I’ve been using Verla 4.2 (official, not EA) on my single SIM XA2 for just over a week now, and here are my observations if anyone is interested:
- The main functionality change appears to be the web browser UI. I’m fine with the changes - and they certainly make the browser more usable. There’s a couple of rough edges/inconsistencies that others have mentioned - e.g. there’s a pulley menu entry for a new browser tab at the top and also a ‘plus’ button on the bottom to do same, etc, but overall its a welcome update and makes the browser look more slick in my opinion. There’s one regression I’ve noticed - and that is if you ‘add to app grid’ from the pop up menu you always get the blue ‘star in a circle’ icon in the app grid (bad!), whilst if you add to the grid from the bookmark page you get the ‘proper’ web site icon (good!).
- I know the browser engine has not, sadly, been updated so I still get all of the issues with websites that won’t render at all (just a white screen) and those where you can’t dismiss cookie and other dialogs but it does seem to render pages a lot faster - so that is really welcome.
- The camera is a regression since 4.1, now taking on average nearly 8 seconds to load before a picture can be taken - an eternity if you’re trying to capture a moment.
- Network connectivity reliability in Android when you move between wifi and mobile seems to fail more frequently than it did in 4.1, so that has definitely got worse. I’m now trying some of the suggestions to change the mobile network setting from ‘Dual’ to ‘IP’ to see if that helps.
- Mail synchronisation (Exchange) still fails regularly but the errors are different - on 4.1 it was mostly ‘Sync Error’, now its ‘Connection Timeout’, so I don’t know what has changed here. Often it now fails silently and the only way I know I’ve got new email is by the ping of my iphone. Manually syncing Sailfish will then download the email usually (I’m on ‘always up to date’ so this is a bit of a misnomer!) but often a restart is needed.
- I use Kactus and Tidings for my news feeds and the rendering of web pages internal to these apps is nowhere near as good as it is on the Jolla web browser. I’d have thought they’d use the same rendering engine, but maybe not?
- The new sharing arrangement seems fine but often doesn’t work properly (e.g. share to email, a new email is created but doesn’t contain what you asked to be shared - its just blank) and there are some odd restrictions (e.g. you can share a web browser link via email, but there is no option to share via a text message - strange as they’re all Jolla apps and I am reasonably sure you could do this before 4.2)
- The calendar updates (little dots on dates where there are events) are welcome and bring Sailfish into line with other OS’s on this feature, but the issue of events with wrong dates when they come from elsewhere (e.g. calendar invite or syncing with servers in a different timezone - UTC) remain.
So, all in all, some good improvements but many of the long standing core issues continue to remain in this latest release.