Solana Labs launches a mobile platform and unveils an Android smartphone

In short

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

Solana Labs’ next big bet for Web3? Mobile apps and a matching smartphone.

Today in New York, Solana Labs, which represents the founders and major contributors of the Solana block chain network — announced the launch of the Solana Mobile Stack software ecosystem for Android, as well as an upcoming Android smartphone called Saga.

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

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 safe on an Android device. Finally, SMS includes Solana Pay for Android, which enables mobile payments through the platform.

Solana Labs will also release a new Solana dapp Store designed for mobile devices, providing easy access to Web3 apps and wallets built on Solana at no cost. The SMS SDK is available for download today.

According to the company, the Solana Mobile Stack will enable new features such as typing (i.e. creating and distributing) of NFT assets from anywhere, easier mobile transactions on Solana, wider access to Solana Challenge protocols and more ways to play Solana-based Web3 video games.

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

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

The phone is expected to have a retail price of around $1,000. Solana Labs accepts deposits of $100 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 influence the direction of the SMS platform”.

As part of the Solana Mobile Stack launch, the Solana Foundation will create 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,” Solana co-founder Raj Gokal said in a statement. “Solana can revolutionize much of what we do every day, but we need to unlock the possibilities of decentralized applications on our mobile devices for this potential to be realized.”

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