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01 May 2012, 15:24

Tizen reaches 1.0, ready for mobile device makers

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Tizen logo The Tizen project has announced that it is releasing source code and a version 1.0 SDK, code-named Larkspur. The Tizen project emerged as a replacement for the Meego project at the Linux Foundation after Nokia withdrew from active participation. Tizen involves Intel and Samsung, among others, who are creating a web application based phone with supporting native applications. This is in contrast to Mozilla's B2G project which is implementing all of a smartphone's functionality in a web browser view. The source code for Tizen 1.0 is described as providing a "solid baseline for device vendors and developers" and should provide all the technologies needed to create Tizen-based smartphones and tablets.

The source code for Tizen's Larkspur release has seen a number of new features added. The Web capabilities have now got full W3C/HTML5 specification support with "key" WebRTC features incorporated and APIs to access the local camera and vibration. The Location mapping component now supports points of interest, structured and unstructured queries for locations, route search support with multiple modes of transportation and route customisation. Wi-Fi Direct support has been added to improve the range of connectivity options for Tizen devices.

Tizen's graphics are based on X11 with a compositing window manager based on Enlightenment Foundation Libraries (EFL), support for OpenGL ES 1.1 and 2.0, 2D graphics based on Cairo and complemented with a GStreamer-based multimedia framework. The Web API sits on top and adds APIs to access Tizen applications, filesystems, NFC and other services. A full list of functionality is given in the source code release notes.

Tizen SDK Simulator
Zoom Tizen SDK Simulator in action
The SDK's IDE includes a new browser based tool which offers support for the Tizen APIs within a browser; this should allow developers to run and debug Tizen "web applications" and see how those applications run with various device profiles. The alpha release of the browser based simulator should reduce the need to work with the emulator for many applications.

The IDE, which already offered a web application creation wizard, HTML WYSIWYG editor, JavaScript/CSS syntax checkers and optimisers, Webkit browser and console along with templates and samples, now has a JavaScript log console, support for debugging multiple widgets and user definable templates. The SDK's emulator has been updated to use version 1.0 of x86-based QEMU and now offers VT hardware acceleration on Intel HAXM with Windows.

Emulator performance, which is always important for developers, is described as "significantly improved" through the use of Intel's Hardware Acceleration Manager on Windows and OpenGL acceleration on Linux. The emulator also now supports sharing directories between the host and guest machines, it supports audio-in and sports a fresh design for the emulator manager. Full details of the SDK are available in the SDK release notes. Currently, the SDK is only supported on Windows XP/7 or Ubuntu 10.04, 10.10, 11.04 and 11.10, and only in 32-bit modes.

The SDK is available to download from (includes click through licence). The source code can be found on the repositories at A bug tracker and wiki have also just been opened for community participation.


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