The open source Tizen mobile operating system is one of the most visible examples that Samsung isn’t completely dependent on the Android mobile OS.
At the Samsung Developer Conference in San Francisco this week, Samsung held a single breakout session on developing apps using Tizen. The session was led by two engineers from Intel, which is working jointly with Samsung to create code to enable Tizen to run across multiple hardware platforms, including tablets, smartphones, cars and smart TVs.
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Most of Samsung’s smartphones and tablets today run Android or the company’s own Bada OS. In fact, Samsung is by far the largest Android smartphone maker globally, as well as the largest maker of smartphones overall, according to IDC and others.
The company does make Windows Phone smartphones as well, though a Windows Phone session wasn’t among among the 50 scheduled at the developer conference. Nearly all of the sessions focused on applications or services that work on Android.
Tizen has a modern Internet interface for use on devices, supporting HTML 5 and other Web technologies, so developers can theoretically write applications once to work on many devices. A Samsung roadmap for Tizen rollouts hasn’t been announced.
At the Tizen session on Tuesday, two developers in the audience said they had different experiences with their early Tizen development efforts. Developers at MightyMeeting, a maker of business collaboration applications, have been using Tizen with promising results because of its use of HTML 5 across platforms, said Mighty Meeting CEO Dmitri Tcherevik.
On the other hand, Shivakumar Mathapathi, COO at Dew Mobility, said his company tried Tizen with Windows Phone devices and found it wasn’t very stable on the Microsoft mobile OS. He didn’t provide any details.
Tcherevik said that Samsung’s interest in Tizen demonstrates that it’s “willing to try many different things” even as a large company.
Some attendees at Samsung’s first developer conference said they were glad to see Samsung to show off its distinctive features with Android at an event other than Google I/O. Here, Samsung could separate itself from other Android smartphone and tablet makers.