Although it hasn’t been in the news much, I’ve been closely following the development of Samsung’s Tizen project. Tizen is a smartphone OS based on the remains of MeeGo, Mobiln, Maemo, and Bada, and even though it hasn’t gained much momentum yet, Samsung is still chugging forward with development. Devices are said be lined up for a launch in the second half of this year, but although we’ve seen Tizen running on smartphone hardware with all the basic features there, the OS has still been missing something very important: apps.
That problem, however, has now been addressed by a company called OpenMobile, whose App Compatibility Layer for Tizen seems to be able to run most Android apps on Samsung’s own OS quite well. You can see it in action in the video above, which demonstrates a Tizen-powered tablet running things like Facebook, Guitar Hero 5, and Winamp on Tizen through the compatibility layer, and everything seems to work quite well. While the Facebook app obviously isn’t taking advantage of the tablet’s larger screen, functionally the apps seem to be running properly, even the more graphically intense Guitar Hero.
Of course, just the fact that the compatibility layer seems to work right now isn’t any guarantee that it will be any good in real life use, or that Tizen will include it by default at all. And I’m sure we all remember the BlackBerry PlayBook, whose Android app compatibility layer was delayed, had problems, was eventually removed, and didn’t help to save the device or platform anyways. However, I’m still hopeful for Tizen’s success, and Android app compatibility is still a big step in the right direction even if it isn’t yet completely finished.