Samsung flexes its muscles with Tizen operating system

By on Mar 8, 2014 in Mobile Design | 0 comments

Samsung flexes its muscles 
with Tizen operating system

Prashant Vadgaonkar (TECHTRONIKS) / 1 March 2014

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Android, Google’s mobile operating system has maintained its pole position in the mobile operating system space with an imposing 80 per cent global market share as against rivals such as Apple’s iOS. Samsung which has the share of the largest smartphone market has traditionally used Android as the OS of choice in all its devices and has contributed immensely to the growth and explosion of Android adoption in the mobile market.

In this backdrop, the recent news that Samsung has launched its next-generation smartwatch, the Gear 2 which will not run on Android but on the new Tizen operating system is noteworthy and could have long term implications. Samsung’s Gear 2 is indeed the first commercially available Tizen devices.

The Samsung Gear 2 has switched to the new Tizen operating system and is the first commercially available Tizen device. —Getty Images

Tizen is a Linux-based operating system designed for devices which include tablets, smartphones, home entertainment devices such as smart TV’s, refrigerators, ovens, cameras and also and in-car entertainment devices. The web-centric platform based on the Linux kernel is essentially an open source platform which provides app developer utilities and very high scalability. Tizen is a blend of two Linux based platforms MeeGo (Nokia and Moblin) and LiMo (Vodafone and Samsung) and also incorporates features of the Samsung’s own erstwhile OS, Bada. The Linux fraternity has devised the OS under the auspices of the Tizen Association which includes leaders of the mobile industry comprising OEMs and computing leaders such as Fujitsu, Intel Corporation, Orange, Huawei, NEC Casio Docomo, Panasonic Mobile Communications, Sprint, Vodafone, Samsung and SK Telecom.

 Tizen provides application development tools based on the JavaScript libraries jQuery and jQuery Mobile and also provides a comprehensive software development kit (SDK) which lets developers use HTML5 and related web technologies to write applications that run on supported devices. Tizen SDK which runs on Windows, Ubuntu and Mac OS, is an exhaustive set of tools for developing Tizen Web and Native applications and comprises of an IDE, Emulator, sample code, and documentation. The advantage of Tizen applications is that they can be developed on non-Tizen IDE and the app simply needs to be compiled using Tizen’s packaging rules for further deployment. The environment is compatible across platforms wherein the development framework can be suited with minimal rework to any OS — be it Android, iOS, Windows, Firefox, Sailfish and Blackerry 10.

There is already a bouquet of about 5,000 plus apps created for especially for Tizen. Also there is also an application compatibility layer devised which allows apps written for Google’s Android on Tizen devices. It is expected that Samsung will unveil a Tizen app store in the near future.

Android is an extremely effective engine which is leveraged smartly by Google to amass critical demographic and other pertinent data about the user base and their choices and preferences. With options such as Tizen becoming available and the perceived loss of data capturing abilities, Google could indeed be posed with challenges with its targeted advertising which is its bread and butter business. Samsung on the other hand, being the device manufacturer and now the software maker too, will be in a unique position to optimize and enhance the performance of their devices and gain a stronger foothold in this burgeoning industry.

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