At the heels of the Tizen Developer Conference that kicks off today in San Francisco, Samsung’s first Tizen smartphone simply called the Z, has just been made official.
The phone itself while not packing top of the line specifications, is no slouch by any means. It comes with a 4.8-inch Super AMOLED display (1280×720p), packs a quad-core 2.3GHz processor and will run Tizen version 2.2.1. Just like the Galaxy S5, it also supports a heart rate monitor, a fingerprint sensor and comes with functionality such as an ultra power saving mode and download booster that also first made an appearance of the Galaxy flagship. It is powered by a 2600 mAh battery, has a 8 MP camera with a 2.1 MP front facing shooter, 16 GB of internal storage and support for microSD cards. Connectivity options include support for LTE Cat. 4, NFC and an IR sensor. It will come in Black and Gold, with a faux leather finish that we have seen before from Samsung.
While everyone waits for the Samsung to release their first Tizen based smartphone, it turns out that Samsung has already shipped a commercial Tizen based product – the NX 300M camera. Today at the Tizen Developer Summit in Seoul, Samsung’s Jong-Deok Choi, proudly showed off the NX300M, and confirmed that the NFC and WIFI capable camera was indeed based on Tizen.
Nokia’s so proud of the display that they put in the Lumia 1520 that they had setup a demo zone that simulated the lighting available during various times of the day e.g. in sunlight, indoors etc and the idea was to see how the screen kept up with the changing lighting.
Both devices were set to automatic maximum brightness, and this is how they stood up.
The Tizen App Store was officially announced today at the Tizen Developer Conference, and it will be the goto place for all your application needs. The store isn’t accessible to the general public yet, but is open for developers to submit their apps (seller.tizenstore.com). Registration and publishing apps is free, and the promise to developers is that their apps will be validated within 3 days of being submitted for approval.
The Tizen Store is pretty much everything you expect from a modern App Store, however it does have a couple of novel features. One of them is the ‘Discounted’ section. So if any app is on sale, it will automatically show up there. The performance seemed smooth, and the UI kind of reminds of the Nokia Store on the N9, and parts of Google Play.
Going into the Tizen Developer Conference there were a few major questions that people wanted answers to. The developers wanted to know details about the Tizen App Store, everyone wanted to know when we’d see the first Tizen devices, which would be the carriers supporting them, and what about the big games apps?
The keynote did manage to answer a few of those questions, albeit in not complete detail. Tizen devices are coming this year, but Jong-Deok Choi, EVP, Samsung won’t be more specific. In terms of operator support, Roy Sugimura from NTT DOCOMO has stated that they will be carrying the first Tizen device in the second half of this year. Frederic Dufal, Devices Technical Director for Orange has also announced that they are committed to launching a Tizen project this year (end of summer, Europe only).
The big change from Tizen 1.0 to the current 2.1 release is the ability to run native apps. Samsung has folded Bada into the platform, although this was not specifically mentioned in the keynote.
The Tizen Store has been announced, and is open for app developers to submit their apps. Users cannot access it yet.
Tizen 2 also has an inbuilt security layer, McAfee has contributed to this.
A Tizen App Challenge has been announced. Submissions will be accepted June 1 onwards, and a total of 4$ Million is up for grabs.
Also big news for gaming enthusiasts, some of the top gaming engines like Unity, Havok, Game Salad are coming to Tizen.
NTT DOCOMO will make a Tizen device available in the second half of the year.
So will Orange. They like Tizen because of its open nature, and HTML5 focus. The launch will be a part of the ‘back to school’ campaign that will start at the end of summer. Europe only for now.
We also got a look at the in vehicle application of Tizen, Jaguar | Land Rover wants to push the boundaries of what people expect from a in-car Linux based system. A competition to generate ideas, UI elements and functionality is also under way.
Finally, the next major release of Tizen will be the big 3.0. Expect this release in 2014 devices. The roadmap for the release isn’t complete yet, and the development will be done openly on Tizen.org. They encourage platform developers and other open source developers to contribute.
There is a tremendous amount of push to bring big name developers to Tizen. Facebook, Angry Birds were named in the keynote. I saw demoes of Gameloft’s Asphalt 7 and Real Golf running on a Tizen reference device, along with games based on the Unity engine, games from Sega, and Opera Mini.
The Galaxy S3 is the sucessor to the super successful S2, and since I did a very popular must know tips & tricks post for it, now would be a good time to do a follow up for Samsung’s latest superphone. The S3 packs a quad core processor, a GB of RAM, a 4.8″ Super AMOLED screen with a 1280 x 720p resolution, a 2100 mAh battery, support for NFC and runs Ice Cream Sandwich with the TouchWiz layer on top.
TouchWiz is Samsung’s Android skin that differentiates the look and feel of its devices from others, while at the same time adding useful tweaks. Since this is a brand new version of TouchWiz, you’ll have to learn a few new tricks to get the best out of this flagship device. Samsung has also bundled a few useful and a few gimmicky features, some apparent and some hidden. This post explores a bunch of must know tips and tricks that every Galaxy S3 user should master.
If you can’t see the video embedded above, hit this link to go to YouTube. If you’d like to see these tips & tricks in text instead of video, read on.
Setup Any Screen As Your Default Homescreen: TouchWiz finally adds the ability to setup any screen as your homescreen. Just hit the home button on the top right, and once selected, everytime you hit the physical home key, you’ll be taken to that screen. You can of course move homescreens around as well.
Change Lockscreen Shortcuts: Changing the shortcuts on the dock of the homescreen is fairly straightforward, you simply drag an icon from the homescreen to the dock and it gets replaced. However the option to change the quick launch shortcuts on the lockscreen is a little hidden. You have to go into Settings>Security>Lockscreen options and then tap the shortcuts label to get to the screen on the right. Once there, tap an icon to replace it.
WIFI Direct: This feature lets you send files to another WIFI Direct devices like the S2, or the S3 at speeds much higher than bluetooth. This is done by establishing a adhoc WIFI network, here’s a demo and an explanation of how it works on the S2. On the S3, the procedure is similar and once you’ve used it, you can turn it off by going into Settings>Wireless & networks. If you’re sending files between two S3’s, then just touch their backs to each other (NFC) and the phones will do the rest.
LED Customisation: Out of the box the S3 doesn’t let you change the LED for specific tasks. You can’t have a red notification for missed calls, blue for emails, yellow for messages and so on. Fortunately an app called Lightflow can let fix that.
Get Flipboard & Photo Editor: The S3 has a ton of apps pre-installed including Google Plus, however if you’re looking for Flipboard you’re out of luck. To get it you’ll have to go into an app called ‘More Services’. While you’re there I recommend you get Photo Editor as well, a very capable free tool. Also present are a bunch of other free apps.
Task Manager & Clearing RAM: Despite packing 1 GB of RAM and a quad core processor, the S3 does get a little sluggish at times. The TouchWiz launcher sometimes has to redraw the apps once you exit a heavy app and so on. While the S3 uses the ICS way of killing apps by sliding them off the screen, Samsung’s also retained its own task manager. Its accessible from the bottom left of the task switcher screen and lets you quickly uninstall apps, clear some memory and even monitor storage.
Motion Activated Actions: Some motion activated controls are cool, while others are gimmicks. I’ve explained all of them in the video, but to quickly recap:
– Direct calls dials the number of the contact you are looking at, if you put the phone to your ear. This also works if you’re in messaging and looking at a text.
– Smart alert vibrates the phone the moment you pick up the phone from a flat surface/table to let you know of any missed notifications. That way you won’t have to turn the screen on to see if you’ve missed a call etc.
– Tap to top works as advertised. A double tap on the top of the phone brings you to the top of a list.
– Tilt to zoom is fairly obvious, and pan to move icon uses the accelerometer to move icons around based on the direction in which you’re tilting the phone.
Enable Swype like typing: Unlike other Galaxy smatphones, the S3 doesn’t come with Swype pre-installed and there’s no official beta either. Fortunately Samsung’s own keyboard has some Swype like features. Once enabled from settings you can swipe to type.
EQ setting during calls: A hidden setting that can be accessed by going into call settings and then additional settings. Access call settings directly from the dialer by hitting the menu key.
More Useful Call Settings: Get extra volume in calls when you’re in noisy places by enabling the extra volume in call settings. Another option is to increase the volume of the ringtone if the phone detects that its in a pocket/handbag.
Display battery percentage: For the control freaks among us, goto Settings>Display and hit the checkbox.
Facetag & Buddy photo share: The S3 gallery has the ability to recognize faces and it prompts you to tag them. Once you do that, an option called buddy photo share comes in handy. By selecting this option you can directly email the photo(s) to all the people tagged in the photo without having to compose an email, enter their addresses and so on. It can send the email to any one person tagged in the photo as well. Sometimes face-tag gets annoying, specially when you’re just trying to browse photos on the large display of the S3 as it keeps showing a box around the face. That time you can turn Face tag off by hitting the menu key and choosing face tag.
Additional security in Hotspot mode: The S3 has tethering capabilities and you can even set a password to protect your precious bandwidth. However Samsung has gone one step ahead and introduced a feature called ‘Allowed device list’. With this turned on, despite the fact that you have the right security code you won’t be able to connect to the hotspot, unless your device has been added to the ‘allowed list’.
In addition to all of these, there are a bunch of things that work in the same manner as the S2, so check this post out as well. The one thing I am disappointed about is the fact that you can no longer control the brightness from the notification bar, unlike the S2. I also did a tips and tricks post for the Galaxy Note which can be found here.
What did I miss? Sound off in the comments section below!