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Case study: Sailfish Watch

Sailfish OS is known for smartphones, but it also forms an excellent base for many very different kinds of embedded devices. Sailfish OS is no longer the new kid on the block, and every port strengthens the operating system’s capability to scale. So far the operating system has been productized to four different devices including Jolla smartphone, Jolla Tablet, Intex Aqua Fish and Turing Phone, and ported to dozens of other phones and tablets by the Sailfish community.

Last month we did a quick exercise aiming to see how far we could get in a few weeks in porting Sailfish OS to a new kind of mobile device, an Android smartwatch. Compared to the competition, Sailfish OS’s interaction paradigm is particularly suited for small screens, it being gesture-driven and designed to maximize display estate available for the user content. We also had the watch demo with us as a teaser in Slush 2016 this week, to emphasize to journalists, partners and other people how versatile platform Sailfish OS is. And naturally an implementation like this, could fit nicely also into our licensing strategy.

Sailfish Watch

Tap on the image to see it in full screen. These are not design mockups, but screenshots of the running prototype.

We inferred technical and design inspiration help from an existing smartwatch OS called Asteroid OS, led by Florent Revest, which shares a lot of the same core Mer and Nemo libraries with Sailfish OS, and goes to show how important and valuable support from the open source community is for us. Compatibility layer libHybris gives us quick access to existing Android hardware, and prototyping features is a breeze on top of the high-level QML APIs to the home screen, connectivity, profiles, power management, display, clock, calendar, weather and settings backends also powering features running on Sailfish OS smartphones. In addition Sailfish UI layer provides a toolkit of scalable common components, gestures, layouts, animations, icons, fonts and localization enablers for creating fluid and beautiful user experience.

The main view is reserved for showing time as smartwatch is still a watch and a fashion accessory as well as a tech gadget.

Homescreen is organized in familiar Sailfish-style horizontal carousel with Events on the left, the main view on the center and fitness view promoted as the super app on the right.

Similarities with other Sailfish devices don’t end there. Apps can always be accessed from the bottom of the screen no matter where you are and ambiences from the top. The most important setting shortcuts are integrated right into Events.

Fitness and health tracking is arguably the most important feature in the current generation of wearables. In the fitness view you can track your daily activity levels. Tapping a progress circle turns the watch into a dedicated step or a calorie counter. With more time it could be extended to comprehensive health suite.

The watch is paired with Sailfish smartphone, which forwards calls and message notifications to the watch. User gets notified with a gentle vibration on the wrist, can quickly glance incoming events, easily dismiss incoming calls with a simple gesture, or transfer the call to his/her hands-free. In the prototype the connectivity is routed through WLAN as the low-power Bluetooth would have required a bit more porting time.

Device configuration and user preferences should automatically be transferred from the smartphone, but we implemented time and date settings as a proof-of-concept to see how easy it is to port traditional Sailfish views to a small screen. In a productized version the date picker of course would naturally be redesigned, but the ported one was already surprisingly usable.

A final note related to Sailfish OS / Jolla products: if you are a Sailfish community member or a just a fan, you can be sure that we will continue to push for new Sailfish devices for our community. More info about that in the near future!



UI Chief Engineer at Jolla. User interface programmer at heart, who has a soft spot for design and pretty graphics.


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      indeed great one. actually my papergrader colleague’s birthday is coming up and i wanted to buy him an iwatch but still it’s little bit costly so haven’t made my mind yet but after checking out your case study understood that sailfish watch can suit him even better

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    I’ve been dreaming of this ever since I saw a post about it on I made a mockup of Sailfish OS on a smartwatch (albeit underestimated the screen real estate) and saw the potential for this. This could definitely become a great product and just demonstrates the power of Sailfish OS UX! Great work and keep on exploring new and amazing things!

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      Indeed the sailfish UX is well suited for smaller screens! Thanks for your comment and your efforts!

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    Great job! Looks very fluent and actually much better than smart watches from other big players.

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      It really does. Big shoutout to the small team who worked on it. The next step is to get enough support so that it happens! Thank you for your feedback.

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    Oh my god! WANT!!!

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      +1! Didn’t know I would ever want a smart watch but now I do! 😀

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    OK, I still don’t see any practical use for a smartwatch and there’s no chance I’ll ever use one… but:

    These pictures and the video really, really look great. Unbelievable how you got this done. (Was it really “Within a few weeks”? Seems so unreal.)

    So while I’d certainly never use such a product, I might spend sone time watching the video on YouTube. It looks sooo great!

    Oh, there’s actually one thing I miss: Where’s the terminal application? 😉

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      Having the terminal app on your wrist can be potentially dangerous 😀 haha j/k.

      I personally am a Smartwatch user and have been since the Pebble Steel era, I feel kinda attached to the technology behind it even though I wouldn’t feel the “need” to it if I never have gotten used to it in the first place. So I understand the lack of “need” you are talking about.

      And yes, it indeed was done a ~2 week time frame.

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    At last. I have waited for this step since I saw the video for Intex smart watch earlier. Mobile, utility equipment like watch and lately … IOTS..

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    Ps. How about Sailfish smart TV? ☺☺☺ Earlier it was much speculated this for Meego.

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      How would the Swipe UX work on a TV? 😉

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        How about a remote-app like for Kodi? Possibly with the option to stream the tv-content to your Jolla-mobile?

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        By using your Jolla phone (or other) as remote of course!

        Just cast´ing stuff from phone to the SailfishOS TV device.

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    Looks very nice! 🙂

    two questions!
    1) what smartwatch is this?
    2) when you will release the image to flash on it? 🙂

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      This was an LG Watch Urbane,
      We actually genuinely don’t know when or how any kind of image of this will be released since this was only a short time study case.

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    Great news!

    In particular, I love the final note!

    Keep sailing!

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      Yes let’s hope it happens fast, regarding the final note 😉

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    Great news. I am not particularly interested in smartwatches, but I would really get one of these if this port became available.
    Now, what about OFFICIALLY porting SFOS to selected third-party mobile phones and selling a license, including Alien Dalvik support?

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      Thank you for your comment!

      We certainly can’t officially port Sailfish Os to any device without an agreement with the OEM which is not an easy thing to happen. About selling licenses, we are working on it hard with out limited resources so a wider time frame is expected until it happens.

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    Looks like Jolla team had some time to have fun =) Enjoy and keep coding.

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      Hopefully this short time fun project ends up getting Sailfish OS to different form factors!

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    As long as it comes with built in countdown until second refund, It’s ok.

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      What will you do after you got the refund? I got so much used to your comments that I will miss them. Do you have an idea for a new “project”?

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        Given that we will actually get the refund, I will probably spend it on new Jolla devices if they have the skills to release something world wide. Since I invested in jPad project years ago my mobile device account has grown really nicely due to investments, putting in $50/month in stocks. I haven even bought a few devices while waiting for Jolla to do the right thing…

        Maybe we should start a “more-streaming-servies-available-for-sailfish-project. That is what jolla needs to atract users. very few cares about the OS, swipe, click or shake doesn’t really matter. Services rules 2017 and beyond. what do you think?

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          Services do seem the way to go to get a voluntary lock in by customers:)

          It can help to build a community.


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            I am probably lacking fantasy – so far I am more interested in usable tools than in services. But maybe I yet have to find the services that attract me. So there could indeed be some void in the services market that once it is filled could attract me.

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            “It can help to build a community.”

            LOL 😀 ….

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          Weren’t the walled gardens of “services” the reason why we ran away from Google and Apple in the first place?

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            Sailfish OS is and must be a declaration of independence.

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                  …. and to be honest, something to congratulate for as well ! d O_O)

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                Regarding the Russian case I just have to declare that we do not have any political interactions with Russia when it comes to Sailfish OS and its assets. This is solely a business deal and does not decrease Sailfish OS independence in any way.

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                  Let me personally congratulate you sailors once again to this deal !

                  I really feel more and more relieved by any – hopefully big 🙂 – fish you’ll be pulling aboard !
                  Probably you too 😉 ….

                  Thanks @James for dropping by here occasionally !

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              @raron : An independence funded by BIRCS markets.

              Well, Toyota, Intel, Samsung, Daimler, etc. are selling in Russia – why cannot jolla ? Why bother about any fancy “official certifications” ? If Russia trusts in SFOS for critical purposes – why can’t it be good for those mistrusting US based / controlled duopoly ?
              To be honest, I wished that EU governments would trust on EU based ecosystems as well ….

              I agree that Mr. Saarnio decison-making has to be kept an observant eye upon – especially that we don’t know anything about jolla’s investors in detail – but I have reason to rather see proactive, market-aware entrepreneurship realizing available opportunities for jolla. Therefore they have my support.


              Going trough to the original interview with TechCrunch last week, I note that ….

              “Saarnio emphasizes that the Russian version of the OS will not be a fork of Sailfish.”
              > Good, as no loss of focus / resources ….

              “Rather the model is for Jolla to work with its licensing partners to develop custom versions that suit their particular needs, while it maintains the core code base that will remain tied to all versions.”
              > So always an uncut “director’s cut” available to community / independent devices ….

              “Nor is the aim to relocate Jolla to Russia to become the core alternative OS provider for just one non-US country; Jolla says it’s hoping to repeat this process elsewhere, in other BRICs nations, from its HQ in Finland.”

              > Nothing wrong at all with that …

              Finally ….

              ” “Sailfish is independent and open offering, not controlled by large corporates, and thus optimal for local collaboration and customisation, ” says Pienimäki, responding to a question about why Sailfish has prevailed.”

              and ….

              ” “We are also talking in other BRICs countries. Also continue with South Africa discussions and negotiations. But of course as a company we don’t have a political agenda here — so we are happy to and very interested to discuss any country who has an agenda or need for independent OS. ”

              …. are quite clear strategic statements.

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                im talking netflix, amazon countrywide services. its all abount content.

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    looks really cool but to be really honest I would like to be able to buy a new updated jolly phone but sadly that is not possible and my current Jolla phone is close to its end I feel…

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      That last paragraph after the video is quite reassuring, isn’t it? Let’s just hope it happens fast!

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    WOW! I would really love to own such a watch…perfect design integration. Well done!
    Glad Jolla is back after last years tablet Desaster.

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      Thanks for commenting! Yes we are indeed back, alive and kicking. Let’s hope this concept gets to a commercial product soon!

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    Now make use of an OLED screen and LPM and make it last a week 🙂

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      A big +1 for that!

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    wow sailfish OS works so beautifully on that watch. 2017 should be the year of expansion for jolla as a company and sailfish as an os.

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      funny, i have read that about 2016 too… but only India got a new phone.

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        @malk4ever Well, India got the Aqua Fish, I got the Jolla C and the tablet…

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    OMG! I’ll be the first one to order it!!!

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      That will be me, sorry 😉

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        Good kind of competition going on here!

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    This is really uplifting progress and is a brilliant demonstration of the flexibility and portability of the Sailfish OS.

    Full Open Source of the OS and GUI would help confidence in its longevity. This is certainly something to buy and play with. Not enough to make me give up my Rolex but I do have more than one wrist:)


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    I am looking forward to see Sailfish OS run on a laptop/notebook 🙂

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    Awesome. I was waiting for this ever since I owned a Jolla. If this is compatible with the Jolla phone, I buy pretty much whatever the price.

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    That looks so great. Will you release the UI to be usable by a community port to an existing smart watch?

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    Looks just awesome! Sailfish rules!

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    have you contacted weareable segment of Nokia with this?

    of course, you will not tell it here (ATM) but I could not help asking it… 😉

    that could be the firs Sailfish powered Nokia device. And then who knows what else could come… 😉

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    btw. were you teasing about new device(s) at the end?

    be careful with such hints, die hard fans are eagerly waiting them and you have already experienced how patient we are in this scenarios… 😀

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    Will you guys release this port or steps to reproduce?
    I have got a Samsung Gear S2 which I think would run Sailfish quite well.

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    Guy’s I have also a great suggestion!
    Develop a tablet to run SailOS.

    …..ooooooh wait ….

    No we are still waiting on our full REFUND !

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      😀 not it is time for watch… next maybe TV

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    I’m hoping anyway that collaborations with licensors are improving with respect to launching a next SFOS-driven tablet device to a wider audience in the near future : simply because tablets have become too indispensable in daily life. There happen to be too few around with SFOS onboard 😉 …. And I can tell you from my side, that WE REALLY DO APPRECIATE OUR 2 JOLLA TABLETS at home ! People visiting have always been very positively surprised by the refreshing ease, clarity & elegance involved in interacting with them. Some even thought that I am involved in making them 😀 – maybe for my strong conviction for the jolla “adventure”, SFOS and the importance of independence and a strong community power to obtain a highly socializable modern day’s product …. To recall : Not at least what you’ve been awarded for during MWC2015, Barcelona :

    • Avatar

      Yeah, let’s run another indiegogo jolla tablet campaign 😀 That is a great blog post but I prefer this:

      600 shipped tablet great – and refund Q12016 brilliant – means second refund Q12017 awesome – means we are potentially 28 days from refund.

      The clock is ticking our way…time for the Russians to make up their minds regarding the refund.

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        Even though most probably the quality of your late comments often suffered from all too hard feelings involved, let me sort it out :

        (A) Obviously by cooperations with licensors I didn’t mean crowd funding campaigns …. these really are two different approaches.
        Remember when you commented 4 blogs ago : “But if an external partner could release hardware without any cost for Jolla, it would be great.”
        Just see how jolla C came to life …

        (B) Me too, I’m still awaiting patiently my refunds as I never got delivered any single tablet from jolla. I felt as a traitor or tax evader when I seized the opportunity buying from the Taobao overstocks last winter – even though it was good to do so by the end of day ….

        Jolla left everyone with a clear statement concerning the second refund: “within a year” provided the “financial situation is permitting”. They refunded the first share – they re-affirmed their intention for refunding the second part. So what to panic about actually ?

        (C) Concerning those Finn, EU-based “Russians” :

        Along with everyone else you could’ve always upvoted & campaigned for jolla stocks as an alternative to bare, interest-free refunds here :

        So one may has to admit a bit of a lacking community decisiveness / interest ( aside the community’s other positive qualities ) on this …

        Take care ! 😉

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            You like to be shareholder…for jolla or for sailfishOS?

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                ok. I can easily see you as CEO of this tiny boat. hostile take over?

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          I would like to take the opportunity to react on one of your remarks :
          “Jolla left everyone with a clear statement concerning the second refund: “within a year” provided the “financial situation is permitting”. They refunded the first share – they re-affirmed their intention for refunding the second part. So what to panic about actually ?”

          Do I need to remind you that Jolla has made A LOT of statements in this whole “adventure” and proofed to be unreliable as 95% of all statements made where never made, denied or completely fake.

          So the “panic” is that Jolla currently is completely ignoring it’s “founders” as all current software updates have been made possible by the money paid buy Tablet backers.

          Best way to describe this is that we Jolla Tablet founders feel like mushrooms :

          Kept in the dark en fed by shit.

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            “… as all current software updates have been made possible by the money paid buy Tablet backers.”

            Where did you get that from? The whole tablet project cost more than the money collected via Indiegogo. And that was ages ago.

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              becouse they change screen 3 times. nanaged to send email wrong, missed deadlines, planned badly, ficused on the os when hw was the biggest risk, manage to promise stuff they couldn’t handle…all these stuff cost money. I dont say jolla should have done it better. they have the right to do as they please but within a year is 55 days from within a year deadline. That is always the last line that counts.

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              You funny funny Ossi1967.
              Again you prove yourself as a dumparse.

              That is what you reply to? Ignoring all other facts I mention.

              My goodness I pity all fools like you.

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                Which “all other facts” are you talking about?
                You talked about 2 things here, and you’re wrong for one of them, that’s it.

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                  Are you really that ignorant ? Let me refresh your mind :


                  ” It will be late but I guarantee you will get it”

                  by Antti Saarnio (Co-Founder & Chairman of Jolla) at Slush 2015.

                  Well we all know that was BS .. I can give many more examples but my guess is you are just an ignorant uninterested uninformed bystander just stating BS whenever you can.

                  I might be wrong but I am basically judging you on the stupid remark you just made.

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    Would buy 😀

    (Some kind of integration with the Pebble Core could be cool as well?)

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    Looks awesome, now if there only where some phones and clocks i could buy…

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    If you combine it with a rotating bezel like the gear watches have, it’s already bought. Scrolling on such small screens with the finger is cumbersome.

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    Great news!
    Now please find a manufacturer producing a Jolla watch with a useful(!) uptime (maybe something Peeble-like)?

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    The best thing about this development is that it does not lose the essence of de jolla gestures, it is as if the phone on screen reduced, you do not miss anything about the sailfish philosophy.
    Should try to try to put something like maruos, but instead of doing it with debian should associate with soluos, since it shares the same boat

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    which Android watch was used as hardware for this proof of concept?

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      My bet: LG G Urbane!?!?!

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    I’d buy it and I wish it was succesfull unlike Jolla tablet and more available then Jolla C. I’m hungry new devices from Jolla.

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    Developing new stuff.. cool, maybe you plan on paying back the rest of the money you cheated out of of for your tablet first.

    You know. the interest-free loan you took on the shoulders of Indiegogo-backers, believing in you.

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    Maybe you should do a case study on how to build a time machine with sailfish and then travel back in time to prevent the whole Indie go go campain. I do not understand how you can go on and keep supporting your company after what they have done.

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    Looks nice… But imho there are things that should have a much higher priority…
    For example paying back the Tablet funds or maybe…
    Make at least ONE official Sailfish Phone available in Europe / USA.
    Actually people have to import from India or tinker with libhybris (always without Alien Dalvik).

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    Just to let you know: I also supported the tablet idea. And yes, it was an idea. A venture thing. So stay cool. Don’t put money in ideas if you can’t afford it. It’s important good people have good ideas. I love Jolla, Sailfish and all the Sailors out there. It’s about to change the world. That costs (also) money. It’s a matter of fact. Jolla and Sailfish is so important and I’m greatful you are alive! I was so sad for a while when N9 support was stopped. But then Jolla has arisen Sailfish OS and hope was back for even a more free and better world – thats magic, that’s LOVE. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

  38. Avatar

    Looks nice also from my point of view…

    But I dont think they can live from prototypes for long time. They need something people can buy – with money!
    So I would really prefer having an official available product (especially a phone) to buy.
    This would serve me and Jolla better.

  39. Avatar

    This is cool, but some elements of interface don’t fit inside cycle display
    Now make a desktop Sailfish linux distro, this is will be awesome

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    Nice exercise.
    No interest on particular device like pebble?

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    No Jolla Christmas Party This Year?

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    Good luck. Where is our refunds?

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      Great Question ! But again Jolla is keeping silent.
      Showing how much they have learned from their mistakes.

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    Looks like Jolla is getting some serious competition:

    “Neo999 – the truly open smartphone that cares about your privacy.”

    What’s Jolla’s answer to this?

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      Neo999. I like the sound of that…

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      Sorry to say this, but currently the whole Neo900 project looks kinda grim. I made a (HUGE) downpayment almost 2 years ago, and they are still prototyping. The phone should have been ready a year ago, instead they still can’t solder the microchips on the board properly. Their current plan is to make first production-ready prototype in February.

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    Why Jolla doesn’t makea a deal with Asteroid etc manufacturers and puh out Jolla smart watch to the markets? How much would this SFOS smart watch cost? And What would be a delivery time?

    Yes, I’m very serious. This is not a joke.

  45. Avatar

    To previous message:

    We are talking of a contract manufacturing. Jolla starts manufacturing / ordering from (sub)contractors just after a critical load is achieved. Not any intermediaries are involved, all commerce happens direct from Jolla Store.

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    How great’s this? Keep on going!

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    I just can’t stand you fuss with a watch while your os still lacks so many features, lad.

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    Hit me up if you should ever need someone to test/debug a build for a Huawei Watch 😉

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    Yeah we hoped the same with the tablets.. see where it got us.

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    hai guys, this is syed i love sailfish os, but i want some features in sailfish os developer, inbuilt exp…..
    1.Call blacklist

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    I would quess that the SFOS smart watch should pay between 100 to 200 euros. I don’t know if the taxes would allredy be included in? If yes, I think I would not hesitate too long to pick it up.

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    Hello. Do you know what are ambivalent feelings? See definitions if you do not know.I like very much SailWatch and I don’t care.
    I could not buy a Nokia N9, it’s hard. Subscribed for smartphone Jolla “I am the first one” – ended and I did not get. Then, within 15 minutes they ended in Shop Jolla although I got an email from Jolla. In the Indiegogo campaign I lost a chance for set of the smartphone + tablet, gone with the wind. I have ordered and paid for Jolla C months ago already. But so far it has not been delivered, and slowly I slowly lose hope if it is going to happen, even though the supplier gives the impression of a serious and professional. So what of all this? Exactly NOTHING, nothing results from several years of waiting and seek for own equipment with MeeGo / Sailfish. Promoting it I realized a lot of people that it is worth to try the new Linux. And now just I am beginning to feel the inner bitterness and begin to understand the annoyance of many disappointed with erasing delivery tablet. Just at some point you lose hope that you will get what you paid for, and from that certain point you don’t care any more – simply because you’re tired. It is good that it is a watch but I do not care if I do not buy it. Sailfish from a promising legend is slowly becoming a mythical creature like a sea serpent or a Kraken. It is at a point where I want, even an imperfect but real working equipment. Otherwise I end with this. And I am really very near to that point of no return. Who cares.

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    does it comes with a integrated compass? Because my intex does not have on.

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    When shall the SFOS come? Please putkeen a questionaire in your pages, so we can show our interest in the SFOS (name + email). When the smart watch will be available, we will receive an instant message of that.

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    I think the ambiences are getting too much attention, both on this watch and on the phone. It is wasteful to use one of the few available global interaction patterns for that. Add a settings shortcut in the events view, and use swipe from top to display the shortcuts which are currently only available from the lock screen (or a superset of these).

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    Can you release system images or a how to on how you guys did this and let the community take over building a smartwatch. Sailfish smartwatch looks like what I was expecting from a smartwatch. Android wear just comes up short and Asteroid is too Alpha.

  57. Avatar

    +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 ☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺

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    Do you support any smartwatch which measures the conduction of the skin? Etc Empatica, any similar product from Polar, Suunto , …

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    When will the watch release?

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      A quess: Within the next six months. 🙂

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        If it will be released I will buy it! So Jolla release it! 😀

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    We want SFOS watch, we want SFOS watch, we want SFOS watch …

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    Once / twice / … again

    When shall the SFOS smart watch come? Please put a questionaire in your pages, so we can show our interest towards the SFOS smart watch (name + email). When the smart watch will be available, we will receive an instant message of that. This could be very practical and simple.

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