Myriad: app refinement next step for Jolla

Myriad outlines next app steps for Jolla

29 NOV 2013

Myriad, the software specialist that has helped enable Jolla devices to run Android apps, is now working with the start-up on how to let developers refine and customise their applications for Jolla’s new Sailfish mobile OS platform.

“The first Jolla goal, to give customers access to tens of thousands of apps, has been achieved with the launch,” John Ronco, product director at Myriad, told Mobile World Live. “Where Jolla wants to go now is to create a vibrant eco-system for the device. That’s the aim for 2014.”

Aside from encouraging developers to write apps natively for Jolla’s Sailfish OS, Ronco believes the key for market differentiation will be letting app developers – who choose to write for Android –  gain access to Jolla’s proprietary features and APIs. “You can’t just replicate what’s already in the marketplace,” he added.

The Myriad exec did not disclose what new features Jolla may have up its sleeve, but described them as innovative and interesting.

Of course, getting app developers interested in Jolla will also require the device to be popular. Jolla, perhaps not surprisingly, is confident this will be the case. Earlier this week the company talked of future device sales in the millions.

Myriad has been working for just over a year with Jolla on smartphone integration of its Alien Dalvik software, which Ronco descibed as an Android player or Android runtime. He’s keen to correct press coverage that calls it an ’emulator’.

“That gives the impression that it’s a virtualised environment and performance is going to be terrible,” he said. “The performance you get on the Jolla device running an Android app is the same as if you were running an Android app on an Android device with the same hardware spec.”

Ronco said he doesn’t see many serious rivals to Myriad’s Alien Dalvik. He talked of the company’s “deep expertise” in Java, and getting Java to work on different devices. Myriad’s Java virtual machine product line, said Ronco, has been in operation for 15 years.

“Since the core of Android is Google’s version of Java,” he argued, “our Java experience has helped us.”

Alien Dalvik has also been trialled on a number of pay-TV platforms, but Jolla is the only mobile player that Android runtime has been publicly associated with.

Ronco said, however, that Myriad has been in discussions with other mobile OS platforms.

“My view is that all of the new entrant platforms, such as Ubuntu, Firefox, Tizen – and even Windows – should be doing something like this,” he opined. “I don’t expect Jolla to be the last.”


Ken Wieland

Ken has been part of the MWC Mobile World Daily editorial team for the last three years, and is now contributing regularly to Mobile World Live. He has been a telecoms journalist for over 15 years, which includes eight...More

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