11 High Priority Apps For Sailfish

There are a few apps that are deemed almost imperative for an ecosystem to survive in this day and age – they are what we might call the umbrella apps that have a lasting impact on the entire ecosystem and its potential for mainstream success.

Once a platform has proved it can get these ‘big names’, it not only gives potential buyers confidence that the platform is worth investing in but also very importantly, the developers.

Of course there are countless other apps which make a platform, but these IMO represent the ‘must haves’, or staples that we have come to expect from any major platforms.


Twitter:   Of course Twitter is now a staple in all smartphone operating systems and would naturally be expected without hesitation.

Potential for Sailfish ?  A Given

We may expect to see some integration here with the Sailfish OS but would easily settle for a solid native app with all the usual bells and whistles.


Facebook:  Facebook is again another top priority and a ‘must have’ application that is expected on any successful platform.

Potential for Sailfish ?  A Given

We have already seen firsthand that Sailfish benefits from some very deep integration with Facebook showing some neat tricks available straight out of the box.   A native or ported standalone app may also be expected.


Satnav/Maps/Public transport:  All of the big platforms have some kind of mapping software to their name whether it’s Nokia’s HERE maps, Google maps or Apple maps – this is a feature that has changed from a selling point to an expected part of a modern smartphone.

Potential for Sailfish ?  Very Strong

The most probable is Google maps being run through the Android compatibility layer.  There is also the option of using some open source mapping software, but could Jolla surprise us by licensing something like HERE maps from Nokia ?  Offline navigation would additionally be a very attractive proposition.

angry birds

Top game titles:  These days, any successful platform should have a strong showing of top title games (Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, Wheres my water, Words with friends etc etc).

Potential for Sailfish ?   Very Strong

Again with Android app compatibility layer, we should expect to see a large number of titles available although it would be great to see some native games coming through as Sailfish builds its user base and game developers take heed.


Whatsapp:  A cross platform messaging app that has become another go to app for many as it integrates with your phone number/contacts with some nice features available such as attaching photos, voice recordings and now even video.   Whatsapp is free for the first year but will cost 0.99cents/year after that.

Potential for Sailfish ?   Very Strong

With Yappari and Wazzap both available on the N900/N9 respectively, consider that it’s virtually a given.  We may even see a few options available with the Android compatibility layer.


Youtube:  A good solid Youtube viewer would be expected.  Some integration would be great (ie. uploads) and the possibility of downloading videos would also be very attractive.

Potential for Sailfish?   Very Strong

Cutetube developers have confirmed they will be porting their app over which includes viewing and downloading (audio/audio+video) options.  Cutetube also offers Vimeo/Dailymotion facilities.  Whether we will see some deeper integration with Sailfish for uploads direct from the phone remains to be seen although would be hoped for.   Possibly expect some other native ported QT apps and potentially an Android spin off as well.


Music:  All major platforms have a way to listen to your music of choice whether that’s via a streaming service such as Spotify/Grooveshark/Deezer or some other service (eg. amazon) that allows you to download individual albums.   There are also many Radio services to consider which may hopefully find there way to Sailfish such as TuneIn.

Potential for Sailfish?  Strong

MeeSpot and Qspot are potential port options for Spotify fans and we may see any number of other services made available – it would be nice to have some native apps that integrate with the central music player and allow for offline playback.



People have become well accustomed to using ebay on the move with some great apps available for the ever popular auction site on all the major platforms now.

Potential for Sailfish?  Medium

With no obvious Qt ebay apps for porting, we would hope that an Android app could be ported to work well through the compatibility layer on the Jolla phone.  It would be nice to see a native Sailfish ebay app at some point to benefit from a deeper integration with eg. notification centre.


Good Browser:  The native browser is important to get right for any major platform with a combination of speed, compatibility and responsiveness all imperative to the average user.

Potential for Sailfish?  Very Strong

With a rich history of decent browsers in the N900/N9, we are expecting something good here and probably a few options (maybe Fennec/Firefox/Opera etc ?) aside from the native browser.   Don’t expect Flash, but expect a very streamlined, fast native browser.  Let’s hope for a souped up MicroB style browser with plugins (adblocker), download management and other frills.


Skype (and others like Viber):  Love it or hate it, for a lot of people Skype is very important for business, social or just catching up with long lost family across the globe.  It’s a fact that if you can get Skype on your platform, you are on the road to attracting a wider potential user base.

Potential for Sailfish ?  Medium

The N900, N9 and indeed Ubuntu touch all have full Skype integration so there is a strong possibility we could see Skype on Sailfish.  Whether it is a standalone Android app version running through Sailfish’s inbuilt compatibility layer and/or a ported standalone Symbian version and/or indeed a fully integrated plugin version as seen on the N900/N9 remains to be seen.


Netflix (and others like Lovefilm/Amazon streaming):   Again, a love it or hate it affair, Netflix has been notorious for its avoidance of certain major platforms (Symbian, BB10, Meego), but remains one of the best mobile streaming applications for a variety of movies/TV series for those happy to pay for their content.

Potential for Sailfish ?  Medium

Running on Silverlight, it’s highly unlikely the Sailfish browser will be compatible with Netflix out of the box, but there may be potential here for running an Android version of Netflix through the inbuilt compatibility layer.


That’s my opinion of what the top 11 apps should be from an average Europeans perspective… I know there are many other apps out there which are equally important but these I would say are priority to get on a new ecosystem in order to get the biggest amount of interest from day 1.  I’m also certain that other markets (China, India, USA etc) may vary where some alternative services have higher priority.

Obviously some kind of Office Suite also ranks very highly (although left off due to limitations with use on smartphone), and others like e-book readers, flashlight etc etc but I had to stop somewhere.

Maybe I missed something major or maybe you disagree with my priority top 11 for the average European user – let me know either way!  Also let me know if you live outside Europe and value a different set of priority apps. :-)

For further information on Sailfish app progression, check out this thread at maemo.org:   http://talk.maemo.org/showthread.php?t=90245

EDIT: It goes without saying we expect excellent email, calendar, weather clients out of the box with Sailfish.  The angle here is more on 3rd party applications.


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  1. I hope that’s a joke:

    High priority:

    – sophisticated email (easy to use) with imap and more possibilities (activesync/exchange)
    – calendar
    – weather
    – maps/navi
    – browser

    Whatsapp and crap like that is just a very insecure and lousy form of gathering private data.

  2. Although I think it will have a limited shelf life longer term, as the retro novelty wears off, the lack of an Instagram native app on WP8 is still a massive deal for reviewers on tech sites and many consumers as well. Often they can’t see past that point alone, so I would add that to your list.

  3. What about synchronization of contacts and calendar via CardDAV and CalDav? Isn’t it much more important than Angry Birds?

    Also file synchronization with owncloud or dropbox would be nice.

  4. A better email client than the My First Email app that came with Meego, it was so full of school boy architecture errors as to be beyond amusing.

  5. Exact…
    contacts synchronization is a great curiosity…
    is it planned a ” PC SUITE” similar software to sync contacts or import from nokia n900 or other phones?

    • I would expect not.

      I would hope if anything, Jolla offer an online cloud based service to sync contacts, calendars, mail, map favorites etc based on CardDAV, CalDAV, IMAP and other industry standards.

      I’d be equally happy if they don’t at all and just implemented those standards so we could use 3rd party services such as Google, Apple’s iCloud or a self hosted ownCloud install.

      While some people are concerned about using cloud based sync, especially from companies like Google, the old local/PC Suite method of syncing when you’re physically near your device is not as useful, fast and falls apart when you’ve multiple devices from many different manufacturers.

      At the moment, I’ve 2 Macs, 2 phones and a tablet all syncing details via ownCloud and since my work colleagues share calendars, if I’m out and set a calendar entry, they know I’ve done it within minutes.

  6. Isn’t WhatsApp available for Blackberry Q10 and isn’t that qt device? If so, would there be even official Whatsapp client for Sailfish OS?

    Netflix shoud definitely be there. It’s great show off, and sometimes watching from small screen is better than nowhere. Hopefully atleast android version works.

    We need Descent maps, that I agree, but some things which are not in list i would say:

    -OwnCloud App (+ bittorrentsync),
    -ScummVM (with nice touch UI + possibility to add direct from game to app list) [there is no better game than broken sword :D]
    -Open streep map app (to allow easilly track new routes and send to osm servers, and edit old data)
    -Secure folders app, which would let you create password protected folders to store some files you want for some reason keep private. Files doesn’t have to be “dirty” pics or similars. But I believe we all have _some_ files we wouldn’t want to show _everybody_ who is testing the device. This should be inbuild in the OS though..

  7. Also:

    – A sports app – Endomondo, Runtastic, Sports Tracker etc
    – LinkedIn
    – Foursquare
    – Instagram
    – Cloud services – Dropbox, Skydrive, Google Drive etc
    – Local apps – banking, newspapers, public traffic

    Email should include a (push) syncing version for Gmail/Google Apps for Business – email, calendar, contacts

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    • Skype, Whatsapp, Viber and other IM clients … yes, but not as App please !!! Use many third-party apps is philosophy on other old-style platforms. This is history. Meego use new, better system for IM – via protocol plugins integrated to Message center. All messages with all Contacts are in one place. IM chat with any persons in my Contact list I may start on Contact card – with IM protocol selection (SMS, MMS, Gtalk, Skype, Jabber, etc). Call, Text(SMS or IM), IPVoice or video.
      Nobody need ten different Apps for only one thing – message/chat with contact. :)

    • Yes although with a touchscreen only device I always find there are some serious limitations but I suppose ok for light editing. ie. onscreen keyboard takes up half of the app UI leaving no room for interaction.

      If nothing else, I find an office document/PDF reader useful for viewing eg. email attachments, but for heavy editing you’re best to stick with laptop/pc…. or if Jolla can release a keyboard other half ? ;-)

      • The Document application of Nokia N9 is a good reference of a versatile office-reader application. It opens MSOffice, PDF and ODF documents. I made some tests with an MSWord document which contains numbered lists, and the Document application of N9 displayed the list correctly, unlike the MSOffice app of Windows Phone, which displayed the numbers of nested list elelements incorrectly, and was not able to open ODF documents. Is there any hope to get it to Jolla?

  9. I think emulators are a must as well, or at least a GBA emulator with decent audio support. Angry birds is fun, but nothing beats a good old retro game on your mobile device! Pokémon, Mario Power Tennis, Mario Kart, Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories, Megaman Battle Network, Yu-Gi-Oh etc.

  10. Interesting, the only app I’d need on the list would be navigation / maps and a good browser ;-). Youtube could be nice too, but you can use HTML5 anyway now.

  11. I hope it will be possible to uninstall all of these mentioned ones.
    I need OSM navigation, owncloud, an offline IMAP client, caldav, carddav, jitsi

  12. Strong encryption and privacy tools would be nice. And possibly a good selling point, although I don’t know what kind of pressure the intel agencies are able to bring. Please look into it. OpenPGP?

  13. I don’t want to have to use the android layer for main apps. If i wanted android I would have bought an android phone. As with my N9 I would be happy with the main apps and apps developed by the community. So please don’t focus on providing main apps through the android layer. That would be a major disappointment.

  14. Decend barcode reader & NFC-reader app would be useful. I think you have some companies in Finland to create you that one =).
    Also flashlight app is also useful.

  15. For me the top-10 list is :

    – Very good messaging center for IM and SMS/MMS
    – Very powerfull mail client (with good support of Gmail labels)
    – Very integrated calendar, with CalDav/MFE sync on multiple calendars
    – Good media player that can play every format of audio/video (including subtitles)
    – A decent Spotify client (MeeSpot port anyone ?)
    – Good client for social, priority to G+ (with support of Pages, Communities and Locals)
    – Good document viewer for office, OpenDocument and PDF
    – very good mobile webrowser with a way to turn on full desktop site mode easily
    – good Weather app (Accuweather on Harmattan was nice)
    – Good RSS reader, supporting Feedly API

    And I would be happy !

  16. Gnumeric
    Mypaint (or Artrage)
    LED customizer
    dual pane filemanager
    an offline OCR app that works reliably

    Conduit would be nice too.

  17. +1000 on high priority SERVICE integration and NOT apps.

    The N9 got it’s integration of things like Skype, Twitter, Facebook, Evernote, Dropbox etc mostly right by having them as service plugins in the existing main apps and not as separate distinct apps.

    So, I really DO NOT WANT a Skype app. I want Skype text, audio and video call integration into the message center, calls and video.

    These kinds of internet services should melt into the OS and UI seamlessly.

    Outside that, I’d love to see a decent PayPal app and a LastPass app if it can’t be integrated elsewhere.

  18. As others have said: great email and calendar (also task sync) for major mail services. Also, it needs a good enough office document reader/editor.

    Fitness app with all the bells and whistles such as: heart rate monitor on Bluetooth, connect to smart watch, interval training. Runtastic Pro is my preferred app that has all these features.

    Mobile banking apps. I wonder if a simple Android port will work from security perspective. Best thing would be for the bank to publish officially through the store.

    Cloud Store platforms and apps for Synolygy disk station.

    To make room in your list, you can drop stuff like Netflix, ebay, Skype etc. I know they’re big names, but I don’t use them.

  19. The key thing in the upcoming apps & services portfolio is that Jolla adds value to the user archetypes that they identify as their users – creating a mix that serves as the Minimum Viable Product. This thread seems to be more or less Maemo/Meego skewed which does not necessarily give the true view of the whole user base in the future.

    I hate the quantity approach that the media is throwing in when talking about the ecosystems – it is essential that Jolla will meet the needs of their users from the day one with a portfolio of the key apps, services and features – also a more transparent view of the upcoming apps/services/features would differentiate Jolla from the dinosaurs; BlackBerry is a good example with their a) Beta Labs and b) co-op with CrackBerry who are constantly highlighting new, upcoming things.

    This thread may be good input for Jolla but I believe it’s not the only source for creating the roadmap – getting out of the building to meet true customers and getting the input from there, pivoting and finally nailing down the roadmap is the road to success. You cannot please us all, follow the ROI an make wise moves.

    Been there, done that and learned a lot.

  20. If somone won’t make a SubSonic client for Sailfish, I will go bonkers.
    I have coded one myself on the N900, but never got around to tidy up the details. Wife..kids…work, you know.

  21. There had to be a rich history of decent browsers for the N9 because the stock Nokia browser was so slow and took minimalism to such an extreme it was almost useless. A full featured, high performance internet browser can negate the need for some dedicated “apps” which are frequently little more than links to the service providers mobile website anyway.

    Jolla simply have to do everything better than everyone else if they hope to gain millions of customers from the already well established competiton

    • I agree with you, “203”. On laptop and (most?) tablet devices, you don’t need separate applications for Facebook or LinkeIn. We could get rid of the “umpteen” add-ons if the Jolla phone were equipped with a GOOD and versatile web browser, with which you could make practically all the same operations as with the regular web browsers of bigger devices.

      Using the Opera and the default web browser of Nokia N9 I can read and write to Facebook, blogs and browser-operated email services – I never use the Facebook application of N9. But those browsers of N9 are not perfect – some essential features are missing: there is no way to copy the target addresses of links and the text on the web pages. That is frustrating: you can see on the web page a long code, email address, phone number, or an interesting story, but you cannot reuse them. “Why don’t you copy the web address from the address line?” can’t be used as an excuse, because in many situations the target address of a link is not the same as the adress that you see on the address line after tapping on the link.

      I am very curious to know whether on the existing Jolla phones you can do decent online editing, such as writing a reply to this thread, so that you can also select a few lines of text and then copy or cut it, and paste it to another part of the reply text. Such operations can be done with the default browser and Opera browser of N9, but the selection of text and the copy/cut/paste operations cannot be done with the Firefox of N9.

  22. firefox, email with pgp/tls support, mp3 player WITHOUT ANY BS PROPIETARY SCHEMES (aka devilish crApple-itunes stuff), file sharing over wifi/bluetooth/nfs/usb2usb, vlc or any other wide-video-format player and of course…Tetris

  23. I thought about my list. Then I realised there was a problem. The apps on the list already exist – I’ll be using them today on my iPhone. I’m already committed to purchase (although I don’t wear the T shirt) and I’d like to think that what I am getting is something new, innovative and different. If it simply a mid-range plastic box containing ‘android’ apps then I’ll be very disappointed. The addition of a snap-on plastic rear cover is (unless and until there is evidence to the contrary) merely a cosmetic opportunity to brand the phone and doesn’t appear to actually bring new software capabilities. Unfortunately, I think my ‘stuff’ is too integrated into the Apple ecosystem for the Jolla to be useful in the real world. Happy to be supporting it but unless it really does bring something new I’m sceptical.

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  28. Hi priority apps:
    Better codec for video player or VLC player
    Gba/nes… emulator
    Skype-voip calls in general
    offline maps like in N9
    Synchronization to save in the cloud presonal data
    grooveshark (with free account)
    pdf and office document reader/writer
    Calendar appointments in the notification page