Tizen is poised to be Samsung Mobile’s next big bet, as it looks to reduce its dependence on Android as its primary cash cow. The operating system was born from the ashes of MeeGo, Intel and Nokia’s open source alliance, but doesn’t share much with the now doomed platform. Intel remains the common link, and along with Samsung and other partners, the brand new HTML5 centric OS has been in development for over 18 months now.
While it started out as an out and out HTML5 platform, with apps and the UI being done in HTML5, with Tizen 2.0, it’s added brand new native application layer as well. Further, Samsung has also announced that it will be folding Bada into Tizen, and that Tizen devices will be able to run Bada apps. More than one Tizen device is expected from Samsung this year, and the upcoming Tizen Developer Conference should reveal a lot more.
The first schedule of the sessions that can be expected at the Conference has been announced, and it includes three tracks:
1. Application development and deployment
2. Platform and device development
3. Tizen project, process, and progress – A look at the Tizen architecture, Tizen Store, In-Vehicle infotainment.
The official Tizen blog has a break-up of all the sessions inside these tracks. If you’re interested in Tizen, there’s still time to register for the Conference.
We’ve already heard from Samsung that Tizen powered devices are coming in 2013, and from the look of things it seems the OS development is on track. The Tizen 2.0 Magnolia SDK and source code has just been released and is available for download from the Tizen.org website. According to the technical steering group, Tizen 2.0 represents a major milestone for software developers and device vendors and includes many new features and improvements over Tizen 1.0 released in April, and Tizen 2.0 alpha in September, 2012.
Tizen is primarily an HTML5 centered operating that is based by Samsung and Intel. The Tizen 2.0 Magnolia release brings strong HTML5/W3C APIs and a new native framework.
- Enhanced Web framework that provides state-of-the-art HTML5/W3C API support
- Web UI framework, including full-screen and multi-window support
- Additional Tizen device APIs, such as Bluetooth and NFC support, and access to the device’s calendar, call history, and messaging subsystems.
- Web Runtime framework supporting new configuration elements for specifying the required features and privileges, and providing the basic runtime environment for NPRuntime plugins
- Native framework supporting full-featured application development and providing a variety of features such as background applications, IP Push, and TTS (Text-To-Speech)
- Core and native reference applications including Calendar, Contacts, Gallery, Phone, Settings, and Video Player
- Native IDE providing a project wizard, WYSIWYG design environment, unit test tool, and dynamic analyzer.
I last got a look at Tizen running on a reference device last May, and it looked a lot like Samsung’s Android skin Touch Wiz. The OS was completely barebones at that time, and some basic APIs and stock apps like Camera were also amiss. With the 2.0 release, it seems that all that has been fixed and the OS is nearing a level of maturity that befits a commercial launch. The release notes suggest support for background multitasking, NFC and push notifications among other things. An all new native framework has also been introduced (faster/smoother apps), and we’ll probably hear more about it soon.
The Tizen Developer Conference 2013 is scheduled for the 22-24th May in San Francisco and will cover a variety of Tizen-related topics, including presentations on both application and platform development. The call for papers and the registration for this conference is now open, if you’re serious about Tizen, the early bird registration is 50$.