As Finnish smartphone newcomer Jolla announced this morning, it has signed an agreement to license positioning services and map technology from HERE, a Nokia business, to be used in Sailfish OS. The Nokia HERE Maps and technology is already well known from Windows Phone and soon this will provide Sailfish OS users with up-to-date map data and rich location information, such as restaurants and hotels, from over 190 countries around the world. Enabling fast and accurate retrieval of positioning information anywhere in the world, these services are essential for any mobile maps experience. A global map and location content offering also brings Jolla one step closer to achieving a fully equipped mobile operating system.
As Jolla said, the mapping asset is an integral part of Jolla's complete user experience and Jolla CEO Tomi Pienimäki added that the company is excited that HERE is providing its leading positioning services for Sailfish OS and that the company's maps application will be powered by HERE cloud services: "This will help us deliver the optimal mobile maps experience to our customers".
Furthermore, Jolla announced that thousands of Android applications available for Jolla devices through Yandex.Store's Android app store. Following Jolla's earlier announcement that Sailfish OS archived Android compatibility, Jolla users can then easily download top Android applications from Yandex.Store, which run on Sailfish OS thanks to a fully compatible Android runtime provided by Myriad AG.
As Jolla unveiled, the store is currently featuring over 85,000 apps in 17 categories, from social networking and communication apps like Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Skype, Viber and WeChat to games like Angry Birds. Furthermore it was announced that the Yandex.Store will provide in-app purchase opportunities and will be available on smartphones and tablets in 37 languages.
As Jolla highlighted, an integral part of Jolla's Sailfish OS is the integrated Android compatible application runtime that Jolla has developed in co-operation with Myriad AG, a leading provider of software and services to the mobile and TV industry.
"Jolla's strategy is always to work with the most respectable service partners in specific markets and create long-term strategic partnerships. We analyzed a number of alternative Android app stores to use for our first markets in Europe, and quickly found out that Yandex's offer is very competitive and that they are very interested in developing their app store together with us for the needs of Sailfish customers", says Jolla CEO, Tomi Pienimäki.
Application developers can download the Sailfish SDK for free and start to submit applications to Jolla Harbour at harbour.jolla.com. Jolla Harbour is an open, free-of-charge application publishing portal that provides developers with quality assurance and publishing solutions in ensuring optimal application quality and user experience in Sailfish OS. Jolla Harbour has a unique capability to support both native Sailfish and Android apps, providing consumers with a fully integrated Store experience in Jolla smartphones and Sailfish OS.
Jolla has yet not made a statement when the preordered smartphone, the company offered earlier this spring, will finally ship. Initially it was said until end of this year.
UPDATE: In a recent tweet to me, @JollaHQ just repeated (and confirmed) that "first shipments starting this year". (13.11.2013)
Cheers ~ Arne