Jolla releases its first preview of Sailfish OS 2.0

It's been almost two months since Jolla announced the latest version of its Sailfish operating system, but today, the Finnish company announced availability of its first preview release.

Jolla said in July that Sailfish OS 2.0 is "the biggest update" in its history, explaining that it "introduces a totally new and visually refreshed user interface, which is fast and easy to use, enhancing the flow of the OS dramatically, and making the user interface designed for seamless multitasking like never before."

Sailfish OS 2.0 supports both the Jolla Phone and its new Tablet, which will soon be released with the latest OS onboard. Today's release is intended for "more advanced users" and developers enrolled in Jolla's 'early access' program.

Here are some of the key highlights that the new OS update brings:

New User Interface:

  • Home is now a carousel. Swipe to cycle between Home and Events
  • App Grid can be accessed from anywhere in the OS (even from inside an app) by swiping up from the bottom edge
  • Swipe down from the top edge of the screen to open Top menu with lock action and ambiences. The currently active ambience is marked with an indicator. You can change it to close apps directly with one top swipe.
  • Tutorial app has been updated to introduce the new navigation of the user interface
  • Refreshed visual style in Home, buttons, pulley menus, time picker, volume bar and remorse timer
  • Refreshed layouts for Calendar, Jolla Store, Clock, Email and Camera apps
  • Refreshed active App Covers for Gallery, Jolla Store, Settings, Notes and Camera apps

Events:

Events is now richer and configurable via Settings > System > Events

  • Notifications in the Events are now shown by grouping them based on type
  • New gesture option enables quick Events view access with a left swipe, activate it in Settings > System > Gestures
  • New Calendar widget displays your upcoming events directly in the Events view
  • Redesigned Weather widget shows five-day forecast information – tap on the widget to view it and remember to set your location in the Weather app
  • Jolla Tablet: now you can pick your favorite settings shortcuts to be shown in the Events view
  • Jolla Tablet: perform your favorite actions directly from the Events view. E.g. connecting to internet, search the web, find your location, take a photo, make a note or add a reminder

Camera:

  • Records video clips in H.264 format now

Android apps:

  • Android apps now use the “Chat” system tone for notifications, and alert with vibration and notification LED
  • Android app notifications now wake up the display

Other improvements/features:

  • Jolla Tablet: three finger volume control gesture enabled – hold three fingers on the screen and slide one of the fingers to adjust volume
  • Support for US English language in the OS
  • Support for Lohit Devanagari font (Indian fonts)
  • New ambiences based on the selections from the Jolla ambience photo campaign with Jolla tones set as default actions
  • Notes can now be shared as text files
  • Media controls on lock screen for native Media app

A more detailed overview, including known issues, of today's release is available on the Jolla forums, along with a complete changelog.

Jolla hasn't said exactly when it expects the full rollout of Sailfish OS 2.0 to begin, but it said in July that its public launch would follow "quickly after" the release of the preview. The OS will also be made available to other manufacturers to use in their own devices.

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