Solana Labs Launches Mobile Platform, Reveals Android Smartphone

Money


In brief

  • Solana Labs has announced an Android-based software kit for developing mobile Web3 apps.
  • The firm will also release its own smartphone called Saga, which will be released in 2023.

Solana Labs’ next big bet for Web3? Mobile apps—and a smartphone to match.

Today in New York City, Solana Labs—which represents the founders and core contributors of the Solana blockchain network—announced the launch of the Solana Mobile Stack software ecosystem for Android, along with an upcoming Android smartphone called Saga.

Solana Mobile Stack (SMS) is an open-source software kit designed to enable the development of native Android apps built around the Solana blockchain. The kit includes the Mobile Wallet Adapter, a protocol for plugging in mobile Solana wallets. According to the firm, this feature will work on all mobile devices—not just Android ones.

Another new feature called Seed Vault is a software custody solution that keeps private keys and seed phrases (essentially the passwords that unlock crypto funds) and other sensitive information secure on an Android device. Lastly, SMS includes Solana Pay for Android, which enables mobile payments via the platform.

Solana Labs will also launch a new Solana dapp Store designed for mobile devices, providing easy access to Web3 applications and wallets built on Solana without fees. The SMS developer kit is available to download today.

According to the firm, the Solana Mobile Stack will enable new functionality such as minting (i.e. creating and distributing) of NFT assets from anywhere, easier mobile transactions on Solana, wider-spread access to Solana’s DeFi protocols, and more ways to play Solana-based Web3 video games.

To help facilitate the spread of Solana applications on mobile, Solana Labs will release its own Android smartphone called Saga. The device, which will feature top-tier, flagship-level specs—including a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor, 6.67” OLED display, 12GB RAM, and 512GB of storage—is set to release in early 2023.

Saga will have a “secure element” hardware module to help empower the Seed Vault feature and keep users’ private information protected from exploits and attacks.

The phone is expected to have a retail price around $1,000. Solana Labs is taking $100 deposits and will prioritize Solana developers on the list. Early buyers will receive a limited-edition NFT marking the launch of the phone, which is also described by a press release as a “first ticket to influencing the direction of the SMS platform.”

As part of the Solana Mobile Stack launch, the Solana Foundation will establish a $10 million developer ecosystem fund to provide grants to mobile creators.

“Developers can now bring the power of Solana to the computers in our pockets, not just our backpacks,” said Solana co-founder Raj Gokal, in a release. “Solana can revolutionize so much of what we do everyday, but we need to open the possibilities for decentralized apps on our mobile devices in order for this potential to be realized.”

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