Open source mobile OS backed by Samsung is ready for developers
On Monday, the Linux Foundation and the Tizen Technical Steering Group (TSG) have released version 2.0 of Tizen – the open source mobile OS based on the Linux kernel and backed by several smartphone manufacturers that wish to decrease their dependence on Google’s Android.
The release of the system, codenamed ‘Magnolia’, includes the source code and SDK for Windows, Mac OS and Ubuntu.
This latest version features many improvements over Alpha issued in September, and includes “strong” HTML5/W3C APIs, additional native apps and a new native framework.
The twisted branches of the Linux tree
Tizen is a free Linux-based OS that can run on smartphones, tablets, smart TVs and even in-car entertainment systems. Its development is managed by the Linux Foundation, and guided by the TSG, which so far consists of Samsung and Intel.
Tizen aspires to create an open ecosystem focused around HTML5, and will be compatible with the upcoming Firefox OS and all Internet browsers. The Tizen Association, which brings together companies interested in implementing the OS, already includes Huawei, NTT DoCoMo, Sprint, Telefonica, Panasonic, Orange and Vodafone Group.
‘Magnolia’ offers the developers a new native framework with advanced features such as support for background applications, IP Push, and text-to-speech. It also adds important reference applications including Calendar, Contacts, Gallery, Settings and Video Player.
Tizen 2.0 also features improved Web UI framework with full-screen and multi-window support that should make work with different screen sizes a lot easier. Finally, the update enables device APIs to add Bluetooth and NFC support, along with access to the device’s calendar, call history, and messaging subsystems.
A heavily promoted feature of the system is its what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) design environment, which could open the development of apps to anyone with a basic set of HTML skills. It has now been updated with more tools.
The second annual Tizen Developer Conference will take place on 22-24 May in San Francisco. It will future presentations on both application and platform development, and early-bird rate available until the beginning of March.
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