In a touch screen world, the user interface is essential; get it wrong and nothing else matters. A quick look around the smartphone industry will reveal several different approaches to touch based UIs. Windows 8 has its “modern UI”, iOS has Cocoa Touch and Android has, well, everything, including widgets, themes, skins and customized launchers.
Now Jolla, the company that was formed to further develop MeeGo when Nokia jumped off its burning platform into the hands of Microsoft, is getting ready to reveal its UI and software development kit (SDK) at the Slush event in Helsinki, Finland on 21-22 November.
Only a few days ago, Jolla announced that it had created a mobile ecosystem alliance called “Salifish” which is based on the latest version of MeeGo. In terms of technology, MeeGo uses Linux as its kernel (just like Android) and its core UI libraries come from the Mer Core project, which is powered by Qt/QML and HTML5.
The new UI will become part of the standard software for the Sailfish alliance and it looks like the new mobile OS is aimed at smartphones and tablets (and maybe even netbooks), as Jolla mentions that it has been working to “support multiple different device categories.”
The exciting thing is that Jolla knows that its UI needs to be different, but yet familiar, to win over handset makers and new users. However it looks like it is confident that it can differentiate itself from existing mobile UIs.
“I’m thrilled to finally be able to show the user interface we have been working on, and it will be exciting to open the developer story with SDK and applications to the public,” said Jussi Hurmola, CEO of Jolla.
Many have tried to launch an alternative mobile operating system but Android and iOS are still on the top. Can Jolla do something to dazzle us?
Since Jolla is aiming to allow Android apps to run on MeeGo devices, should Android users be worried? Since Android and MeeGo are both open source, should Google look into porting bits of MeeGo to Android? Any thoughts on what the Jolla user interface might offer since it is based on Qt? Anything you liked about the Nokia N9 that you would like to see in Jolla? Let me know by leaving a comment below.