The Tizen Developer Conference 2015 took place in Shenzhen China 17 – 18 September. Over 1,000 developers from all over China and Asia gathered to learn more about the new OS of Everything, with the new slogan “The Best way to connect everything”, a clear reference ot the world of IoT.
There were Keynote speakers from Hyogun Lee (Executive Vice President Samsung Co-chair Tizen Technical Steering Group), Guangnan Ni (Academician，Chinese Academy of Engineering Researcher), Bo Wang (Vice President of Tencent Mobile Internet Group), Evan Spytma (APAC Regional Manager General Manager Unity) and Curtis Sasaki (Vice President of Ecosystems and IoT General Manager Samsung Electronics).
The event was full of optimism, and why not as we have more Tizen devices in the market place than ever, such as the Samsung Z1 Smartphone and Gear Smartwatches (Gear / Gear 2 / Neo / Gear S) and next we have the Samsung Gear S2 and Samsung Z3 launching within weeks, which was confirmed by several sources to Tizen Experts.
“Tizen is here to stay”
The message ‘Tizen is here to stay’ was echoed throughout the keynote and the technical sessions that followed it, as an Open Source and viable alternative to the dominating forces of iOS and Android. Developers learnt how to build compelling User Interfaces & experiences, Tizen TV, Tizen Smartwatch, Tizen IoT, ARTIK Platform, Cross Walk, SAMI, Wayland, Iotivity and lots more. You can see the full schedule here for both days.
Tizen the alternative
There were many established software houses attending the event and they felt that Tizen could give them exposure to new users in the Tizen Store and it could be a viable revenue stream. Independant developers on the whole seemed more skeptical about the opportunities presented by Tizen, but were still Intrigued to follow the “rabbit down the rabbit hole!”. For many iOS and Android were saturated markets and they were struggling with visibility in these application stores.
Work on Tizen 3.0 has been on-going for a while now and we were updated at the conference to its progress and some of the architectural changes. The 3.0 milestone release has the following key features:
- 2.4 public API (both Native API and Web API) is backward-compatible
with 3.0 TV and Mobile profiles
- 64bit SoC is tested and verified with 3.0 TV and Mobile profiles
- 3.0 TV and Mobile profiles support multi-user architecture for
- New security architecture: 3 domain smack and Cynara
- Security server and privilege manager are replaced with the new
components, security manager and Cynara respectively
- X server is replaced with Wayland at this version
- Webkit2 is replaced with Chromium-efl and core components
interacting with the web engine are re-designed/re-implemented for the
new WRT and browser
- Buxton2 is introduced. Buxton2 provides secure configuration
service based on Cynara and is re-implemented considering multi-user
and recovery support
- Iotivity 0.9.2 is integrated into 3.0 TV and Mobile profiles
- Generic policy manager, murphy, is integrated into 3.0 platform
- Linux kernel 4.0 is provided
There is currently no hardware that Tizen 3.0 Mobile profile can be run on at the moment, but the Samsung TM1 developer device would make a perfect target device for platform developers.
Tizen 2.4 was also shown with some exciting features such as Rich UI and Graphics using the DALi 3D Graphics engine, which will mean better 3D games will be making their way to our OS. Cloudblox brings with it unified APIs for Cloud Services. Context awareness allows you create smarter applications that can have a Event / Condition / Action depending on your surroundings and also device status.
Tizen is developed to be a flexible OS that can be scaled down to run on many form factors, with varying memory and storage requirements. Unlike other OS’s where Inter-operability between devices was more of an after thought and hence they face scaling issues, the Tizen Linux stack is able to better accommodate different scenarios.
Curtis Sasaki (Vice President of Ecosystems and IoT General Manager Samsung Electronics) Introduced the audience to the new IoT hardware platform. Currently the main supported Linux distributions are Ubuntu and Fedora, but there is work being carried out to run Tizen on these boards.
Like many conferences before it there was a Tizen DevLab. This is a chance for new Tizen Developers to get hands-on experience of developing a Tizen app, from the Installation of the SDK to writing the important first lines of code. Tizen Experts were also on-hand to assist as required.
The future for Tizen
A Samsung source confirmed that the future of Tizen will look better in 2016, and beyond, as the company will become more focused on Tizen and allocate additional resources and funds to help grow the OS and ecosystem. No doubt the company has been spurned on by the sale of over 1 Million Samsung Z1 Smartphones, which has confirmed that the company has a genuine offering in Tizen that must be exploited. Tizen is outperforming the competition in terms of battery, memory and CPU power consumption and this is seen as just the start.
The aim of the Tizen Developer Conference was to reach out to developers and development companies in China and help them fulfill the need for another OS, that they can build on. The conference did go most of the way to provide all the Information that attendees wanted. Perhaps we could of done with more Tizen sessions to cover all app and platform development topics for Interested devs, but this still doesn’t distract from a well executed conference that brings China on-board.