Sailfish OS 4.1 Finally Embracing 64-bit, Android 10 App Support API Level
Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 27 May 2021 at 07:26 AM EDT. 30 Comments
OPERATING SYSTEMS --
While other mobile operating systems have for years been on a 64-bit software stack and in the process of phasing out 32-bit app support, Jolla is celebrating Sailfish 4.1 as finally marking their first fully 64-bit Sailfish OS software stack -- for use currently just with the Sony Xperia 10 II smartphone.

The Sailfish "Kvarken" 4.1 spin for the Sony Xperia 10 II is their first with a "fully stacked" 64-bit ARM Sailfish OS image.

As for the very long time for Jolla to embrace 64-bit Arm, they noted in the 4.1 announcement, "Community has been enquiring Jolla about going 64-bit since its early days. While we appreciated the push, there hasn’t been a pressing case to do the switch, and we kept on supporting a nicely working 32+64-bit architecture sandwich throughout our devices, even after the new CPUs, SoCs, and the Android itself had turned 64-bit. The benefits that a 64-bit Sailfish OS would bring are not immediately tangible: the quickest gain is being able to install and run 64-bit APKs via our Android App Support. Websites such as ApkPure started offering 64-bit APKs by default, and that introduced an extra burden to the users of 32-bit Sailfish OS. 64-bit however makes us future-proof, where we’ll be able to address devices with larger RAM sizes, and support complex graphics (such as augmented reality and face ID). From the technical side, no longer being 32-bit eases our porting process to the 64-bit Android base, and automatically prevents issues that we otherwise had to work around in the past. 64-bit is no easy feat when your Linux stack is still 32-bit. And when the push came to shove, we turned our heads towards the Sailfish Core, which was the first to be converted."

Sailfish 4.1 also updates its Android app support compatibility to the Android 10 API level.

Sailfish 4.1 also has various app improvements, an Open Forti VPN plug-n for Fortinet virtual private networks, the ability to install new search engines for the Browser, and a number of fixes.

More details on this 4.1 update via the Jolla blog.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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