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Sony Xperia devices with Sailfish OS

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MeowTseDong
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PostPosted: Sunday, 22.Oct.2017 19:44    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Now when I'm trying to obtain one of those Xperia X, they are phased out and no longer available in the stores. Only the newer ones are available like XZ. Too bad they didn't go for a newer model as many of them actually have some attractive HW. THey are available in online shops but it is difficult for me to order one as I live in a van down by the river (which is not entirely true, living in a van would be an improvement for me).
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MeowTseDong
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PostPosted: Monday, 23.Oct.2017 23:39    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

So I managed to obtain one running through half the city. I managed to install SFOS but the instructions actually missed a few important steps that I had to figure out myself. This is not something that a normal consumer can do right away.

Anyway now SFOS is installed and it is really basic, even less applications than Symbian^3. Not even a map program or a calendar is installed. What have they done all these years? A calendar app is not that hard to put together. The UI is actually aesthetically pleasing and looks really good but interacting is more counter intuitive than BB10. All those swipes doesn't really fit and you are lost pretty quickly. With BB10 I got the hang on everything in one minute.

From a usability point of view BB10 wins without any contest. The UI there is just intuitive and it does the job.

The browser in SFOS is ok and the speed is also ok but browsing experience on Passport is in general better.

This can at least be a good backup phone. Previously I had my Nokia 808 for that purpose but browsing the net on that phone is in practice impossible today and SFOS fits that role better.

On a funny side note, Android was pre-installed but dealing with that just felt that I wanted to escape from it, despite being more comprehensive than SFOS today.
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MeowTseDong
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PostPosted: Tuesday, 24.Oct.2017 12:04    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Simple calendar app exists but you have to log in and download it from the "store". Map program also exists but it is an Android app and I will wait until I install the Android player.
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PostPosted: Tuesday, 24.Oct.2017 14:45    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

MeowTseDong wrote:
Not even a map program or a calendar is installed.


That's something I actually like on Sailfish as opposed to other companies installing tons of bloatware.

There is basically NOTHING pre-installed on the phone (also on jolla1) when you buy it. You have to decide you want it and install it then.

Would make more sense if there were any alternatives available, though...
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Michal Jerz
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PostPosted: Tuesday, 24.Oct.2017 18:30    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Quote:

There is basically NOTHING pre-installed on the phone (also on jolla1) when you buy it. You have to decide you want it and install it then.
Would make more sense if there were any alternatives available, though...

I suspect they did it solely due to some licensing terms which prevent those apps from being directly included in the OS.
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MeowTseDong
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PostPosted: Tuesday, 24.Oct.2017 23:21    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Well so far SFOS is not a too bad experiene and the Sony Xperia X is a quite good HW platform for the OS. There are things in the UI that can be improved but it definitely wins the beauty UI contest of all mobile GUIs. The preinstalled Android and then SFOS was going from a Fiat Multipla to a Mercedes CLS in visuals
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PostPosted: Wednesday, 25.Oct.2017 01:17    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

MeowTseDong wrote:
Well so far SFOS is not a too bad experiene and the Sony Xperia X is a quite good HW platform for the OS. There are things in the UI that can be improved but it definitely wins the beauty UI contest of all mobile GUIs. The preinstalled Android and then SFOS was going from a Fiat Multipla to a Mercedes CLS in visuals


Aren't you kind of contradicting yourself here: The UI of the SFOS is the best looking, but the Android is like a Fiat Multipla to the SFOS's Mercedes CLS, in other words Android is special and good looking, while SFOS is stretched out and pushed down just like the Mercedes CLS (I think it looks kind of like a Mercedes trying to look like a Jaguar, the Mercedes that is).

Just look at the fabulous look of the Multipla:

https://www.carthrottle.com/post/w8kv9dv/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgFJLwWa64A

(Your point is obviously that the Android UI is ugly like the Fiat Multipla, and SFOS is nice like a Mercedes CLS, and most people will probably agree with you in that analogy, but I have always found that I think the Fiat Multipla looks cool. Though cool doesn't necessarily mean nice, and even I have to admit it will be a stretch to call the Multipla "nice", so you may have a point with me with that analogy as well... But I just couldn't resist Twisted Evil Rolling Eyes Twisted Evil )

But to have some relevant content in this post as well: I am considering getting both an Xperia X, to try the SFOS, and a Blackberry Passport (and there I went off-topic again...) for the keyboard (and Blackberry OS). I'm still using my Nokia E7 as my main, portable e-mail device (with Profimail), but that is more or less all it works for these days, and really need to start looking at alternatives soon.

As I understand it there is no Android runtime and Android apps for the SFOS for Xperia? So no way of running Profimail on it?? The lack of keyboard would probably make that a quite poor e-mail device anyway... So the question will then be; will the Passport run at least the old version of Profimail (for Android) reliantly?? Or should I get the Blackberry KEYone or Priv to get the full version of Android and possibility to run the newest version of Profimail as well?? (I would really prefer a Nordic keyboard-layout, but have seen that at least the Passport uses the bottom of the touchscreen to give access to the Norwegian letters "æ", "ø" and "å", so as to not take up much screen-estate, and still have fast direct access to them. Is there a similar "function" on Priv or KETone?)

Well, to end somewhat more "on-topic": Would love to see a Nokia phone with physical keyboard (with Nordic layout!!) running SFOS. But it seems the chances of that is just slightly higher than for getting flying pigs, so I wont exactly hold my breath waiting for it.
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MeowTseDong
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PostPosted: Wednesday, 25.Oct.2017 09:06    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

You're first one I've seen mentioning anything positive about the appearance of Fiat Multipla. The anagoly with Android was "functional but ugly".

Android runtime for SFOS exists, you just need to download it from the "store".

Nokia making an SFOS device would be nice but I think it will not happen as they are already invested in Android.
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Michal Jerz
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PostPosted: Wednesday, 25.Oct.2017 09:56    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Quote:

Nokia making an SFOS device would be nice

What "Nokia"? What "making"? Nokia doesn't make absolutely anything. They merely license their LOGO to a Chinese company which designs and sells some (mediocre) Android phones under their brand. You can take a Nokia logo from some old Nokia phone and put it on any Android phone and it'll become more or less the same "Nokia" as what they now sell. Therefore, if you'd like to have a Nokia SFOS phone, place a Nokia logo on your current SFOS device and you won't miss anything.

Guys, let's face it at last: Nokia is now just a small group of people earning money for licensing a few things (the brand and some patents). Not a designer or manufacturer of anything. No R&D, no factories, no nothing.

Quote:

they are already invested in Android.

They haven't invested in anything. On the contrary, they earn money from selling their logo to the Chinese.

They're even less than BlackBerry, who at least maintain their customized version of Android (security related changes, BB touch sensitive keyboard stuff, etc.) and still maintain and further develop (and include in their Android version) their full suite of apps (BB Hub, BBM, DTEK, etc.), they also still maintain the QNX stuff for automotive solutions, whereas Nokia actually has JUST the logo...


As for BB10/Passport, an OS update came out yesterday and I'm very pleased with how it made my Passport work even smoother. Especially web browsing has become even faster and more fluid. As there were no changes in WebKit or the browser itself, they must have improved the general gfx handling (especially scrolling). So while maybe a bit rarely, but they still maintain BB10 on a fully usable (and actually enjoyable) and secure level.

The Passport is now a true bargain - brand new units can now be bought for as little as $150-200 and for such a sturdy (metal frame and build quality that lasts years) and still very fast for this OS (quad-core 2.3 GHz, 3 GB RAM) device it is really like nothing. Let alone BB10, but that amazing keyboard and huge screen have completely changed what I got used to on a smartphone and I'll really have a hard time to have to switch to something else in the future...

SFOS UI is really nice looking, but it's nowhere near the intuiveness and ease of use of BB10 UI, which indeed initially takes some time to get used to but then simply has no competition. Or maybe the upcoming new iOS will soon come close considering that they shamelessly copied BB10 gestures.
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MeowTseDong
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PostPosted: Wednesday, 25.Oct.2017 19:52    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Michal Jerz wrote:
They haven't invested in anything. On the contrary, they earn money from selling their logo to the Chinese.


Nokia might have very little money invested but the their Chinese developer has invested in Android knowledge and they are not likely to switch.

I would like that Nokia would create an SFOS phone but as I see it, when a phone developer go Android they stay there. Look at Samsung who have tried to get out of the grip of Google several times. I wonder if Samsung will give SFOS a try.

Anyway Sony should help Jolla porting SFOS to more of their devices. Their LCDs are great and has a gamut rivaling OLEDs. Jolla UI is basically pure eye candy on those screens. Another fun things with jolla that BB10 never implemented is that when you minimize the app, it will continue to update the minimized widget, for example a movie will continue in the minimized window.

The reason Sony allowed porting to SFOS is because I know that there are a lot of Russian developers working at Sony mobile. They have likely influenced this decision, however I don't think they met a lot of resistance as many would be open for such a move anyway.
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naytsyrhc
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PostPosted: Wednesday, 25.Oct.2017 21:59    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Quote:
Anyway now SFOS is installed and it is really basic, even less applications than Symbian^3. Not even a map program or a calendar is installed.


If you bought the the image from Jolla website, you should have a native map application AFAIK. It's without (voice) guided routing, without rerouting in case of a wrong turn and without offline maps, but it should be there (as native app).

If you need a more sophisticated navigation app, you can of course install e.g. here maps as android app or get e.g. poor maps from openrepos as native app. poor maps has (in combination with OSM scout server - also from openrepos) offline maps support, does rerouting in case of wrong terms and is quite a good solution (still missing voice guidance though).

Quote:
I managed to install SFOS but the instructions actually missed a few important steps that I had to figure out myself. This is not something that a normal consumer can do right away.


What did miss? I followed the instructions as well (and I had to do some extra steps, as I had to build the image for myself, as I can't obtain an official image for the Xperia Compact (yet)), but for me, all steps were clearly described and well documented.

The installation was quite "complicated" to be honest, but I can't see how this could have been made simpler.

It's quite a huge step you have to do. But that's not Jollas fault, but the problem with this procedure in general. You have first to unlock the bootloader (which is not easy), need to get the "permission" to do so from Sony website, have to prepare your computer to flash an image to phone (which for itself is not for the ordinary user) and after having all those steps, the actual flashing of the SFOS image was (at least for me) trivial, as you just had to run a simple script.

So it's the mobile phone industry that is to blame for these difficulties, as they normally do not allow any such things and it's nice from Sony, that as one of only a few companies (if not the only one?) opened that possibility and provide all the things needed to ease it.
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MeowTseDong
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PostPosted: Wednesday, 25.Oct.2017 22:48    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

naytsyrhc wrote:
If you bought the the image from Jolla website, you should have a native map application AFAIK. It's without (voice) guided routing, without rerouting in case of a wrong turn and without offline maps, but it should be there (as native app).

If you need a more sophisticated navigation app, you can of course install e.g. here maps as android app or get e.g. poor maps from openrepos as native app. poor maps has (in combination with OSM scout server - also from openrepos) offline maps support, does rerouting in case of wrong terms and is quite a good solution (still missing voice guidance though).


I bought the Jolla image from their store. There was no map application pre-installed and there is no native map application in the store. The available map application is HERE WeGo which is an Android application.

naytsyrhc wrote:
What did miss? I followed the instructions as well (and I had to do some extra steps, as I had to build the image for myself, as I can't obtain an official image for the Xperia Compact (yet)), but for me, all steps were clearly described and well documented.

The installation was quite "complicated" to be honest, but I can't see how this could have been made simpler.

It's quite a huge step you have to do. But that's not Jollas fault, but the problem with this procedure in general. You have first to unlock the bootloader (which is not easy), need to get the "permission" to do so from Sony website, have to prepare your computer to flash an image to phone (which for itself is not for the ordinary user) and after having all those steps, the actual flashing of the SFOS image was (at least for me) trivial, as you just had to run a simple script.

So it's the mobile phone industry that is to blame for these difficulties, as they normally do not allow any such things and it's nice from Sony, that as one of only a few companies (if not the only one?) opened that possibility and provide all the things needed to ease it.


The problem I ran into was when I was going to unlock the bootloader which was instructions from Sony. In order to be able to unlock the bootloader with fastboot, you have enable it in the settings inside Android. This wasn't clearly enough mentioned I think. There might have been an instruction about that but it wasn't clear enough and the error message didn't suggest it.

I figured it out after a little while though.

The installation wasn't that complicated. It was the unlocking that was the most complicated. Flashing SFOS was just running a .bat file.

Let's not flatter Sony too much. They agreed to make SFOS available on their phone and should provide convenient methods to do so.

Another thing is that the Sony part and Jolla part was kind of separated. They should really kept all necessary components in one package instead of chasing them around the internet. The question is which group of users they target. I would say they target the nerd market and in order to reach non-nerds they should make the installation more streamlined.
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Michal Jerz
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PostPosted: Wednesday, 25.Oct.2017 23:45    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Quote:

Nokia might have very little money invested but the their Chinese developer has invested in Android knowledge and they are not likely to switch.

Who cares about their Chinese licensee? Such Chinese companies are not to create anything, their only role is to order a batch of products in some Chinese factory and then distribute them. So how SFOS could benefit from it? It would mean absolutely nothing for the development of the OS, just like now in case of "Nokia" it means nothing for the development of Android. They don't even customize it with their own launcher or apps. As I wrote, Nokia is now even less (and much less) than the fading BlackBerry who at least maintain their own modified (security-wise) Android version and a large suite of applications and services (BBM, BES, and so on). There is no Nokia other than just a name and a few people to tell the Chinese which reference hardware to use in "their" next phone....

Quote:

I would like that Nokia would create an SFOS phone

How can Nokia create anything if they don't even have any R&D team. The only thing they do is choose between several available reference hardware options currently supported by the Chinese factory they work with, the very same way as some "hipermarket brands" like "MyPhone" do. Same way MediaMarkt, LIDL or ALDI can have their own Android phone and it won't differ at all except for the logo.

It's just like with e.g. Android smart TV set-top-boxes, e.g. the X96. There are 100 different brands of them but they're all the same and they even look mostly the same as they are made by the same Chinese factory, just ordered by many different sellers (and surely not "manufacturers" or "developers") so just named differently. No matter if you buy from "Tronsmart", "Measy", "Beelink" etc., you get exactly the same thing and the only difference is logo (and sometimes some details of the casing).

I understand your nostalgy but it's really the time to understand that Nokia is just a LOGO now and their only activity is to select from available options that the Chinese factory currently provides...

Quote:

when a phone developer go Android they stay there.

What "phone developer"? There is no such thing. Chinese manufacturers have a set of available options (reference hardware designs) and such "developer" merely chooses between them. That's the actual "development" they do, nothing else. In the very best case they can design their own housing for the device, but even that within some available options. It's like LEGO puzzles - you choose from some available pieces and the factory puts them together, glues your logo onto it and that's all.

Quote:

Look at Samsung who have tried to get out of the grip of Google several times.

Not really several times but actually only once with that dreadful Tizen that just couldn't have succeeded after they ripped Qt from it and all that remained was actually dumb Bada 2.0, which is maybe good for TV sets but not smartphones.

Quote:

I wonder if Samsung will give SFOS a try.

I doubt that any serious company will give a try an OS that doesn't even have development tools and documentation completed and polished. Their SDK is as a big mess as it was in 2013 and renaming it from alpha to beta didn't really change anything.

And except for a very basic Silica (i.e. QML) documentation, you won't find ANY OTHER developer documentation of the platform. Absolutely none whatsoever. You have to look for everything in the Qt documentation, and in case of any differences or limitations their tiny mailinglist (i.e. a few geeks sacrificing their free time to voluntarily respond) is your only hope for information.

It's the ONLY platform I've ever known that doesn't have developer documentation. For 5 years now.

Quote:

Anyway Sony should help Jolla porting SFOS to more of their devices.

Sony does not help anyone with it. They simply release some unlockable devices and let other companies (and ordinary users) put their own OS on them (either some tweaked Android build or an entirely custom OS), but they surely do not bother to do anything else about it.

If one asks something about SFOS on Sony Open Devices forum then the answer is usually as follows:

"i am sorry but Sony does not sell Sailfish on Xperia Devices. The Sailfish project is run by Jolla not Sony!"

which simply means that they do not intend to do anything about SFOS other than being aware that it can be installed on those unlocked phones and that they do not mind it. It is entirely Jolla's thing.

https://talk.sonymobile.com/t5/General-Discussion/Sailfish-OS-on-Xperi a-X/td-p/1255631

Quote:

Another fun things with jolla that BB10 never implemented is that when you minimize the app, it will continue to update the minimized widget, for example a movie will continue in the minimized window.

That's not really true. In BB10 you can update the contents of an active frame / cover / thumbnail (or whatever you prefer to call it) actually as often as you like, even every millisecond. A simple QTimer refreshing it with chosen intervals is all it takes. Or alternatively a simple signal/slot Qt mechanism can be used to update it only when needed, e.g. when something happens or some content changes. The only limitation is that the user cannot interact with it (it can't have an active button, etc., it can only be viewed). BlackBerry did not further enhance it because after headless apps were introducted in OS 10.2 users lost interest in minimizing apps and keeping them working as active frames, everyone preferred fully background apps.

Quote:

The reason Sony allowed porting to SFOS

Did Sony actually "allow" anything to SFOS specifically? No, they simply released some unlocked devices and made their configurations available for everyone on GitHub, so that actually anyone can install anything on them as long as it is compatible with that specific hardware. That's why it is called an Open Device Program. Hardly anything to do with SFOS specifically, it is open generally to everyone, of which Jolla just took advantage of.

I doubt that Sony's participation in it has been anything beyond "Go ahead, enjoy, we don't mind!".
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