Nokia’s not the only player in town with Android launcher news today, and while its new Z Launcher may be grabbing all the headlines, we’ve also just picked up on word of another new launcher, nearly ready to head out. And like Nokia, with its Symbian roots and move to Windows Phone, we’re looking at a release from another company more traditionally associated with a platform other than Android: Jolla. While work on Sailfish OS continues, Jolla’s releasing what it calls its Jolla Launcher in an effort to give Android users a preview of how Sailfish looks and feels.
Alpha testing of the Jolla Launcher begins next week, with signups open now. In general, phones running Android 4.3 or better will be supported, but Jolla’s primary focus is on the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5. Users interested in bring part of this test group can find registration instructions through the source link; just please be ready and willing to provide Jolla feedback on your experience with the launcher – this is an alpha test, after all.
Some of our favorite experiences with Sailfish OS have stemmed from the easy navigation and swipe controls, so it will be great to see Jolla bringing those same kind of interactions to Android users with this launcher. We’re not sure just how much of an effect it might have on convincing Android users to make the jump to Sailfish full-time, but it’s as good a way to promote awareness of the platform as we’ve ever heard, and we’re curious for the chance to give this release a spin for ourselves.