and jolla beat lumia 920

    any more hands-on video

  • Reonhato

    All it needs now is a glitzy theme for the mass consumers. Yes, I know most of us here (phone enthusiast) prefer the simple styling but lets be honest here, the glitz will help for the rest.

  • Andri19S

    Sailfish UI look like windows phone with swipe

    • swain

      Cards look better than Tiles..

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  • Sailfish does look like a cross between BB10 and WP8 to be honest, not sure what you guys think