Finnish start-up Jolla announced today that its Sailfish OS is now compatible with Android software and hardware, an achievement it hopes will help Sailfish speed into the global market.

In a press release Jolla said that Sailfish users will now be able to "take full advantage of the Android application ecosystem," naming specific Android apps, like Instagram, WhatsApp, Spotify and popular Chinese messaging app WeChat, that are compatible with Sailfish.

Sailfish users can download Android apps directly from "various app stores globally," the release said, though "not Google Play," a Jolla representative told TechRadar. She added that Jolla is also developing its own app store that will have both Android and Sailfish apps.

In addition, the Sailfish OS is now compatible with common Android hardware, "particularly smartphones and tablets."

Break on through

This makes it easier for existing Android hardware manufacturers to develop Sailfish-based devices, since they can put the OS on the same hardware they're already using for Android - but will it be enough for the OS to make inroads into the global market?

The mobile market is dominated by a disproportionately small number of operating systems, making it difficult for new options to make a dent.

But Android is already in global use, and Jolla might just be able to ride its coattails to success.

"We believe Sailfish with Android compatibility is a highly relevant mobile operating system option for major mobile companies in Europe and in Asia," Jolla CEO Tomi Pienimäki said in today's press release.

He added that they are "already in discussions with several major Asian vendors."

All aboard

Jolla was formed by ship jumpers from Nokia who left after the company ditched its Linux-based MeeGo OS in favor of Microsoft's Windows Phone platform.

Sailfish was built from the ashes of MeeGo, and Jolla's been sailing that schooner ever since.

Now that Microsoft has officially taken control of Nokia devices and services division, Jolla believes that "the strategic position of Jolla and Sailfish OS has strengthened significantly," according to its announcement.

And in response to "positive feedback and increased demand" Jolla will offer a second batch of Sailfish phone pre-orders on its website this week aimed at "Finnish customers who want to express their passion for the Finnish mobile industry."