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The blog from Marc Dillon about the Jolla plans for 2015

 
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spyder81
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PostPosted: Monday, 26.Jan.2015 15:55    Post subject: The blog from Marc Dillon about the Jolla plans for 2015   Reply with quote   

Marc Dillon wrote a blog about the plans for 2015.

As I started gathering people’s attention to start our first monthly meeting of 2015 last week, I realized that this was the third year anniversary of the Jolla Iteration process. Although we were founded a bit earlier in autumn of 2011, it was January of 2012 when we hired the first sailors, kicked off the monthly company planning and execution with the very first iteration meeting, and started our long journey together – and we have now only just begun!

Now we’re really excited to start sharing our monthly planning goals, activities, feelings etc. here on the Jolla blog! Even though we’re quite a small team here, there’s so many activities going on that we’re not going to cover them all. So what we’re doing here is offering you some highlights for the past & coming months, and also aiming to show what our priorities are currently, what we think has been satisfying, funny, or if we were disappointed about something.
So, what are the highlights of this iteration? The most fun thing for me was seeing our dedicated sailors planning huge amounts of work for the next month, sharing it proudly with others, and knowing that this is the kind of times when miracles happen. Now, some practicalities about that:
Sailfish OS development

The starting point in our Sailfish OS development is, that during 2015 we will see Sailfish OS evolve into a scalable mobile operating system capable of running on a range of devices with different form factors. It will also bring a renewed Sailfish OS user interface (UI). We plan to demo this evolution at Mobile World Congress in March 2015. We have now started to work full speed on the new UI framework changes and are currently in the prototyping phase. Our main driver is to introduce changes that:
1) enhance user experience on the phone and tablet; 2) strengthen the platform (OS) core; and 3) simplify implementation for a better managed code base.
Important areas we work on now include system update improvements, adaptation work for the tablet, and further performance improvements, to mention a few. During this month, we’re also working on the following new features:
Private browsing
Lock screen media player controls
Enable USB tethering in the UI
IMAP idle/push support
And as always, bug fixing is part of our daily work and will carry on in parallel with all of the above activities!
Read more details about the Sailfish OS roadmap and the development iteration here.

Events: MWC 2015 and FOSDEM!
This month on the business and marketing side of things we’re working hard on preparing our presence at the biggest mobile industry event Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2015 . A dedicated Jolla team, with people from different functions, are traveling to (hopefully warm) Barcelona, to show some Jolla love and passion to the MWC crowd! This month we’re working on the general messaging, the whole fair set-up, talking to partners, and planning all the activities on location. We’re also planning to do some community activity there, and we’ll inform more on this when the plans get clearer.

Next week a group of us are taking part in the open source developer event FOSDEM 2015 in Brussels. There will be a Sailfish OS related session hosted by David Greaves. If you’re attending the event, please join us at the community events as well. In the Jolla store you can download SailMe, a travel guide developed by Michele Tameni, which includes some info on Brussels and a FOSDEM schedule!

Factory visit in December
As you know, we’re currently working rigorously on all aspects of the Jolla Tablet, and during the last iteration of 2014 our Jolla team paid a visit to the production facility in Asia. During the very productive visit, our team and our partner went through all aspects to the production, schedules, design details, certification matters, just to mention a few agenda items. People at the factory were very excited to work with us and to help in making the world first Sailfish OS tablet! All in all, we’re now very confident with how things look on this side. A lot of work remains to be done, but we are looking forward to delivering the tablet to all of you soon.

No word about support for paid applications. Jolla obviously thinks that this is not important. They are releasing functions that got much less votes than support for paid applications. I can't understand this.

Private browsing(203 votes)
Lock screen media player controls(162 votes)
Enable USB tethering in the UI(37(!!!) votes
IMAP idle/push support(356 votes)

Only the last option comes close to the number of votes for support for paid applications(360 votes).
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PostPosted: Monday, 26.Jan.2015 20:39    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Quote:

No word about support for paid applications.

Sorry to say, but I've had enough of this cr*p. It's been now some TWENTY MONTHS since I ported my applications to Jolla, and since then like a fool been waiting for Jolla to even just SAY anything. I would accept numerous delays (knowing what size and budget they have) if only I could see just about ANY interest of theirs in it. The way they insolently and stubbornly refuse to even just respond to anything related to this topic, clearly shows that this just ISN'T part of their twisted plans, and all those repeatedly asking about support for paid apps are treated like disturbers and just ignored.

I'm afraid that I am one of the LAST developers who've been still waiting, as no other developers ask about it anymore. Those few remaining like me will give up by spring, too, and no one will remain. And even if Jolla change their minds one day, no one will bother to come back. Once people get involved with some other platform (any randomly chosen of them much bigger and more profitable for a developer than Jolla) no one will bother to go back to a platform like Jolla again.

So I'm afraid that the case is lost already now. By stubbornly ignoring this problem for so long, Jolla has caused that Sailfish OS will remain a platform with only (semi-working) Android apps and a handful of hobbyistic native projects forever.

Case closed, be seated.

P.S. That thread at TJC is now ELEVENTH most voted for topic out of some 9200. Of course, without any response from Jolla who created that thread. What a cr*p.
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PostPosted: Tuesday, 27.Jan.2015 13:13    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Support for paid apps is now on the tenth place with 376 votes. I think Jolla is blind or acts like they don't see it. Obviously they think that Android apps will bring them fortune.

Michal, there are enough users who are reporting that some Android apps are not working very well on the Blackberry Classic. They need time to load and crash. Blackberry has put a lot of effort to bring the ACL, but it's just not working the way it should. Actually it' not a suprise. Android apps are written for Android and not for BB10. When the user buys the Classic he thinks that Android apps are working the same as on the Android device. When those apps are not working very well the user thinks that BB10 can't compete with Android.

Blackberry has better support for Android and my guestion is: does Jolla think that they can do it better? The answer on this question is a big NO.
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PostPosted: Tuesday, 27.Jan.2015 14:11    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

@Michal:

Thanks for your efforts on together.jolla.com emphasizing the need for paid app support. Let's hope they will listen this time and give an answer.

@spyder81:

I think it depends of what you need. I mostly use the ACL to play some games and use some simple specialised apps that are not available for minor platforms. I have no issues there. But I know of the restrictions of the ACL and do not expect more. That's probably not the case for mainstream users...
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PostPosted: Tuesday, 27.Jan.2015 21:27    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Quote:

I think Jolla is blind or acts like they don't see it. Obviously they think that Android apps will bring them fortune.

They aren't blind. Every other top voted topic has responses or comments from Jolla, just not this one. They clearly omit it consciously.

As someone wrote in that thread, Android apps bought by Jolla users only bring money to Google and to Android developers. Some Jolla user wrote he already spent 60 Euros on Android apps in Google Play store, which (if assumed a typical amount spent on apps by a user and multiplied by let's say 50,000 owners of Jolla phones) gives whopping 3 million Euros paid to Google rather than Jolla. Considering that app stores usually take around 30%, for Jolla this means around 1,000,000 Euros of lost income. Moreover, I'm quite sure that if there was a decent app store with decent native apps, there would be considerably more owners of Jolla phones, which in turn would further raise the profit.

But they clearly CAN afford losing it.

Quote:

Michal, there are enough users who are reporting that some Android apps are not working very well on the Blackberry Classic. They need time to load and crash. Blackberry has put a lot of effort to bring the ACL, but it's just not working the way it should.

Blackberry Classic (as well as all the remaining Q series phones) has a 720x720 display which is a resolution and aspect ratio NOT PRESENT on Android. And so is 1440x1440 of the Passport. This is why many Android apps which work correctly on e.g. the Z10 / Z30's wide/tall display crash or misbehave on phones with square screens. Android developers usually do care to make their applications resolution-independent but only within the aspect ratios supported on Android, while 1:1 screens are very different than any Android's aspect ratio. So this is not the Android runtime but the exotic aspect ratio of the screen which causes problems. On Z10/Z30 compatibility level is really OK and it is now hard to find an application which wouldn't work.

Quote:

Blackberry has better support for Android and my guestion is: does Jolla think that they can do it better?

Even if one day Jolla provides the same ACL as BB10 (which has a more advanced ACL version with support for newer Android, better integrated with the OS in terms of e.g. full multitasking - every Android app is a separate ACL instance - etc.) it still won't substitute for native applications' fully native look and feel, full performance, full OS integration, etc. Android apps running in ACL are also much less power/resource efficient - a simple online gallery viewer makes my Z10 literally hot and drains whole battery within two hours of browsing while native viewer of the same online gallery keeps the phone entirely cool and after two hours of browsing battery level is still 90% or so.

Security of Android apps in ACL is also still a big question. Even on BB10 where permissions are taken really good care of, Android apps still behave really weird. Some Android permissions are granted without asking the user to accept them, some remain in use even if disabled upon installation, etc. I've got at least a couple of Android applications installed which still stubbornly autostart some kind of background service and work in the background whenever they want, even though I completely removed those permissions using Advanced Permission Manager and on the BB10 side I disabled the "Run in background" permission for them. Compared to this, native apps fully depend on all permission settings, and the permission system itself is also much more advanced/flexible letting the user enable/disable every individual permission separately, at any time. Maybe it sounds not very important but in case of some malware it can have really awful effects.

Quote:

Thanks for your efforts on together.jolla.com emphasizing the need for paid app support. Let's hope they will listen this time and give an answer.

At least I managed to attract some more people's attention to this issue. Within those two weeks the topic got so much votes that it is now the 10th of all. If Jolla keeps ignoring it then it will make it clear that they are not going to do anything about it.
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PostPosted: Thursday, 19.Feb.2015 20:54    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

I start to wonder if the reason for this reluctance of Jolla to support paid apps can be traced to some kind of planned joint venture with Nokia. I.e. that there is an idea of just polishing the operating system and then step back and let Nokia operate the store in the future rather than building up a paid app store and then merge it into some kind of future offer.

It feels like a logical thing would be to create something similar to Sony Ericsson with UIQ Technologies and then create a joint venture or simply "buy the system from Jolla" as a separate company now with Microsoft out of the picture and Nokia moving toward their own devices again. I.e. that Jolla will be a provider of the operating system, which then is paired with a paid app store from other sources.

Otherwise, there's no logic with the reluctance to support paid apps UNLESS some kind of agreement exists (an agreement kept in secret due to the sensitive nature of the Microsoft affair, i.e. to avoid risk for legal action if Nokia all of a sudden announce that they are entering a partnership with Jolla right now and that they are going to release devices immediately when the Microsoft agreement allow them to use their name again).

Considering the launch of the Nokia N1, it feels like a future cooperation would be logical since that tablet indicate a desire of Nokia to return to the device business even if they keep it secret and put out smokescreens (again to avoid legal issues as long as the MS buyout agreement is in place).
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PostPosted: Thursday, 19.Feb.2015 23:25    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

But if Nokia want to take over sailfishOS then why not make a SailfishOS tablet right away? Rather than buying jolla, they could license the OS for use on tablet, and only later, when they are allowed to make phones again buy the company.
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PostPosted: Friday, 20.Feb.2015 00:15    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Ketilk wrote:
But if Nokia want to take over sailfishOS then why not make a SailfishOS tablet right away? Rather than buying jolla, they could license the OS for use on tablet, and only later, when they are allowed to make phones again buy the company.


I would assume their main intention is to push smartphones and I think it is too sensitive still to start using Sailfish right away even in a tablet considering the whole history of the Microsoft/Nokia constellation.

The most logical thing to do is to just let Jolla work on Sailfish, refine it and then - when the time is appropriate announce a deal where Nokia license the system (or enter a joint venture of some kind).

Considering the release of the Nokia N1 and the Jolla tablet almost simultaneously, I think there is something more to this than just a "lucky coincidence".

What I think will happen is that Nokia release a couple of Android based products (tablets) and include LTE connectivity, including a 7 inch tablet or something until they re-enter the smartphone market with a series of both Android and Sailfish products, sharing hardware (but perhaps different design).

Since most of the R&D went to Microsoft, introducing Android based products first makes sense before having moved into such a position that official agreements with Jolla is appropriate.

If Jolla is acting totally by themselves, the lack of paid apps etc makes absolutely no sense but being tasked with perfecting the system instead of focusing on the paid app store - makes sense if they see a future with Nokia as a partner (I am not sure Nokia will buy Jolla but rather do something similar to UIQ - i.e. letting them develop the system as subcontractor).
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Michal Jerz
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PostPosted: Friday, 20.Feb.2015 12:01    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Quote:

I start to wonder if the reason for this reluctance of Jolla to support paid

Not just paid apps, it's native apps in general. Lack of support for the most useful Qt libs (and QML imports) makes it impossible to release in their store any native applications more advanced than what you can find there (i.e. TV guides, calculators, etc.). Even as basic (and as frequently used) modules as QtPositioning and QtLocation have been still missing.

Quote:

that there is an idea of just polishing the operating system and then step back and let Nokia operate the store in the future rather than building up a paid app store and then merge it into some kind of future offer.

If so, then they might refrain from launching support for paid apps. But they don't do anything to enable proper development of native apps in general, no matter free or paid. Even if I wanted to release all my apps for free, I can't do it because nearly all of them require positioning and location (and a couple of other things too) and none of them is allowed in the Jolla Harbour....

A possible future joint venture with Nokia makes sense and doesn't seem totally unlikely, but I can't see why would it be preventing Jolla from at least keeping developers interested in developing for Sailfish OS. Without the possibility to release any advanced apps in the Jolla Harbour (even for free), by the time such a joint venture with Nokia could be announced, I doubt if anyone will remain still developing for Jolla just for pure fun. And then attracting developers to return to Sailfish OS (even under the Nokia brand) wouldn't be easy because once people get involved with developing for other platforms they simply have no time to start experimenting again with such a tiny one.
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PostPosted: Friday, 20.Feb.2015 12:47    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Quote:

Even if I wanted to release all my apps for free, I can't do it because nearly all of them require positioning and location (and a couple of other things too) and none of them is allowed in the Jolla Harbour....


At least not in the Jolla Harbour.
OpenRepos (which feels a bit like extra-testing from N900 times...) is full of apps that include funcionality not possible with harbour rules.
Seeing that a lot of those apps work really well makes it even harder to understand why these modules are not allowed in Harbour.
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PostPosted: Friday, 20.Feb.2015 20:56    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

OpenRepos is really nice, but such distribution method clearly doesn't attract any new developers. It is quite a closed, small group. Serious developer companies surely won't consider such distribution channel viable for them.

You're right, all the Qt libs not supported by Harbour can be used in apps distributed via OpenRepos (or anywhere else). In fact, all my applications I ported to Jolla have been using e.g. QtLocation and Positioning for many months, without ANY issues. The more surprising it is that they stubbornly keep blacklisting them in the Jolla store. I guess that it prevents many developers from making apps for Sailfish OS, as due to no official support for many Qt libs such developers don't want to waste time on making apps now and then possibly have to modify them if there are any changes regarding those Qt modules when (if at all) official support finally comes for them.

Anyway, as I wrote in another thread, I've just updated my Nexus 4 to the latest Ubuntu Touch build and guess what.... paid apps have been supported in the Ubuntu store since the day they started selling the phones. For now, only Paypal payments are supported, but it's surely better than nothing. A few paid paid apps are already available, both from Canonical and 3rd party. Something that Jolla hasn't been able to provide for 1,5 years now. And of course all kinds of QML imports are clearly supported as there are e.g. multiple mapping and location-based apps and scopes in the store.

Guess where all those waiting for 1,5 years for Jolla to enable normal native development will now go.
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