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Samsung Tizen OS: 6 Things You Need To Know

Michael Sawh


Samsung Tizen OS: 6 Things You Need To Know

What is Tizen OS?

Tizen has been in development for years. We saw some phones running it at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February, where Samung also announced the Tizen-powered Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo. Finally Samsung has launched the world's first Tizen OS smartphone in Russia — the Samsung Z.

Up until now Samsung has been using Google's Android OS to run its range of Galaxy smartphones and tablets. However, the Korean manufacturer has confirmed its intent to go it alone, offering an alternative to Google’s mobile OS, iOS and Windows Phone.

So how does Tizen differ from Android? Here’s six things we know so far about the operating system that joins Firefox OS, Jolla Sailfish and Ubuntu Touch in the bid to shake things up.

We were quite impressed by Tizen. If you want an in-depth view you can read our preview and first impressions of Tizen, for a quick overview read on.

Watch our Tizen OS demo video:

1. It’s open source

Samsung has worked with Intel to develop Tizen. It is Linux-based platform built from Nokia and Intel’s ditched MeeGo. The fact it is open-source, like Android, means that hardware manufacturers that choose to adopt it are free to tinker with the interface and the UI to make it as unique as they like.

Samsung has also taken some of the more interesting features that cropped up in Bada, its first attempt to go it alone on an operating sytem and built them into Tizen.

2. HTML 5

Tizen is a HTML5-based operating system. This is good news for content creators since the platform should allow for shorter development cycles, works intuitively with the web and should lower the cost of making apps.

For the user, it means we can expect slicker mobile web applications for phones and tablets. There should be greater native support for video, in particular, so you'll no longer have to download plug-ins to watch YouTube clips or to listen to a song.

3. Tizen looks like Android with TouchWiz

the real question as to whether users will adopt Tizen has to do with how intuitive and experience it will provide. Can it be as user-friendly as iOS or Android’s 4.4 Kitkat operating systems? In its latest guise 2.2.1, Tizen doesn’t look entirely different from a TouchWiz-layered Android as our Tizen first look video above shows.

Running on a prototype phone, you can see that Dynamic boxes play a big part in the overall feel of the UI and can be re-sized to reveal more information from the app.

Tizen will also include the swipe down notification bar with toggle bar as used in the TouchWiz UI and is set to support multitasking, integrated power saving, a firewall to block sites and other features already available in current Samsung phones.

4. It’s not just for smartphones

The operating system aims to offer a unified experience across multiple devices, so expect to see it featured in TVs, laptops and even crop in the 'bank and car industries' according to Samsung Electronics co-CEO J.K. Shin.

Tablets running Tizen have already reached the hands of developers and the operating system has also been demoed running inside in-car entertainment systems. The first official Tizen device, the 20.3-megapixel Samsung NX300M camera was announced in late 2013. Now we have the first Tizen smartphone too.

5. Samsung Tizen apps

As we've seen with Windows 8/Windows Phone 8, apps are a very big deal the growth and success of any new operating system. The good news is that Tizen will support native and web apps just as it did for Bada and existing Bada apps will also be ported over. Cut the Rope and Gameloft's Asphalt 7 are already set for the open Tizen Store and gives you an idea of the calibre of content you can expect at launch.

To help make sure the app catalogue is fully stocked, Samsung also launched a Tizen app challenge in 2013 handing out $4 million to the 64 winners who created a both native Tizen apps and HTML5-based applications.


The Instagram-like Tizengram HTML 5 app was created by one developer during a Tizen Developer lab in 2013

6. The future of Tizen

While Samusng has dipped its toe in the water with its first devices running the OS there's still a long way to go before we see it as the main platform. Will we see it in the Samsung Galaxy S6? It's too early to tell but the Galaxy S5 maker is lloking at where to go next with Tizen. Version 3.0 is already in the works and some details were revealed at its Tizen developer summit back in late 2013, including support for 64-bit processors. We know that Google is also busy getting ready to release a 64-bit enabled version of Android.

Like Android, there will be multi-user profiles as well as support for games and app that require more advanced 3D graphics. This update is expected in early 2015.

Are you sold on the Tizen OS? Do you think it will be a success? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Next read: Best Smartphones


February 28, 2014, 12:27 pm

Am I right in thinking that Firefox OS is also HTML5, does that mean apps are cross compatible?


March 1, 2014, 8:38 am

yes, HTML5 apps run on almost any device, including TVs ;)


March 1, 2014, 4:32 pm

The front screen icons and the drop down features look spookily like the Symbian o's from my old Samsung Omnia


March 13, 2014, 10:33 pm

"""Will it be as clean and an intuitive experience as iOS"""
Is the author kidding? iOS is far from intuitive, let alone irritating to use. From what I've read in several previous reports, Tizan will be a security nightmare just as with Android and iOS.
I am sure Samsung having deep pockets will market Tizan and make is seem like a great OS alternative to Android/iOS. At this point I am not buying it.

Typed on my Superior BB10 Device called the Q5.

George Washington✓

March 25, 2014, 4:36 pm

You're are so freaking deluded it's pathetic. iOS is a Security Nightmare compared to both Android and Tizen or haven't you heard about how iOS 7 has been declared the most insecure release Apple has ever put out. Over 30 vulnerabilities and it just keeps getting worse. Why do you think Apple has been releasing so many incrementally dinky updates? To fix the holes being discovered almost daily! lol... here check just one link on hidden profile attacks stealing your identity.... hahaha....:


Samsung's SAFE and KNOX have already been declared the most secure for Government and Enterprise over BB10! Sorry.... even NSA is using Samsung over any other platform now! :D


June 5, 2014, 8:38 pm

Michael Sawh It is not HTML 5 based. It runs web apps very well.

It's linux with it's own ui. Same as iOS and Android.

Tizen fixes androids biggest problem.
* The lag created by java virtual machine.
* Most of Android's source code and apps are written in java. The good fast apps we like in Android are written in native c++ code. But java will always linger on in the background randomly slowing things down, because too much of Android OS itself is java.
* Tizen ONLY supports c++ native apps and web apps.

Justin Foster

June 6, 2014, 1:04 pm

Most ppl who buy Samsung devices will neither know nor care about the OS change, lol. As long as it's touchscreen and looks virtually the same.


June 6, 2014, 5:24 pm

Well considering this is based off of old Nokia (Symbian/Meebo/Bada) platform I'm not surprised. You should more than expect it to feel and look the same because it is actually is the same.


June 14, 2014, 3:46 pm

KitKat completely sucks and it's time to remove all things Google from my sight; I've had it with their crap. When's a U.S. release for Tizen?

Jaimpo Faissbouc

June 30, 2014, 4:28 pm

the same old argument about java... makes me think of people in the 90's who absolutely wanted to write assembly because C was generating sub-optimal machine code :)
the graphics and binder serialization/deserialization stuff might worth having a look if you're seeking bottlenecks in Android...
i'd rather be worried about the web engine performances if I was to publish such an OS
and If I was a developper (interested in Tizen), i'd look twice into what Samsung actually calls 'open source' :)


July 1, 2014, 2:38 pm

Android is going the right direction with ART. It is definitely revolutionary, but it seems it is still not producing 100% machine code during installation as what we believed and hope it will do. Because in the recent google I/O they revealed faster "pause" times. Faster, but it still needs random pauses for garbage collection.

iOS Objective C was(is) the ugliest language ever, but ARC introduced in iOS 5 was a genius. No more memory management required by developers, but code is still 100% compiled. They made the compiler smarter, without needing a runtime garbage collector.

But nobody is saying Tizen is the answer to all. By default you need Eclipse CDT rather Eclipse JDT of Android. Epic difference. Going back to the roots. No newbie developers for CDT, full stop. Inexperienced developers will create apps that crash a lot. In fact education institutes don't even teach much C/C++ these days. They focus too much on Java.

Personally, I would love to see Google partner with Microsoft and use .Net's runtime. For some reason, Microsoft copied Java, but it runs so much better. You barely notice any lag with .Net apps. C# copied Java and you get all the benefits of the beautiful language but it just runs so much smoother.

For me, in terms of performance, there is nothing that beats Windows Phone 8. My wife recently purchased one, and even with it's dual core CPU and low specs, I cannot believe how slick and smooth it is. It simply doesn't slow down... And no lag when switching between apps like iOS.

What will be my next phone??? At the moment I'm a Galaxy Note user.
Will it be Windows, iPhone 6, Tizen or will even Note 4?

I love new tech.

WAirru Téoù

July 20, 2014, 6:20 pm

How do you access geo-stuff (gps, compass, etc), telephony, and other device specific services in a portable manner from HTML5? Phonegap? Cloudeebus? Uh uh uh. Have fun dudes.


September 8, 2014, 6:55 pm

well if they go this direction they will definitely loose one loyal Samsung customer here, they will never have the amount of apps that Google play has it (look at google play itself, it still doesnt have as many apps as apple's store does, and that's with over half of smartphones running android), plus I buy samsung because of hardware quality and because of ANDROID and the google ecosystem, you take that away and I might as well jump on the next Nexus phone.


September 10, 2014, 1:14 pm

They will notice if the apps they bought on Google Play won't transfer to Tizen.

If the S6 goes the Tizen route, then I will be buying the S5. I hope that they will offer it both in Android and Tizen, but my guess is that they wont and that instead they use their market position to push Tizen - which would be a bit of gamble

Justin Foster

September 10, 2014, 8:56 pm

Lol, that's a good point. Knowing Samsung, Tizen will run Android apps. They copy plenty else from others. >.> Just saying.

Nathan Brown

November 1, 2014, 8:50 pm

Need cross platform games with Android (or WP and iOS)


January 14, 2015, 12:18 pm

Like Android app store has thousand of apps, Will tizen also be having so many apps?
If not so , how much time will take to compete with Android app store?


January 14, 2015, 6:21 pm


Saqib Sabih

January 15, 2015, 9:57 am

Absolutely true. I was SG Note user too. But i switched to WP8.1 and now I am very happy. I never liked Java because of its slow performance and this is the main reason i left Android. WP has fewer apps but it gets the work done in a neat and practical way. Cortana is excellent. Its part of my life now. I like the way it interacts with other apps even with messages and emails. Everything in calender sync auto with Official and Personal Laptop, so i never miss anything. Its simply excellent.

Spencer Gibson

January 17, 2015, 11:47 am

Looks ok. Not sure how Microsoft will feel as there are definitely 'borrowed' elements from windows 8 and Android. I'm an iOS a guy so it doesn't bother me much, as at least now it is a fresh approach. What I am concerned about is power consumption and the fact the the demo phone looked fairly high spec. So I would like to see how it run ps on a lower spec phone when its on battery power, and how long the battery lasts. It's the compromises you have to make in those areas that separate the good, the bad and the the ugly.

Tonny Marezco

March 21, 2015, 7:23 am

I want to know what the price of the Samsung Galaxy S6 in EUROPE

galaxy s6 OS


September 28, 2015, 1:25 pm

I agree, but at the same time, (and if this isn't in any way what you were referring to, I apologize) much of Samsungs lag comes from Touchwiz. See the reason why samsung places such a laggy, heavy skin over android is to hide Android. Tizen looks VERY similar to touchwiz and the more they get people used to Touchwiz, no matter ho laggy it may be, the more accepting they will be to Tizen. This will make it easier for them to pull the rug out from underneath google...only problem is...what happens when Samsung fails, nobody likes Tizen, there is a huge glitch, security breach, or anything that can topple such a virgin OS (compared to android or iOS) and Samsung tries to come back to android?

Jim Vet

March 1, 2016, 6:07 pm

I just bought my first Tablet, the large one, never had anything like it before.
150 dollars with everything & much more then my towers has
Just bought a key board & mouse. to go with it, The Tablet sets in a slot on te hback side. it's cool.


March 4, 2016, 1:21 pm

I currently am working on developing an application for the Samsung Gear S (Tizen Smartwatch) and it's a pretty bad experience. I am usually an android dev, but have to get the functionality that just works on android smartwatches (basically notifications) to work on the Gear S. It took me 2 days to get a basic webapp (yes that's just a website) to run on the device, which was frustrating. It took me so long, because nowhere on an official Samsung support website it says, that bluetooth isn't supported by these Webapps (HTML5). I had to get this information from a forum (stackoverflow, not a samsung forum). But that webapp isn't capable of communicating with the Smartphone (Galaxy S5), so I have to develop a native app (not HTML5). I am now trying to get a basic "hello world"-app to run on the Gear S for 4! days. I could go into detail here, but fact is, developers have a hard time getting started on tizen. It's incredibly hard, frustrating and time intensive just to set up the development environment in the first place. Samsung will lose a lot of potential tizen developers because of this, which will result in a small app-count, which will result in slow adoption. If Samsung really wanted to push tizen, they HAVE to make it as easy to develop for it as for android. Seriously, with android you install the dev-kit and you can basically start. Tizen is an endless fight with the Software development kit.

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