11 March 2014

Ars Technica: “Hands-on with Samsung’s Tizen OS: An impressively capable Android clone”

While Samsung is obviously trying hard to make Tizen look like Android, it looks like Tizen has actually influenced the new design of the Galaxy S5’s settings screen. When we first saw the colored circles in a grid formation, we said the design looked like something that was from a completely different OS. It turns out that OS is Tizen. With Samsung making the two OSes so closely resemble each other, some day it might be possible to quietly swap OSes in Samsung’s mainstream smartphone, just like it did with the Gear line. For the interface at least, the change-over seems like it would be pretty seamless. Ron Amadeo

That’s one way to think about it; but beside the obvious problem of getting developers to write apps for a new operating system, Samsung may find itself in a big conflict with Google over launching a competing OS. Citing the terms of the Open Handset Alliance – which Samsung is also a member of – Google blocked the launch of a rival OS on Acer devices a couple of years ago. There’s no reason these rather strict ‘open’ rules won’t be invoked again in this situation. Since Samsung is the biggest Android manufacturer by far, Google has every interest to keep them in line – or risk loosing the market to Android clones running none of Google’s data collecting apps.

<img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/proxy/hgnt3Mk5lgTh5q8SyR775QUoGkYxWJnhiG7ogvQ6saehCO-uKJGhzhl1jSm3xyRm_O_DbfJAVLpL4TxZ1zCV_vYjjV4SB1TuPsghHM5B_p2-FzelkAA_vxTsLzyd=s0-d" alt="The first screen of Tizen&#39;s settings. You can see the influence this had over the Galaxy S5.">
Hands-on with Samsung’s Tizen OS

If Samsung does manage to create an App Store and to launch Tizen devices on the market, we’ll finally find out what matters more to consumers: the Galaxy brand or Google services. Despite what many people think, I have a feeling the majority of buyers will still purchase Samsung devices, no matter what software they run.

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