What App Testers Need To Know About Tizen OS

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Built from scratch, Tizen OS marks Samsung’s break from Google’s Android OS. Tizen OS powers the Samsung Gear 2 smartwatch, and with open source licensing, offers a unique opportunity for app testers and developers. Tizen OS caters to a variety of app environments with mobile, TV, smartwatch, and in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) support. The latest 3.0 version simplifies development with the unified Tizen Common infrastructure. The Linux-based OS comes with several promising features listed below.

Open Source Development

Rooted in Linux, Tizen OS is the product of collaboration between Samsung and Intel. Using Nokia’s scrapped MeeGo technology, Tizen’s open source governance lets app testers play with the design, flow, and other interface properties to offer users a unique experience. The Tizen Common base lets developers construct new profiles to adapt to the processing power of various devices. The latest 3.0 version of the OS introduces a speedy UI framework with a dynamic action library and powerful 3D rendering engine. Tizen also contains a few unique tidbits from Bada, the company’s first venture into OS development.

HTML5 Support

Tizen’s HTML5 engine shortens development cycles for app testers and streamlines web experience. Testers can expect noticeable savings compared to non-HTML5 environments. The flexibility allows developers to design apps for anything from a smartwatch to a smart car. On the other hand, users will enjoy faster, less bloated mobile apps, and integrated support for the most common video formats, meaning fewer ‘missing plug-in’ prompts.

Seamless Transition For Android Developers

The familiarity of Tizen’s interface will be the determining factor for many app testers thinking about making the switch. At first glance, Tizen looks like an Android-TouchWiz hybrid. It relies heavily on Dynamic boxes, which users can resize to view more info. Tizen’s TouchWiz component offers a familiar swipe-able notification bar and toggle bar, and offers several familiar Samsung smartphone features including a firewall with customizable settings, energy saver, and multitasking options. It also includes a Samsung App store.

Beyond Smartphones

Seamless cross-platform functionality is perhaps Tizen’s most attractive feature. The OS runs on computers, tablets, and TVs, with Samsung CEO J.K. Shin excited about its prospects in the bank and car markets. In fact, app testers have already played with Tizen in vehicle entertainment systems. Intel has also announced built-in Google Maps support and live information output. Tizen made its official debut with Samsung’s NX300M camera in late 2013, and has since expanded its reach exponentially. Consumers may soon see Tizen technology in their refrigerators.

Samsung Apps

In this age of mobility and convenience, apps are all the rage. App testers can seamlessly transition their Bada apps to Tizen, and enjoy the same native and web app support offered by Samsung’s previous OS iteration. The game market looks promising, with titles like Asphalt 7 and Cut the Rope making waves in the Tizen Store. Savvy developers will have no problem reaching this market with their own unique content.

Looking To The Future

Samsung has no doubt made great strides with Tizen, but there remains much room for improvement. Tizen OS 3.0 is now publicly available and brings 64-bit support and a variety of graphical and processing enhancements. With Google unveiling 64-bit Android devices, it’s up in the air how well Tizen will fare. For app testers, it’s certainly an OS worth looking into. More information on Tizen is available on the Tizen Association website. Developers looking to break into the Tizen environment can start with Tizen’s own beginner guides.

Edgar L