Working on more and more mobile sites has me interested in the continuing trends of mobile development. Lately I started reading about the Tizen software platform. Tizen is part of the Linux Foundation and is described as..
“…an open source, standards-based software platform supported by leading mobile operators, device manufacturers, and silicon suppliers for multiple device categories, including smartphones, tablets, netbooks, in-vehicle infotainment devices, smart TVs, and more.”
The opening keynote was given by Imad Sousou from Intel and Jong-Deok Choi from Samsung. They let us know that the next point release of the OS, codenamed ‘Magnolia’, will be released later this year. This is a good indication to the community that there is a roadmap in place and that development of the platform is progressing at a quick pace.
They showed off some very impressive demos using the Tizen reference device from Samsung running 3D animations that featured the manipulation of both images and video. They spoke about how HTML apps can be written to interact with the device and showed this off by placing a call from the Tizen device to Imad’s mobile phone. They also talked about how the HTML engine is powerful and responsive enough to produce everything from simple apps to games. We also heard from Dr. Kiyohito Nagata from Docomo and James Pearce from Facebook who spoke highly of the Tizen OS and it’s commitment to standards.
Some of the applications demoed during the sessions and the the tech showcase included many games, a movie showtimes app, a weather app and even an in-car entertainment system. Porting of web applications that already use HTML5 was shown to be a rather painless process.
The platform definitely has a lot of potential and really shines in the fact that it is HTML5 and standards-based. I think the challenge for Tizen, going forward, will be to see what devices are ultimately released for it and how successful they are. It is hard to imagine Tizen devices taking on the mobile market leaders of Apple and Google, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen. I think a more realistic view of Tizen’s future may be in devices such as televisions, vehicle entertainment systems, medical devices or maybe even household appliances. It will be interesting to see what direction it goes now that developers have their hands on it and are able to start writing apps.