Tizen 2.2.1 was announced yesterday in the lead up to today’s Tizen Developer Summit, and the message that was sent out in the keynote is that 2.2.1 is feature complete and capable of being deployed on smartphones. However, towards the end of the keynote we were given a look at what to expect with Tizen 3.0, and here are some of the major points:
The Tizen 3.0 release will update the Core OS and toolchain. It brings support for multiple users and the big talking point, specifically after Apple’s recent announcement, was 64-bit architecture. We were told that 64-bit support has been in the works for Tizen for a year now, and the devices will support IA and ARM chips. Performance improvements and support for more RAM are also the obvious benefits.
When Tizen was first announced, and through the months of development Tizen has always been projected as an operating system for high end devices. But that is changing, and with Tizen 3.0, Tizen will introduce support for low-end smartphones as well. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as its easier to convince people to buy a cheap phone on a brand new platform than it is to convince them to spend 600$+ on a OS that’s still in its infancy.
Tizen Mobile Lite will need just 256 MB RAM, a 512 MB ROM, and support HVGA and QVGA screen resolutions. Tizen’s minimum needs otherwise include 512 MB of RAM, 1 GB of ROM and it supports HD and WVGA screens.
Going into the Tizen Developer Conference there were a few major questions that people wanted answers to. The developers wanted to know details about the Tizen App Store, everyone wanted to know when we’d see the first Tizen devices, which would be the carriers supporting them, and what about the big games apps?
The keynote did manage to answer a few of those questions, albeit in not complete detail. Tizen devices are coming this year, but Jong-Deok Choi, EVP, Samsung won’t be more specific. In terms of operator support, Roy Sugimura from NTT DOCOMO has stated that they will be carrying the first Tizen device in the second half of this year. Frederic Dufal, Devices Technical Director for Orange has also announced that they are committed to launching a Tizen project this year (end of summer, Europe only).
The big change from Tizen 1.0 to the current 2.1 release is the ability to run native apps. Samsung has folded Bada into the platform, although this was not specifically mentioned in the keynote.
The Tizen Store has been announced, and is open for app developers to submit their apps. Users cannot access it yet.
Tizen 2 also has an inbuilt security layer, McAfee has contributed to this.
A Tizen App Challenge has been announced. Submissions will be accepted June 1 onwards, and a total of 4$ 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.
Back in the day Intel had Moblin (PC and tablet OS), and Nokia had Maemo. Both of which came together to form MeeGo, an effort which has since been abandoned. Instead we have Tizen, a OS targeted at not just mobile phones, but also in vehicle systems, tablets and the PCs. While we’ve seen it running on mobile phone hardware (ARM chips), there has so far been nothing on the PC front, that was until today.
At the Tizen Conference 2013, I got a look at Tizen running on Intel’s Ivy Bridge ultrabook. While the PC release of Tizen is still some time away, the following video should give you a good idea of what to expect in terms of the UI and functionality.
The free to download Tizen images for laptops will be made available through Tizen.org website. While the best platform to run that release would be Ivy Bridge and up, I’m told that work is being done to support older chips and netbooks (in a limited way) as well.