Samsung has shown off a Tizen reference device at MWC 2013. The first devices running Tizen are expected to hit store shelves as early as June this year.
We’ve known since last year’s rumours, that Samsung will be shutting down development of the bada OS, and instead focus on its open-source Linux-based OS Tizen which it is building in collaboration with Intel. That announcement is now official, and the Korean giant aims to allocate resources from bada to Tizen, whilst helping developers with the transition. The bada OS was Samsung’s self-developed smartphone OS that initially gained traction, but ultimately failed to grab a market share when compared to Android-powered devices in the same price range.
The first devices running the Tizen OS are expected to hit store shelves as early as July 2013. Apart from Samsung and Intel, who are at the forefront of the development of the OS, NTT Docomo has committed itself as a carrier for the device in Japan.
After getting a look at Tizen 2.0 in action on this developer device, it definitely looks like the OS is coming along nicely. It seems to have most of the trappings of a modern OS, like a slide-to-unlock lock scree, multitasking menu and notification shade, but there are some small parts of those features that are a bit different than what we’re used to seeing. For example, the green battery indicator below the time at the top of the screen and the fact that the action of swiping down to access the notification area actually pulls the home screen down to the bottom of the display rather than pulling the notification shade down over the top of the home screen.
The Tizen Association has been working for a year and a half on the application ecosystem, and there are thousands of apps already ready to support the platform. But the group declined to provide an exact number, and only said that there would be a robust number of apps by the launch.
The show has also been the place for upstart operating systems. Mozilla unveiled its Firefox OS earlier in the show, complete with a large group of partners backing the initiative. Phones running on the Ubuntu mobile OS have been floating around the show as well.
The mobile industry is definitely becoming a bit more crowded as of late with all of the new OSes that are coming soon, including Tizen, Sailfish OS, Ubuntu and Firefox OS. It’s not known which of those platforms will take off and which will fizzle out, but with heavy backing from Intel and Samsung as well as support from several other companies, Tizen’s certainly got a shot at gaining some traction. After watching Tizen 2.0 in action on Samsung’s reference hardware, what are your thoughts on the OS?