This was the first time that I attended the XDA DevCon conference and this event was an opportunity for me to get know the wider XDA Community, look at collaboration opportunities and also to let them know there is an alternative Operating System on the horizon for them to keep in mind. There were a full arsenal of sessions available and there were lots of prizes given out, and in fact overall total was £18,000 of prizes given out. I was lucky enough to Win an NVidia Shield Tablet and Controller (thanks Nvidia).
The Event was well sponsored, with the exception of a few of the big hardware manufacturers that you would possibly expect to see at such an event. Sony were showing off their Sony Xperia devices and also their headset tech.
Sony is a company that is making great moves with their AOSP for Xperia devices and would make a graet partner for Tizen, but we have to show them something for them to show Interest, hence the need of a Tizen Smartphone or a real world Tizen Developer Smartphone offering like a Samsung Z Developer edition, if such a thing ever existed.
This year was the anniversary of the XDA developers European developer conference, held for the first time in Manchester, UK. The Conference saw the attendance of Mainly European developers, but also had some international attendees who had flocked together to explore the world of hacking and tweaking. Many exhibitors were present such as Sony, Nvidia, Jolla, ONE Plus, Oppo, Kazam. MediaTek and Spur. They were showing off their latest products and reaching out to the XDA Developer community.
Zachary Powell gave an Interesting talk about device convergence and the Vixtel Unity Tablet. The idea was to have a device that has the portability of an Android device and the productivity of a desktop Linux environment combined into one. The can run both systems concurrently and be able to switch between both environments. The long term goal is to have one environment that is running both Android apps and also linux apps in the SAME environment. Zachary was Interested about Tizen and having a Android / Tizen device.
Oppo were showing off their Oppo 7 Smartphone, and it looked pretty good. Talking to their director Levi Lee, they have to focus all their resources on Android at the moment, to be a device that is distinctive in the ever crowded market place. The company has great potential, and once they are comfortable with Android, and have grown some more, then Tizen could be an offering from them.
Spur Have a range of devices coming to the UK, and are happy to reach out to developers. There is Interest in Tizen, and they have Smartphones and also Tablets that could be potential targets that we are discussing further. They welcome developer feedback and hope to create devices that developers can work with.
Kazam is also another new company that has some devilishly thin devices, and they are also bringing out more in the coming months. These devices could also be good Tizen targets. The company is hoping to provide a quality product at disruptive pricing, and a company that is constantly evolving, and can reactive to the market to accommodate what customers want.
ONE Plus had their Android offering. This is a company that gained attention by making an invite only system of being able to purchase their handsets. Many, including me, felt this was a kind of elitist way of selling a Smartphone, but at the Show it was explained to me that they simply could not fill the demand of orders the company was receiving. They had a goal of initially selling 50,000 units, but demand had stretched to over 500,000. The OnePlus phone has good specifications at a rock bottom price of $299. The company hopes to grow based on volume sales. This is another
MediaTek LinkIt The LinkIt Software Development Kit (SDK), that worked with their Aster (MT2502) SoC. There has been talk previously about Tizen running on MediaTek hardware, for now it won't be possible on this unit due to the fact that it only had 4Mb Flash RAM. Possibly as Tizen Common Micro comes into existence we can revisit them.
Our old friends Jolla were present with the Jolla device on display. They have been able to get Sailfish OS running on more hardware now, with the Samsung S3 LTE, Nexus 7 and Nexus 7 being added. They wont be looking at Tizen, as they are a Sailfish OS, but they do have a great OBS system that we can look at.
Mozilla has their handset and a developer smartphone, the flame developer reference phone on display shown off by Asa Dotzler. I would say my new friend could speak for England (as the saying goes), but you would need to throw a couple of oher countries in as well (Joking). I did enjoy speaking to him, and feeling his passion for mobile and openness, it was very refreshing, and the spirit of Mozilla's openness is something we can all learn from.
A new initiative we are about to launch is to get Tizen running on a Intel Galileo Gen 2 Development Board. I chatted to the guys at XDA Developers and they are also Interested in seeing this happen, so keep following Tizen Experts to see further developments. If you are Interested in this project then please email contact [at] TizenExperts [dot] com.
The Board has a Intel® Quark™ SoC X1000 application processor, a 32-bit, single-core, single-thread, Intel® Pentium® processor instruction set architecture (ISA)-compatible, operating at speeds up to 400 MHz.
The XDA Developer community was a crowd that was mainly interested in the Android OS, but they did appreciate the power of what a "true" Linux based OS brings to the mobile scene. The fact we have the same OS in a Smartwatch like the Gear 2, could also run on my Samsung NX30 Smart Camera (which all these pictures were taken with) intrigued them. Tizen is not a Smartphone OS that has then been shoe horned into other form factors or use cases.
Lots of companies at this event were focusing on Android for the immediate / mid range goals, but felt that they could look at Tizen once it had matured a bit and also when the first Tizen Smartphones started shipping, seeing is believing. Hopefully we will have a Tizen Smartphone launched in India soon, so we can answer that question.
This was a great event to meet the XDA Developer community, and hopefully continue some work between XDA Developers and Tizen Experts. On the horizon we have some development on Galileo / Edison Dev Boards. If you want to join in, email me on contact [at] TizenExperts [dot] com. We will also be talking more to some of the manufacturers regarding future Tizen devices, but the first Tizen Smartphone will help get all this dialogue going.