By Markus Gausling
On 7th of January a preview version of the Tizen SDK for Ubuntu was released (). The official 1.0 release is scheduled later this quarter and shall also support versions for Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac.
Tizen is maintained by the Linux Foundation with strong contribution from companies such as Intel and Samsung. It is designed to run on different systems such a smartphones, smart TVs, netbooks, tablets or in-vehicle infotainment systems. The released alpha version however is targeting smartphones and tablets primarily.
Tizen is planned to run on x86 and ARM architectures in the future.
Tizen is a Linux system which also uses a number of open source components. It provides an application environment which is based on HTML5 and Wholesale Application Community (WAC) standards, see .
The list of supported interfaces in the Tizen Web API layer can be grouped into the following three categories:
- Khronos interfaces – Interface for the Khronos-defined standards such as WebGL and the Typed Arrays API.
- Tizen interfaces – Additional interfaces to access platform functionality not covered by W3C and Khronos. This includes e.g. PIM, Messaging and Call, Sensors, Bluetooth or NFC interfaces.
In addition to the SDK the Tizen source code is available in a preview version via Git ().
Hands on experience
Setting up the environment was quite straightforward although it took some time to download the packages. Creating a sample Hello World with the application wizard went fine. As the IDE is Eclipse-based most developers should be immediately familiar with it.
The Emulator and the platform itself feels quite responsive and stable. This is probably also due to the fact that HW acceleration for the emulator is supported. Also the UI of Tizen looks reasonably designed and you feel immediately at home when you are already familiar with Android or iOS.
On a first glance Tizen has all the ingredients to become a successful platform. The Web Application based approach seems to be promising and seems to support rapid application development. This might attract a lot of new developers coming from the Web development area.
I believe developing native applications or at least support for native components is required as well though. So far I have heard that this is planned however I haven’t heard any details on this yet.
With Android, iOS or Windows already a number of players in the same segments are available today. MeeGo will also be maintained although it remains to be seen to what extent. So MeeGo can be regarded as a potential competitor as well.
On top of that Intel is still struggling to enter the mobile markets. With their latest Intel Medfield platform it is expected they will enter these ARM-dominated segments though.
Last but not least device manufacturers and end customer need to support the platform as well. Let’s see where this will lead…
 An early look at Tizen - https://www.tizen.org/
 Tizen developer page - https://developer.tizen.org/
 Tizen Source Code - http://source.tizen.org/git/
 Wholesale Application Community (WAC) - http://www.wacapps.net/