What the hell is the Turing Phone doing? Drops Android for Sailfish OS

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Going back to last summer, we’ve been approaching the Turing Phone with a healthy degree of skepticism. Right from the get-go, the handset was promising an awful lot, from “uncrackable” security to some very high-end hardware materials. If it actually came to pass, the phone might be pretty impressive, but would it ever ship? Well, our fears appeared to be allayed when we finally saw the manufacturer announce a specific ship date – but one that never came to pass. Instead, Turing Robotic Industries pushed that mid-December date to a “before the end of Q1 2016” ETA. Now we’re learning that not only will the company miss that Q1 deadline, but that the smartphone’s taken a serious left turn with its software in the process.

TRI recently contacted customers letting them know that the new ship date for the Turing Phone is sometime in April.

That would be bad enough on its own (especially with the company getting a reputation for not following through on its shipment promises), but this next bit is just nutty: TRI has announced that it’s dropping Android in favor of the beleaguered Sailfish OS.

Granted, Sailfish makes for an interesting OS choice (and one some users might be fine with), but it’s also very much not what customers thought they were getting on board with when first supporting the Turing Phone. TRI attempts to downplay the impact of that change by emphasizing the Android compatibility layer of Sailfish OS, allowing devices like the Turing Phone to still run Android apps, but that just may not cut it for everyone. And especially with Jolla’s future uncertain, just how long might Turing Phone software support be available?

Has the Turing Phone officially jumped the shark? Will it ultimately ship in Q3 2018, running webOS? Actually … is it too late to place that order?

Full text of TRI’s notice to backers is below.

Dear Turing Fans,

You will be pleased to know that we have ironed out the final development tasks before we deliver the Turing Phone to your hands. We fully expect the Turing Phone to be delivered in the month of April 2016.

Many of you have asked numerous times through our Facebook fan page as well as emailed us about our OS development. We can now confirm that TRI has chosen to drop Android and use Jolla’s Sailfish OS. Sailfish OS is now running perfectly on the Turing Phone and we have started the final OS software testing phase.

Sailfish OS runs exceptionally fast on the Turing. You will not have to worry about performance issues with Turing’s Snapdragon 801 because Sailfish OS has been optimized to run fast on your Turing Phone. The Turing Phone will still be able to run Android Apps on the Sailfish OS without issue. An Android application store will be available for you to download your favorite apps.

The Sailfish OS is an evolved continuation of the Linux MeeGo OS previously developed by an alliance of Nokia and Intel. MeeGo mobile software platform was created through the merging of Moblin and the Maemo OS originally developed by Nokia.

This essentially means you have one of the world’s fastest mobile device running the fastest mobile OS with the capability of running your favorite apps in a secure environment.

TRI will also be hosting its first Turing Developers Conference (TDC) during Q2 2016.

We can’t wait to get the phones out to your hands. Thank you so much for your continued patience and support for the Turing Project.

Turing Phone Team | Turing Robotic Industries

Source: TRI

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bitsRead more about Stephen Schenck!