A very cool demo of Active Share in a connected home powered by Tizen. You can starting watching a movie on the TV, that is stored on your phone and seamlessly transition to watching it on the refrigerator, and back to the TV when you’re done with the kitchen. You can also playback media stored on the phone wirelessly to the fridge or the TV.
The refrigerator that you see is a prototype based Tizen and Tizen powered TVs are expected to become commercially available in 2015.
The story of Tizen has been filled with ups and downs. Just when you think that the OS ready for prime time, there is something or the other that prevents that. At first the Samsung and Google’s broad ranging patent agreement threatened to put a shadow over it, but at the last Tizen Developer Conference in June, Samsung took the wraps off the brand new Samsung Z. Since then it has also announced other Tizen products such as the Gear S smartwatch and NX 1 camera. It is another matter that Samsung decided not to release the smartphone, as the ecosystem to support it wasn’t ready yet. One advantage that Tizen does enjoy is that while Samsung’s smartphone efforts may be on the proverbial backfoot, it is also an OS for TV’s, cameras, smart homes and more.
With that backdrop, we step into the Tizen Developer Summit, Shanghai. The Tizen Association just announced that 16 new companies have signed up, taking the total number of members to over a hundred. More highlights below.
Data caps are a real thing now and the concept of unlimited data is a thing of the past. While manufacturers have realised this and implemented settings that restrict downloads/streaming to WIFI, there still exists room for improvement.
Fortunately for Android users (at least ones on the newer versions) Google has added a setting where you can tell the device that the ‘WIFI’ connection you’re on is actually a portable hotspot, so it shouldn’t go crazy downloading Play Store updates or anything else that will consume copious amounts of data.
Since Airtel’s 4G launch, a recent court ruling allows intra circle 3G roaming, and operators can offer 3G services in states where they do not own spectrum by getting into agreements with one another. So if you are an Airtel 4G customer, you would think that you will finally have access to high speed internet across the country, even while roaming, akin to what Airtel’s 3G customers now enjoy? Wrong.
Turns out if you are a 4G customer, you can only roam on Airtel’s 4G network for free – which is less than 5 cities in the entire country. So for example if I go to Delhi where Airtel has had 3G services for years, I will not be able to jump from 4G here in Chandigarh to 3G in Delhi, but will be kicked down to EDGE! This is despite paying a premium for the 4G service. The sheer absurdity of this policy is that it includes states where Airtel even has its own 3G network.
This doesn’t stand to logic, as 3G customers in one region enjoy 3G services in other circles while roaming for free, and you would think Airtel would keep the same policies for 4G users as well. So I called customer care, wondering why I wasn’t getting 3G coverage in Delhi?
I go hands-on with the just announced Samsung Z, the first Tizen based smartphone.
Tizen has come a long way since the last Developer Conference. In 2013 we just had the NX 300 camera in terms of real world devices running Tizen. Today we have a TV, a camera, the Gear smart watches and the just announced Samsung Z smartphone. With the exception of the TV, a demo of which you can find here, all other products are or will be in stores very soon. There is also an in-vehicle infotainment demo that is being showcased in a Land Rouver and a Chevy Corvette.
Tizen had its roots in an HTML5 based operating system, but since then has expanded to include native code. Which means that high intensity graphics are completely at home and the UI itself feels smooth and the frame rates remain high. The OS has had a tumulus journey, with people wondering if it was going to survive the Samsung-Google cross patent deal. But it does seem like Samsung is completely behind the project and is still looking to leverage its bets.
The major theme of the Tizen keynote was, Tizen – the OS of everything.