Samsung made a stir recently when their new Gear smartwatches were announced with Tizen instead of Android. The same may be true for some smartphones soon.
Tizen is not all that different from Android when you get down to it. It won’t run Android apps or have Google Services baked in (although it technically could), but it could be considered a distant cousin. Both are open source and Linux based. They can even share many similar UI characteristics.
One of the biggest differences with Tizen is the app framework. Tizen is meant to run web apps created in HTML5 or other similar languages. HTML5 apps could technically run most other platforms, but Tizen has the benefit of being able to run these apps outside of a web browser.
The great thing about this native support for web apps is that Tizen won’t have to face the same uphill battle of app support that Windows Phone 8 and BB10 have had to face—a hill Google has only managed to climb in the past couple years. Tizen is very developer friendly and runs any web apps that other phones can run, it just runs them natively.
Like Android, Tizen is very customizable, perhaps even more-so. Tizen has implemented “dynamic boxes” which are basically what we would get if Windows Phone’s Live Tiles and Android’s Widgets were to have a baby. They appear to be an actual part of the operating system, not a separate extremity placed on top.
Tizen is flexible beyond just the UI, too. This is very clear by the fact that Samsung just launched 3 Tizen watches and also has a Smartphone in the pipes. Tizen could run on anything and already spans several different platforms. Considering the collection of companies that participate in Tizen development range from Samsung to Panasonic and Intel, don’t be surprised to see watches, phones, tablets, washers, dryers, microwaves, cameras, ultrabooks and all sorts of other electronic items running Tizen at some point.
Android and iOS aren’t necessarily about to be unseated as the two dominant platforms, but Tizen does raise an important question as to just how relevant a mobile platform is. If your apps work on any phone, then all that really matters is where you store your data. Apple’s iCloud, Google, Microsoft One Drive, etc.
Although we aren’t likely to be liberated from our mobile OS of choice any time soon, Tizen shows a world in which your platform isn’t as relevant than what you do with it.
It's a long overdue match, really -- if the Google Drive productivity suite is considered the centerpiece of Google's web app catalog, and the Chrome Web Store is the catalog, why weren't the two combined? Google has seen the light by turning Docs (text), Sheets (spreadsheets) and Slides (presentations) into neatly packaged web apps that can be installed through the Chrome browser. New Chromebook owners won't even have to go that far, as the trio will surface automatically in the Chrome OS app list over the next few weeks. The web app bundles might be simple, but they could be tremendous helps for anyone who wants to punch out a few quick edits while on the road.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
Mozilla's love of web apps is more than obvious; we just haven't had a real chance to try the Firefox Marketplace that represents a large part of the company's app strategy. The doors are at last open for a peek, although Mozilla has chosen the unusual path of giving mobile users the first crack: Android users willing to live on the bleeding edge of an Aurora build of Firefox can browse and run those web apps in Mozilla's store. Everyone else willing to venture into the Marketplace will have to wait until their own Firefox builds receive a matching update, including that rare group with access to Firefox OS. We're not quite in a rush to try a first wave of apps in an alpha-grade browser. Should you be the sort who thinks that even beta releases are too sluggish, however, your gateway to the Marketplace awaits at the source links.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
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We're huge fans of Evernote here at the Engadget compound (it's great for keeping track of our latest world domination schemes). But, we've got to admit, the web service is clearly the company's red-headed step child. The desktop and mobile apps are undeniably top-notch, but the webapp is just sort of there. Being able to edit your notes and share them from any browser is a great feature, but we wouldn't exactly call it an enjoyable experience. Today the company took the wraps off a revamp that should ease the pain a bit. Evernote is particularly proud of its new shared note design, that offers a much more attractive and interactive look at entries. You can reshare notes, enter a slideshow view or copy it to your own account. The broader redesign is subtle, but refreshing. There are new icons, some color changes and a tweaked top bar that lend a less cluttered feel without removing functionality. There's even a handy button that collapses the sidebar for those of you rocking smaller laptop screens. We also noticed that the new interface seems to load notes with multiple images much faster. You can read about it straight from the horses mouth at the source or just go to the Evernote homepage and check it out yourself.Permalink | | Email this | Comments