Jolla embarks on Sailfish 1.0 with an Android launcher -- and an Angry Birds cover

Jolla's Sailfish software reaches commercial readiness -- and you'll be able to try it out as a launcher on your Android phone.

Made in Finland: Jolla and Rovio unite with a special Angry Birds smart cover. Jolla

Jolla, the Finnish phone company founded by Nokia refugees, is ready to roll out the full, "commercially ready" 1.0 version of its Sailfish software. The attractive OS can run Android apps and you'll soon be able to try it out on your Android phone by downloading a launcher that mimics the Sailfish interface.

Sailfish started life as MeeGo, once the future of Nokia software, but sidelined in favour of Windows Phone when Nokia aligned with Microsoft. It's similar enough to Android that you can install Android app stores, and the company hopes it'll be adopted by canny phone users looking for an alternative to Google's green robot.

"Customers are now able to install their preferred Android app store, and choose from hundreds of thousands of available Android applications," said Marc Dillon, co-founder and COO of Jolla, in a statement. "In addition, the active and passionate Sailfish OS community has already developed major social media applications, such as Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, and Foursquare, natively to the Sailfish OS.

"We've been working hard together with our user community to make the user experience of the Jolla smartphone and Sailfish OS effortless and distinct," Dillon said. "We believe that Jolla now offers a truly viable option for all smartphone users. Naturally we are not stopping here, as we continue to provide monthly software updates to Jolla devices and Sailfish OS."

The Jolla phone, also called Jolla, is available for 399 ($540) plus postage direct from the company, but only in Europe.

It isn't as high-end as you might expect for that price. With a 960x540-pixel 4.5-inch screen, a 1.4GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM, it's distinctly mid-range. Its 8-megapixel camera, 2-megapixel front-facing snapper and 16GB storage are respectable enough. Its key innovation is the back plate -- called "The Other Half" -- which customises not just the case but also the software.

Angry Birds smart cover
Jolla's teamed up with fellow Finnish go-getters Rovio for a special Angry Birds other half that will turn your Jolla into an avian-flinging frenzy of a phone, with special wallpapers, ringtones, sound effects and other features.

"This co-branding concept gives Rovio a new fun way to delight the fans, and to expand the Angry Birds experience in an innovative way," said Rovio CMO Peter Vesterbacka.

The Angry Birds cover will be released later this summer.

 

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