Android spurred a huge wave among developers to bring about new kinds of Mobile OS. It set a benchmark on how polished open sourced operating systems could be. Some of the ambitious projects failed hopelessly due to lack of funding and guidance or any sort of market response. First casualties were MeeGo from Nokia’s developers and Bada from Samsung developers. But through time companies merged their intellectual assets and are trying to bring about a change, to break from the dependency of Android in the mobile market.
Change is important. Continuous evolution of a system is only possible when there is a threat from another. Although it is very clear now that Android is no longer threatened by neither Apple’s iOS nor by Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8.1. And due to its open source nature, none of the proprietary OS can catch up with the development pace like Android. However, other open sourced projects can challenge Android. And that’s exactly what the makers of Tizen and Sailfish OS are trying to do.
Sailfish OS and Tizen are forked out projects of MeeGo. Although Sailfish OS is being developed by a small team and currently running on the Jolla mobiles, Tizen has a stronger back from industry giants like Intel, Samsung, and Linux Foundation. Tizen also has elements of Bada and Samsung has been taking its development rather seriously.
Samsung is a pretty big company with enough mass to bring about changes in the mobile eco-system. With sales margin almost 32% of all mobiles sold in 2013 any decision Samsung takes can have direct influence in the market, after all they were the ones who brought about the Android craze after HTC’s tiny attempt, with their iconic Galaxy SII.
Tizen 3.0 on Samsung Galaxy SIII
So why should we take Tizen so seriously? Well Android’s only enemy is its popularity. Due the same, it’s highly fragmented. Also, Google calls the shots on updates and further enhancements at the end. Also Google has the complete rights to place ads and collect user data through Android operating Phones. We see a completely different environment when it comes to Apple and Microsoft.
They both have their own proprietor OS which separates them from the usual crowd i.e. Android. Samsung has become such a heavy weight, that its time it too got an individual identity like Apple and Microsoft while still keeping the OS open sourced for continuous improvements and good reception from developers. And they are chasing this dream through their Tizen project. Recently they booted up their Galaxy SIII with Tizen and it looks fantastic.
Tizen 2.0 UI
And what’s better? Samsung gets to call the shots on updates and patches. What’s great about this is that now the OS will be perfectly optimized for Samsung devices and with Samsung setting it up from core, they can bring about massive improvements of its performance in their devices. And the advantage of it being open sourced is that the OS is still free keeping the phone’s cost down. With this model Samsung and Intel have the ability to bring about a phone like the Nexus series to the market. And with no dependency to Google, there won’t be ads running amok in the phone nor would it be collecting anonymous data like Google (however it’s too early to comment on that).
Also currently Android still lacks that classy look that Apple and Microsoft offers, although that is not the case with Tizen OS. Another great thing about Tizen is that unlike other industries, Samsung has a foothold in home appliances like Smart TV, fridges, washing machines, and they are having plans of using Tizen in them. Samsung could use this advantage to create a smart ecosystem where the Tizen OS in the phone can be used to control these home appliances as well. Also they can use Tizen for their smartwatch series too!
Although it will be a challenge considering Android has 79% market share, however more than half of their devices are built by Samsung. Plus Android has an amazing collection of application like iOS. Samsung might make the apps cross compatible with Tizen to save time.
If Samsung play their game well and bring a polished OS out with their new line of Flagship phones with a large enough application ecosystem, we might be seeing a winner here!
About the Author
Anirudh is an engineering graduate and author of Technomaniacz. While not writing, he works on website development and css3 animations.