Where to go after Sailfish?

Dear sailors,

it is with a deep sadness that I feel I have to leave sailifh behind. For now. Right now I still have my Jolla 1 in daily use, but with the recent update to Kvarken I’m left out. I applaud Jolla for seven years of software support and for seven years of keeping me on board.

However, times change and so does my personal and professional situation. I have long had the ability to use the Jolla 1 as a daily driver, because there alwasy was a safety net where I could contact family members for support in communications, should my own device fail me. With my Jolla 1 this is no longer the case, and after seven years of usage the battery is showing its age as well.

I was always hoping to get a new device just like the Jolla 1, but the Sony Xperia 10 II is just not it right now. Also, having to commute a lot in the forseeable future, I urgently require some form of voice assistant.

Now, the only other smartphone I have ever owned before my trusty Jolla1 was an iPhone4, so I have no experience with android flavours. I’m making this post to call upon your experience to help me find an adequate solution. Even if I’m asking for suggestions about other competing OSes, you should forgive me for doing so here, as no other community than the sailors truly seems to be able to understand what I seek in a smartphone ans mobile OS. As such, this may as well be understood as giving praise to all the little things sailfish does right, and concepts that pioneered in saifish years ago.

Third Party Apps

Since I made it seven years on saifish, it should be clear that I hardly cared about third party apps. I still do not play games, nor do I think that more that webapps are needed in most cases. However, with a change of times I need to be able to run some banking on my phone.

Services

I am not bound at all to certain services, and I wish for it to remain like this. I prefer to own all my music and store them in files on my machine, copy them to my phone and not use a streaming service. I prefer to manage my files and backups myself and copy them to my NAS by hand as needed. Only once in a while I need some maps, for which I use the service of outdooractive, which is available on iOS, android and on their website (just not in an outdated browser).

All the little things

  • native keyboard: I’m from Germany, I write mainly in German and English. German has this feature where we use capital and small initial letters to signify nouns and verbs/adjectives respectively. Moreover, it is good practice to use commas on multiple occassions. When I was writing on an iOS14 native keaboard lately, I noticed I have to go extra steps to get to my beloved fullstop and comma, which delayed my writing considerably. Sailfish is, in my opinion, taking the right approach here by placing fullstop and comma, the two most-used sentence delimiters, left and right next to the spacebar. How do the andoir flavours deal with this? If everything goes south, of course there is a possibility to use a third-party app (SwiftKey, Fleksy, Typewise). But why can this important feature not be a part of the OS like in saifish?
  • native filesystem access: One big grief I had with iPhones from the start is the problem of moving files from and to the device. It was refreshing, however, how sailfish exposed some important directories like a Flashdrive to my PC via USB, and how I was able to access the entire filesystem via a FTP-Client or SSH Console. I use my phone like a FlashDrive, so a feature like this is mandatory for me, and preferrably without the need of a special software like iTunes. I remember, that iOS exposed the photos directory with read access, but didn’t allow me to write to the phone or read and write music. Is android handling this any better, and is there a way to make iOS do it as I described?
  • ringtones and alarm tones: I have music on my pgone, what a surprise. Then it seems only reasonable, that I use this same msuic as a ringtone or an alrm tone. On sailfish this was a given from release, and on iOS I noticed one can finally use music as a ringtone (without converting it first in some different format using PAID third party apps or software), but still in iOS14 we can’t use our music as alarms? Oh please. I hope android is doing this better.
  • control where my data are going: When I was leaving iOS seven years ago, I noticed I didn’t even know where the photos I made on my adevice are going, nor where the contacts are stored. These are mine, they don’t belong onto an obscure cloud, only if I want them to be there. Sailfish went, in my opinion, the right way by letting the user make this choice: I can store the contacts on the device, on a sd-card, on my google account, use MS-Exchange or yahoo. I can choose a different way of storing where my pictures go. This is what I want.
  • homogenous design: Sailfish went this way from the start and encouraged app developers to use the silica ui components. This way, most parts of the OS and third party apps look like they were made uniformly, to make me feel at home on my device and serve only me. I know that iOS, while following a different aesthetic, has a similar directive, albeit it has not been as uniform as sailfish. I suspect this is a bit of a shortcoming on most android flavours.
  • swiping instead of typing: From the very start, saifish had this directive of preferring swipes instead of having the user lift their fingers from the screen. I felt right at home using the different pullers and edge gestures. Only on the iPhone X I observed a similar experience so far.
  • turn phone upside down to mute call: How is this not a common feature on all phones?

What I need now

Of course I’d like to keep all the little things, but now I need more reliability. This is:

  • voice assistant to aid me during long drives.
  • more responsive browser, to be able to get information easier on the go without having to find a page that renders correctly or isn’t impaired by the outdated Javascript engine.
  • longer lasting battery (this is not at all a sailfish problem, it works for days on the Jolla1, but my battery is ancient)
  • wish for fingerprint reader or face id to login

So, there are two ways this can go. And two ways you may approach an answer:

  1. Convince me how continuing using sailfish right now is viable for me
  2. Give advice how some feature I mentioned can be right in iOS or android for me (even with a paid app, but as I wrote, I think this is the expected behaviour and thus the responsibility of the manufacturer of the OS)

Just to be clear: Jailbreaking is an option, but it clashes with my reliability goal,so the preferred way is not requiring a Jailbreak.

I’m completely lost in this difficult decision, so I appreciate all the help I can get.

3 Likes

Kudos to people who are patient enough and not busy to read it and answer.

2 Likes

Sony experia 10II with microG. I have not found any missing items. Banking ok. alla android aps support what is you really want. Jolla 1 is not usable any more , don’t compare it to anything .

9 Likes

Please expand on this. It is quite a nice phone.

The browser is great, and bound to get better. Battery is fine, i often end my days on 60%. Fingerprint reader works, but is suffering some early bugs. Counting on that getting fixed in a release or two. Haven’t looked in to voice assistant, but it is bound to be less mature.

The Android runtime is also really great. Sure, some of the googliest and most paranoid banking apps won’t work. Nor will those accessing low-level APIs like Bluetooth and VPN config, but that’s about it.
Think of it like a AOSP distro sans some connectivity.

AFAICS, your options are Apple or Android. No real point on asking about those here honestly. And it seems you ruled them out already. So what are you after?

2 Likes

if you dont wanna go for 10 II for whatever reason, aosp android may be am.option. i had volla phone and passed it to my wife then, as she was never happy with sfos swiping.
battery lasts 3-4 days, basically all apps are working, aurora store is included, so definitely an option before going.for google …

2 Likes

How about Volla Phone!? With its springboard you would get the possibility to have everything you need just one typing away :slight_smile:

missed to mention that in my post ?

1 Like

Sorry, i read 10 II but oversaw the mentioning of Volla Phone. I just thaught that if he used SFOS for its UX, then the Springboard of Volla OS should be going in his direction, as its minimalist, it keeps focus to the most important, and its also consistent through all points :slight_smile:

I want to share a little experience with you, that I made, beacuse I have been in a roughly more or less similar situation like you :slightly_smiling_face:

I was using Jolla 1 until this year February, and I was also sad but thankfor for Jolla discontinuing the support. However, the frustration with Sailfish got to a peak, when the hardware obviously had an error (the touchscreen had an area that was no more working/responsive). This brought me to the point, where I was also thinking about switching to another OS, but I wanted anything but iOS or Andriod.
I searched a lot for other alternative OS like Sailfish - the posters above already mentioned some of them.

However, I decided to give Sailfish OS another chance and bought a new Xperia 10 (v.1)

For me this was an eye-opener: I can tell you that this feels like a whole new experience, compared to the old Jolla 1 :star_struck: It felt like a brand new OS for me - but is still well-known. To be honest, I cannot describe what in the end made the difference.
I do not know, what your budget for a new phone is or if you do/do not like to by used phones, but for me the Sailfish experience on Jolla 1 is no more comparable to the Sailfish experience on a newer/recent device.

You have definitely some valid points (like voice assistant) that are currently not possible on Sailfish OS. Apart from that I can say, that I use Firefox as browser and Xperia 10 has also a fingerprint reader (does not work optimal on Sailfish OS, but in general). So these two points could potentially be fulfilled.

Furthermore I believe, that since you have used Jolla 1 for such a long time, you really can value/appreciate all the litte things that Sailfish offers.

TLRD: I also wanted to switch to another OS, but I could not have done anything better than simply updating my hardware on which I run Sailfish OS on :smiley:

5 Likes

Thank you very much for your reply. Opinions like yours are exactly what I am after. It seems like I underestimate the usability, sailfish may bring on a more powerful device.
As you said, our situation is similar, in that I don’t want to switch to android or iOS, because I do not like the direction and approach these ecosystems develop into. For me, all the little things described are a sign, that Jolla deep down puts the focus on the user, and is connected with the users enough, so that they can understand what the uses truly need.

I do care little about the budget for buying once, however I can and don’t want to keep on spending on my phones regularly. As my long stay with the Jolla1 indicates, I like to get value out of an invest.

One followup question on the little things: Does double tap to wake still work?

Overall, I’ll consider your point and experience seriously. I still would like to hear other opinions, though.

Hi there, thank you for the info. AOSP android is definitively an option and I might look into buying a compatible device, but if you have experience with AOSP, can you elaborate a bit how AOSP handles the “little things” I mentioned?

Thank you for the input, I read about the Volla phone ages ago.

Do you have information, how the Volla Phone handles copying files to and from the device?

In my opinion, the chassis design of the Xperia 10 II is lacking. I liked the aesthetic of the Jolla1, and I also like the way apple is going again with the iPhone12, making the edges sharper (or sharply bevelled) instead of rounded. I had the feeling, even when I took an Xperia 10 II into my hands, that it is just cheaper.

Wait. This is new to me. Is there a possibility to have a voice assistant on Sailfish X?

It seems this is liek @Peeder said, I really can’t compare Sailfish on Jolla 1 with Sailfish X.

I already noticed that iOS or android seem to be my only options. However, I am not ruling them out, instead I want advice from fellow sailors and suggestions how to make a qualified decision on how to keep most features from Sailfish.
So I beg to differ on the point, that this is not the right location to ask for this. If I asked on a android-centered board, I’d get android advertised over iOS, if I asked on a apple-centered board I get iOS adviced over android. Of course, I get that this is a silfish-centered board, so I expect to be advertised for Sailfish over the other two. However, I discussed this on other boards before, and the amount of ridiculous suggestions I received is just unbearable. Can you imagine that some apple users think it is the most normal thing in the worls to have comma and fullstop hidden in a second layer of the onscreen keyboard, and even if I point it out to them, the answer is either “Oh, it does not matter to me.” or the suggest “Well then, try changing your language to not use comma so much?”

I feel, like the sailfsh community values that every user is different, and that every user should have a chance to make their device their home. I am not experienced with android, and obviously I lack experience with the recent Sailfish X release, so this is my asking of your experience with those, to make me find the device and software I need.

Thank you for reading.

2 Likes

This seems the consensus between all of whom replied so far. I never considered this, still using my Jolla1 (except for the points, where it’s showing its age, as described in the initial post).
I will take that into consideration.

This sounds kind of ironic. Yes, it is long, and I am lost. But I do not take this lightly, and I ask you to not make fun of me for that.

I pre-ordered my Jolla1 after careful decision-making like this, and I never regretted my decision. Having good information leads to good decision in my opinion. If you find the post too long to read, feel free to skip it. If you read it and even reply, be sure I read it, reply and take whatever information you have to offer into consideration.

2 Likes

Isn’t Volla OS AOSP with an Volla UX? So file copying should just work as in AOSP. However i don’t know if the UX with its approach of typing also supports voice commands. The principle way of offering functions instead of special brands or apps is what i like the most. Its just working, no matter whats running in the background :slight_smile:

I cannot tell for other devices than for Xperia 10, but there it unfortunately does not work. You can find this and other regressions in the latest release notes:
Known issues specific to Xperia 10

Edit: Improved quote

2 Likes

Thank you, I was quite sure I had read that somewhere. Also, now that I read through the issues list again, the lack of predictive text is also a bummer for now.

Well, the lack of predictive text is an annoyance, but it’s coming in the next update, which, based on the fact that there’s an ongoing translation round for it, will probably be here sometime in July.

Tap to wake does not work on the Xperia XA2, Xperia 10 and Xperia 10 II, however it does technically work 95% of the time on the Xperia X if you enable it from the command line. I’ve found the fingerprint reader to be a decent alternative, but for those times where you just want to check the big clock on the lock screen (the fingerprint reader jumps straight to the lock code screen or to the last opened application), I really do miss tap to wake.

2 Likes

Have two Xperia 10, working perfect including predictive text input (in german version on my phone). Predictive text input must be installed manually from the shop and is only available with the licenced version. On my phone, it needed a “reboot” after installation before it started working, but after reboot it works excellent! From my sight, after every system update time, the phone works better and bugs are repaired. Fingerprint reader works in most cases since SFOS 4. Cold or wet finger recognition is rather lame, but with dry finger at room temperature it works nearly always.

What Android phone is supported for seven years??

Personal, I would recommend to buy an Xperia 10. It’s available as Single or Dual SIM Version and not SO expensive as the new models.

2 Likes