At each presentation, we can see that Sailfish OS is improving. And this time, we also had a peak the Jolla phone. I have to say that I really loved it. The build quality looks fairly good, the second half system, amazing, and the screen gorgeous. But, as usual, not everything is perfect (even if everything is close to perfection).
Here is my third article of the «I like Sailfish but …» series. First thing to notice is that the icons have now predefined shapes, that is a direct reply to that, and that is a huge improvement from the previous version of Sailfish. We can also see that the active frames got a little bit more clues on what application they represent, an improvement from the situation described here.
But let’s focus on what I don’t like 😀
The tough question of an unique vertical homescreen
Jolla bet on an unique vertical homescreen, that first starts with the lockscreen, then the multitasking view, then some views for the applications, by finishing on the application store. While being a good idea on the paper, there is some problems that can occur. First, having only one multitasking view is very limiting. Even if more than 9 applications can be run at a time, only the first 9 will be displayed on the view.
Coming from Maemo then MeeGo Harmattan, the sailors at Jolla shouldn’t have forgotten their roots, that is doing multitasking of the limits. Allowing only 9 applications is a limitation that is not appropriated to the future multitasking king OS !
But there is also a problem about that application store. If the user installed several pages of applications (I have seen up to 7 pages in some phones), that will be tedious for the user to install a new application, since he / she will have to scroll several times before reaching the store.
While the first problem is difficult to answer (maybe putting 2 or more pages of multitask view, or reducing the application frames even more could be the answer), the second problem can be solved quite easily by adding an option to directly go to store in the pulley menu of the lock screen, or in the menu that allows task management, accessed by long press, and currently offering the ability to close all the tasks. But none of these two options are elegant.
Something that once made Blackberries good were their notification LED. That red light that could blink if there were emails. Something that still makes the N9 awesome is the low power mode screen that can display time, notifications, and all sort of customized information thanks to third-party applications.
Even if today, people do not care much about these features anymore, it seems that people still cares about notifications, by compulsively lighting their iPhone or Galaxies. To save battery and also to save people from doing that useless movement, it is still worthy to have something like a LED or (way way better) LPM.
Sadly, the phones shown at the Jolla Love Day didn’t have any of those, which was slightly disappointing to me, especially because a LED should not cost a lot and be hard to implement.
So large, yet so small
The Jolla phone is very large, while the screen is quite «small», thus having a large bezel around the phone. Of cause it might due to technical reason, or due to the phone being a prototype, but it has been reported as a lot of waste of space. Trimming it a bit down would be quite nice.
Well, I don’t think that I have anymore comments. The Jolla is definitely an elegant phone, with an OS that is closer and closer to perfection, in a wonderful and innovative shell.