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Jolla has announced its Sailfish operating system is compatible with both the Android app ecosystem and hardware. This means anyone who purchases a future Jolla phone will be able to load and use Android applications, a significant advantage for early adopters of the brand new OS. Jolla says it will, “Cooperate with leading global app stores to ensure users can seamlessly download Android apps just as they would do on any Android device.” The company’s CEO name drops a few very popular apps when he continues, “Apps such as Instagram, WhatsApp, and Spotify run directly on Sailfish OS.”

Apart from the advantage for us as consumers, it’s beneficial for Jolla in its quest to attract manufacturers, as Sailfish can happily run on phones and tablets designed for Android, presumably with little or no modification. In Jolla’s press release, it states the firm is already talking to, “Several major Asian vendors regarding this opportunity.” Jolla is pushing Sailfish in China, so ZTE and Huawei could be two of the companies with which it’s negotiating.

So, great news all round for Jolla and its Sailfish OS, one of several new challengers to the iOS and Android smartphone lockout. However, going back to the Android app compatibility, we shouldn’t get too excited about using Google Play apps on the OS just yet. It says quite clearly in Google’s system requirements for its apps that, “Phones and tablets running other operating systems are not supported for downloading Android apps.” Is Jolla going to find a way around this, or is the plan to strike a deal with Amazon, or one of the other third-party app stores? We’ve contacted Jolla for more information, and will update if we get a reply.

Jolla announced its first smartphone back in May, and after a successful pre-order campaign, sold out of its initial run of hardware. A second run of phones is about to begin, and the company will be opening up the order books again later this week, although it’s unclear whether they will be limiting it to potential owners in Finland.

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