Number of issues

  1. Many android apps, some rather important cannot be run, except with google services and play store, but of course those break everything. This is not android support. I’m sorry, but it just isn’t. I don’t expect perfection, but I can’t even run, for example, hangouts, which is not exactly a complicated application.
  2. I’ve been away for years, and still you can’t remove the self study app/icon, among others.
    If I don’t use it, I don’t want it one my screen as simple as that, I had rather thought this had been fixed by now.
  3. Theming. All I want is a black background and a green foreground, but apparently that is not possible. You have first of all to use an image, it seems, which is just silly. why can’t I just choose a static color? And when you find a black image and download, you cannot use it, or so it seems, before you manually move it from the download folder to the image folder. And once you do and try to generate a theme, it looks absolutely horrible, apparently not respecting you choice of color at all.
    I’m sorry, but it’s just not good enough. It is basically exactly the same as it was several years ago.
  4. I had great issue installing sailfish, because I was only warned about not upgrading to android 10 in the instructions. Not in the supported devices list, or anywhere else, so naturally I did what I was expected to do, and updated. I cannot put into words how frustrating it was to basically be standing with a very expensive brick, as I already have a newer and better android phone that is not supported. This phone was a compromise specifically bought for use with sailfish. Please do write in big red letter where ever appropriate, that you should NOT upgrade past android 9.

I could go on, but those are my main frustrations right now. I’m sure there will be more though.
One thing is that everything may not just work. I expected that, but after a number of years away, I did expect the details of the user experience to be more refined. Honestly.

At any rate, I am happy to be back, but the sad fact of the matter is that I may not be able to stay, end it has not exactly been a cheap experiment either, which again, is not okay. You have to get what you pay for, or it is simply a bad product.
I’m sure I’d be offered a refund if I asked, but I’d still be left with an expensive phone that I have absolutely no use for, and unless I can somehow install the original android firmware, or whatever it’s called, I can’t even sell it.

I suppose that’s my frustation rant over with. Hopefully I’ll calm down, but it won’t be easy, because I’ll be reminded of this disappointment every time I cannot do the most basic things I’m used to, like chatting on hangouts, paying with my phone, using my phone for authentication when login into the public systems we use in Denmark, and so on and so forth.

Anyway, best regards and may the future be brighter.

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I don’t agree with your first point. Google Services and Play Store is not Android, it’s Google. Latest Huawei phones don’t offer it. Anyway, try installing MicroG, there’s a tutorial on TJC. Many apps run with them. Also try downloading apps from Amazon Store if they are available, since those don’t require Google stuff.



  1. if you want google stuff, why not use android… sailfish is specifically so you DONT have to use google services. i totally disagree with you. jolla should spend a single second of deceloper time for google services.

  2. what self study app/icon do you mean? screenshot maybe?

  3. for custom theming look up here:

  4. it helps to read before do. first read, then do. always good! should try!

about your (for you useless) phone: you could offer it here describing what you did to it. some more savvy users might know how to fix/restore it. and might buy into it for the right price :wink:


Nobody likes list-posts and ranting, just FYI.

  1. It is a bit presumptuous to think you can use Google’s services when they are not allowed to monetize you. Yes, it sucks that so many people accepts this and like their services well integrated with the trade-off of reasonable privacy. I pay for Youtube, and still can’t use the app, but this is a Google problem, not a Sailfish problem. Most non-google things that wants play services run fine with microG, there is a good tutorial, and good support in the settings for allowing it to be installed properly.

  2. There is one Useless app. Most Android phones have at least a handful, probably a dozen. You can edit the .desktop file, or remove it, since you are root, if you like.

  3. A black picture and green color setting at least does something. I don’t like it, but it appears to work.



  1. I agree, to an extend, and I don’t actually want google stuff, but in some case I haven’t really got a choice, which I’m working on. That however doesn’t change that fact that a lot of non google apps require google services, thus that become part of the android experience.
    Alternatively, Jolla shouldn’t offer android support at all, which I’d fundamentally be fine with.
  2. I don’t know what it’s called in English, but it’s there, in the app drawer. Blue icon with a stick figure on it.
  3. No, just no. You should be able to have a perfectly plain and simple theme, without having to spend hours studying up on the subject, on alternative sites no less.
  4. The first thing you need to know, is what devices are supported, and in that list, if any special measures are needed, it should say so.

I know, but sometimes it’s necessary. I was one of the very first adopters, had the first jolla phone and all, so I know what issues were, and I can compare the experience.

  1. It may well be presumptuous, but then one should not advertise android support.
  2. It’s just an example of one things that has been an annoyance for years, that could’ve been easily fixed, and should have.
  3. Yes, it just doesn’t do what it promises. If you try it, you’ll se what I mean.

I realize people don’t like posts like this, but someone has to speak up. I appreciate all that Jolla has done and continue to do, don’t get me wrong. I have after all spend no small amount of money on this, both now and in the past, but they got to listen. Yes, some things are difficult, and it’s a matter of how you present it, because it will never be perfect, but some things are simple, and given years, you should spend 5 minutes on them.

That’s all.

Interesting about the huawei phones, but I’ll bet you anything that the apps I need still work, somehow. And yes, of android is good and vise versa, not least because so many apps, that are not related to Google, depend on these things.

I don’t like it, nor do you probably, but it is reality, and if you want to offer android support, that’s that.

I wouldn’t be so sure. Especially the ones actually made by Google. As for the rest, the is MicroG, which i don’t believe the ship, but they at least could do.

Did you try installing MicroG, or GSM/Play Services? All custom Android ROMs go through this. The fact that SFOS is no worse off than e.g. Lineage is pretty amazing.


@zacariaz I understand your frustration. However, as other other users have pointed, Sailfish is made to be Google free :smile:

I agree with you that the sad reality is that many apps are not available on Sailfish. I wish we had a better native support, but it’s up to the community at this point tbh. I personally have used Micro-g and most of my issues have been solved. Hope you can try it, that way you escape the services trap, at least by a little bit hehe.

I would love to have more native apps and would love to pay for them, sadly the store still does not allow for paid apps :frowning:. Hopefully with this new forum, developers are encouraged to post more often and maybe we can fund developers via this community so we get more native support!!

Your first point:

The problem is not Android support, but the developers who like to use the Google framework to make a profit. Easy to use and much cheaper to produce apps. Google provides many free functions that would otherwise have to be developed first. This is the trick to retain developers and make money with your data. It is “win win” for developers and Google, it is a strategy and that is what Google services and the Play Store stand for.

There is another way. Use stores like F-Droid (FOSS). There are also modern apps that do not require a Play Store and Google services. There are “real Android” apps and no cash cows and chimeras for Google. Sailfish stands for google-free and not for Trojan horses. I hope Jolla doesn’t change that. If you don’t like that, you should buy a google phone instead of a sailfish license.

No matter how, you should inquire beforehand whether you want this.


I have to say one thing, before I leave this subject behind.
You keep saying Sailfish is Google free, but android is Google. It is, there’s no way around it. Sure, in theory, you can pick it apparat and use the parts you like, maybe, but still android apps are developed for Googles Android, so in my not so humble opinion, Sailfish will never be “Google free” as long as it offers Android support, be it fully functional or not.

Once again, no. Android is not Google. Google owns Android and exploits it to make money, but Android is not Google. And, once again, simply install apps from Amazon store and you will find that they do not use anything Google and nevertheless they work in Android.


Your are right: “Sailfish will never be “Google free” as long as it offers Android support, be it fully functional or not.” Thats why many SFOS user have not installed the android emulation.

The real Android


Is Amazon any better than Google from the privacy viewpoint? They require me to log in to download apps, they track my behaviour, they serve me ads. It does not seem a step forward.

@fph you miss the point here. @jameson doesnt mean amazon is better, but just points out you can have a fully functioning android without google.


But what is the ultimate goal of having a Google-free Android then, if not to get rid of all the tracking? Just for the warm fuzzy feeling?

Yes, you can overwrite your device’s firmware. Sometimes it can be difficult to find the precise version that you need because proprietary Android developers (Google, Samsung, Motorola, Sony) make it hard to find ROMs, but you can do it. There are other Android-focused websites like XDA-Developers that can help with that.

Having said all of that, I’ll repeat what many others have already said: it is not a fair criticism of Jolla or Sailfish to complain that it doesn’t support the entire Google Android ecosystem. If it did, it would be an Android operating system. You can take it as far as you want and install MicroG or similar software, but at that point you might strongly consider sticking with a commercial Android device.

A fully functioning Jolla Store that accepts payments from multiple currencies would do wonders to expand the number of native Sailfish applications. Why Jolla has not pursued this for so many years is not clear to me. I understand why in the early days…but now it is time to take part in the international mobile app market.

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I was replying to your assertion that Android is Google, by showing that there are Android apps that work without anything Google, such as the ones you can get from Amazon store or from the Huawei store for post-Trump-ban Huawei phones.

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The Google license also prohibits the “commercial Google Android” together with another preinstalled operating system on a new phone. Jolla would have to be licensed by Google. Together with the “full Google Android” no more Sailfish may be installed. Jolla offers only Android support and not Google support. The Play Store can be installed under Sailfish, but why not take an Android phone right away?

This discussion has been around since the Stone Age :wink: Jolla is Sailfish and not Google.

Btw. Google vs. Amazon. Use F-Droid as a store for tracker and ad-free apps.


and when the developers are gonna create mainstream apps for sfos, like they do for android and iOS?

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