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back to article Samsung's 'OS of Everything' Tizen still has little to offer

The first smartphone running the Linux-based Tizen OS is here, even if it will likely be a long time before most of us can get our hands on it. But forget about phones – Tizen is also about cars, TVs, home automation, wearables, and more. At least, that was the message put forth at the third annual Tizen Developer Conference in …

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Bronze badge

Its the Apps Stupid!

Apart from Fanbois - who cares about the OS in the smartphone market - its Apps availability that makes a successful platform.

Android struggled not until it became refined but when it could deliver a critical mass of apps. Nowadays iOS & Android are so far ahead the only chance for anybody else is if they can successfully create an emulation environment to hijack existing apps with or without the owners permission (are you listening MS?). Only then is the mass market going to care about anything else it can deliver.

Or is this an admission that it will never get consumer acceptance - and its future is embedded in iThings where the manufacturer, not the consumer, chooses the OS to do a predefined set of tasks.

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Re: Its the Apps Stupid!

BlackBerry is pointing QNX at the same market. This has a long history (I first saw a presentation on it 30 years ago), extensive deployment in many suitable application roles, and a nice UI if required.

Samsung has huge market share, brand recognition, and deep pockets. But they have a habit of only using those deep pockets when they can really see the long term benefits.

As for the app business - I'm not sure this is true any more. iOS sells because nobody ever got fired for buying Apple, i.e. it is a deeply reassuring brand name. Samsung sell because they are everywhere and everybody knows someone who has got whatever it is they are thinking of buying, plus whatever amount of money you have to spend they will have several options. The rest of the Android market sells on quirks and specification, e.g. cameras, water resistance, sound, big screens.

Tizen needs to replicate the user experience that a current Samsung buyer is used to, and offer something else - which if rumours are correct is longer battery life, faster task switching, better application integration and a slightly lower price. The middle two will only matter if the built in software utilises them in a way that the end user notices.

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Re: Its the Apps Stupid!

Sony was possibly an even more aspirational brand than Apple or Samsung in its day. Betamax was superior in almost every department to the competition. The market was won by Apps availability (in the form of film cassettes).

So many technology companies are determined to ignore and repeat history. If Samsung swopped to Tizen tomorrow their market would swop to LG/HTC/Moto by the next day. Their management, maybe not their developers, know this. Hence the realignment of Tizen's target market?

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Silver badge

Re: Its the Apps Stupid!

Yep, no Audible app on the platform, you can forget it...

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Trollface

Re: Its the Apps Stupid!

"iOS sells because nobody ever got fired for buying Apple"

Last company I used to work for which made me use Apples went under, yeah I can see why now.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Its the Apps Stupid!

"(in the form of film cassettes)."

(in the form of Pr0n film cassettes)

-- fixed it for you

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Re: Its the Apps Stupid!

The Apps are definitely a MASSIVE issue (for Smartphones) - I saw the Z there - it looked like any Samsung phone, just with no apps. It has no consumer value whatsoever.

For TV OS - I mean, Samsung is going to use whatever they want, and throw it away every 3 years anyway. Same with Smartwatches - they launched the Gear on Android - a year later its Gear 2 Tizen - just weeks after that launch, they announce a new fitness wearable reference design - !?!?!

Which comes down to the real issue - asian hardware makers don't know anything about developer support - which is why Google and Apple own the smartphone OS market. Samsung would need to triple its investment in developer support and stay on the same track for developers for 2-3 years in a row before anyone would both to stop and invest time in this platform.

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Re: Its the Apps Stupid!

They paid quite a bit of money to get enlightenment DR17 finished. Dunno what parts of it they are using for Tizen but it is a different thing entirely to anything Google or Apple have or will ever do.

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Mushroom

Re: Its the Apps Stupid!

Apps are a massive issue. And developers these days don't want to have to redevelop their app five times in five different languages for five different platforms.

Therefore, increasingly, they just write to the lowest common denominator, which is *tada* HTML5+JavaScript. Every mobile platform can run this. It's rapidly becoming the new Latin. And Tizen looks like it will be able to run it faster.

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Re: Its the Apps Stupid!

Jolla's Sailfish has full Android application compatibility.

And quite frankly, is shaping up to be probably the best-looking (in term of feature's and funtions as well as form) phone/tab OS out there. It's also based on Meego (Mer, actually),Tizen's roots as well, but done by ex-Nokia people who were working on Maemo/Meego before the whole going broke thing.

Not many people who have used Maemo have a bad thing to say about it, and now the same people have moved it to regular smartphones.

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As someone with a BADA Phone I can tell you that adopters of this will end up with nothing but large televisions, phones, and tablets.

I have Equipment from Sony, Philips, Pace, and Samsung and it is all the same. Once the "12 month" warranty is over there are usually no updates even when the hardware can cope with things just fine. None of them will release the source for any of the dead products either.

The only choice consumers have are to follow the sheep (Buy new every year) or use bulky PCs (not doable for the phone)..

As said, Unless it is able to support Google or Apple apps then it will just wither and die. Partially because developers will not develop, but also because (just like Bada) we will not see the OS updated.

I am going to look for the Logo, so I know what not to buy.

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Anonymous Coward

I got one of the Gear2s

and promptly sold it. It didn't work with any device I owned, so, even though I work at a wearable apps startup, it was useless. The NUC (what's in a name...) OTOH, looks to be useful.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I got one of the Gear2s

Samsung Gear is compatible with 17 types of device models :

Samsung Galaxy S5 / Galaxy Grand 2 / Galaxy Note 3 / Galaxy Note 3 Neo / Galaxy Note 2 / Galaxy S4 / Galaxy S3 / Galaxy S4 Zoom / Galaxy S4 Active / Galaxy S4 mini /

Galaxy Mega 6.3 / Galaxy Mega 5.8 / Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition) / Galaxy NotePRO (12.2) / Galaxy TabPRO (12.2/10.1/8.4)

So you don't own one of the above? Can't be much of a wearable apps startup...

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Silver badge

>"smart home services, monitoring and controlling the functions and devices and features within your home and on your body, all together, connected, while you are at home or while you are remotely away halfway across the globe to the other side"

i don't want smart home services controlling my body functions and features remotely, thanks.

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Could be a good drive for competition

Doesn't sound revolutionary does it? Sounds rather like a bunch of techies (I can say that, I am one) trying to fix a problem that may not exist, or actually be as big as they think it is.

Android took years to really hit the market in a big way, if you remember back versions 1.0, 1.2, 1.4 and to some degree 1.6 were only really available on two to three handsets, so market penetration was slow really. Could be interesting to see if this has a three year plan on actually becoming a household name.

Whats more interesting is that this OS may develop and deliver new or amended capabilities that customers actually find useful. They will of course move over into the other two big OSs, so Tizen might be a nice R & D stream for Apple / Google.

I can't imagine that either of those players sees Tizen as a serious contender, which is a shame as a third player might drive competition / innovation a bit more.

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I think the obsession with getting the same OS on multiple device types is silly. The future is about interoperability. Who cares what OS a device is running if it can talk to all your other devices in the same language?

Samsung may be trying to push for a closed ecosystem it controls, but the market won't let that happen. It is easier and cheaper to connect different OSs and devices using open protocols.

Tizen is just one more OS mobile developers will have to consider. Unless it can build significant market share ASAP or come up with some other must have killer feature it just going to be overlooked like Bada, the new BlackBerry OS and Windows Phone (sort of).

The world simply doesn't need another mobile OS.

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Silver badge

Re: "It is easier and cheaper to connect different OSs and devices"

Cheaper, yet, but rarely is it easier. Apple, Samsung, et.al. don't seem keen on open protocols, as they'd much rather you bought all your kit from one manufacturer.

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Silver badge

Re: "It is easier and cheaper to connect different OSs and devices"

Actually, samsung are way ahead of Apple with their 'openness' and interpoability...

My Windows, linux, Android devices all talk to each other nicely, they can all throw video to the TV through their native apps, with IOS, i would need extra apple hardware to do it.... (although Samsung seriously messed up with their latest video players, there is no easy way to browse a 1000+ file DLNA server so I have to use a third party app to browse which then uses the built in player or sends to any DLNA client on my LAN

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RE: Smitty

I am at the point where I would rather given the choice of an ecosystem controlled by somebody I am not too bothered as long as that somebody is not Google.

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Simple solution - dual boot.

All they need to do is make the high end devices either dual boot, or easy to swap system. Perhaps the OS on an extra microSD, (it would be nice if there was a software interface on board, similar to how a BIOS worked in DOS, etc.)

They could sell the device with a full android ROM (as in paying Royalties to MS, Google etc.) and a free Tizen ROM. Cheaper devices could come with a Tizen ROM and perhaps an Android lite ROM (without the bits that cost).

If Tizen is any good, it would catch on, if not, it wouldn't.

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Re: Simple solution - dual boot.

Or perhaps better add Android app support like Sailfish did...

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Re: Simple solution - dual boot.

and Blackberry

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Meh

Unfamiliar UI

From the pictures, it looks like it should actually be pretty familiar to someone who's used TouchWiz on Android...

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Silver badge

Re: Unfamiliar UI

So, awful, then.

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FAIL

Tizen FAIL

While it is admirable of Samsung to attempt controlling more of their software stack, the fact is, we already have a declared winner in the volume market for a mobile Linux operating system. It's called Android. It has utterly dominated mobile (partially at the hands of Samsung itself) and is now in the process of dominating tablets, is creeping onto other devices, and is even starting to make inroads on the desktop.

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Anonymous Coward

Sorry but I don't want Samsung ruling anything.

Can't we have an OS that is truly independent and stop these OEMs from all trying to lock you into their product range?

Whatever happened to interoperability and standards?

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I think it was Andy Tannenbaum who said "The great thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from"

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Anonymous Coward

TIZEN

Don't misunderestimate me!

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IOS & Android - Your greatest strength is your biggest weakness!

IOS & Android - Your greatest strength is your biggest weakness!

If you want current proof - see Tesco [HSBC market analyst David McCarthy said: 'Tesco looks like it is experiencing more than one million fewer customer visits per week on a like-for-like basis']

Suggestions are that Tesco is past its sell by date.

Remember when Apple itself was a basket case?

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A USP would help

It looks dull and generic. A me-too OS. While it looks perfectly usable, they are going to need to do something special to break into a market as tough as this one.

Windows Phone has a fresh UI that did move the game on a bit from earlier versions of iOS, but even that has struggled to make an impact.

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Try it before commenting...

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