Samsung’s Tizen OS to play nice with Android apps… for a while

by: Edgar CervantesMay 21, 2014


It may take Samsung some time before they can offer users a wide range of apps and services via Tizen. They may have a solution for this, though.

The latest rumors claim Sammy is in negotiations with two companies, one in Korea and one in the USA, to develop a virtual machine that would allow Tizen to run Android’s Java-based applications.

Why would Samsung do this?

There are some things holding Samsung back for now. The development and launch of a completely new mobile ecosystem is complex. They need to plan it well, especially with iOS and Android in the market. These well-established operating systems have a huge advantage in app support and development.

Samsung Galaxy S5 color comparison Hands On -1160803

Whether this is necessary or not is another question. This has been tried before by BlackBerry. The Canadian smartphone maker had trouble picking itself back up after the iOS and Android proliferation. They needed more app support and decided to let Android apps run on their devices.

BlackBerry already had its fans – and fierce ones, at that. Obviously, this move didn’t help much. Also, there is the argument that Samsung could probably just persuade developers to make Tizen apps quickly enough. After all, Samsung has a strong grip on the market.

Regardless, if the rumors are true, Samsung could be giving itself a bit of leeway with said virtual machine. This is said to be only be a temporary solution, and Samsung would dispose of this tool once it can live on its own.

Tizen Handset CNET

Is Tizen a threat to Android?

Now, let’s go back to the main question – can Samsung take over the smartphone market with Tizen? Samsung is so far above every other manufacturer that its only real competitor is Apple. The Korean giant has become crucial to the Android platform, and the company’s latest aspirations could be regarded as an impending threat.

The company has made a name for itself. Many out there don’t even relate Samsung to Google or Android… it’s just “Galaxy phones”. I do believe many users would flock to Samsung’s side, even if sometimes without knowing. As for us, we will probably stick with our beloved Android.

I just have to wonder if enough people would patronize other Android manufacturers if Samsung were to completely abandon Android at some point. What do you think?

  • Eren Jaeger

    I think they could do it. But they would need to have their stuff together. No lag whatsoever since the software is built in house from the ground up. Also, they’d need something in the UI to differentiate itself from the other OS giants.

  • _X_

    I’ve just watched Tizen phone review. It looks good. Everything is fast and no lag even with all of the Samsung bloat!! The interactive widgets looks amazing!
    I hope they make it optional to install Tizen on all of their older Samsung phones for us to test the software like with the Galaxy Gear!
    I still like Android, but If I can have a lag free phone with all of Googles Apps and Samsungs features and looks similar to Android…why not?

  • Jake Wrigley

    I love what samsung do with android and I must admit I AM IN LOVE WITH SAMSUNG… I love android and HTC but when samsungs first time phone comes out goodbye android I would deal with no apps just to have a tizen running phone!

    • DMR

      I hear ya, Jake. I’m in love with Samsung, too. I think that all this push towards Android Wear for smartwatches and Android Silver for smartphones is only gonna push Samsung towards Tizen completely. I think that, if consumers associate Android with Galaxy phones, as said in the article above, Samsung’s Tizen will prove to be a formidable foe in the days ahead.

  • wat

    Shame that Intel are on the board, they’ll use their might to try and make OEMs using Tizen to use their shitty processors

  • John-Phillip Saayman

    Depends really how good the tizen phone is, otherwise at first I’ll go for an LG android phone.

  • Dalvik

    I remember last year I read an article saying Tizen licensing is a mess. “Tizen SDK licensing makes whole Tizen not Open Source”.
    Is that still true now? I’m trying to avoid any closed-source proprietary OS if possible.

    • bob

      why? open source software is bad by definition… i honestly dont believe in altruism, nor ads…

  • mr Dave

    We don’t need another OS what we need is a more secure Android and better faster devices that’s what Samsung should be working on. I love Android and want to see it expand not get fragmented.

    • Rushan

      ‘more secure Android’, That’s what Samsung can’t achive since they are under of Google in OS

  • MrClean

    I have never been a fan of the touch wiz interface. It is laggy. Tizen would help Samsung take the Apple approach, closed Eco system with little customization. I think it would eventually hurt them if all they offered just Tizen.

  • jakester

    Samsung is the not the only company running tizen they may be the most powerful but some big name companies are there too

  • Roberto Tomás

    if I got stuck with running old Android apps in an emulator for Tizen instead of getting fresh new apps I’d be disappointed

    • bob

      and what if you got stuck with old android version on a 6 month old phone? would you be disappointed?

  • Sal

    Meh… I’m still sticking by Android. Not going to switch to Tizen unless it really breaks storm through the market.

  • Ivan Budiutama

    I remembered the first Galaxy S, they like had these pamphlet and posters all over some mall with Bugdroids here and there and keep mentioning Android even the Promotion guys and girls wear a big Bugdroid T-shirt stating “The best Android phone is here” kind of comment can’t really remember the exact words, they used Android and proud about it and it’s just 4 years ago, now they seemed like looking for a smallest chance or gap to get away from Android. time surely flies. I kinda miss the old days of Samsung, but maybe it’s just me (before people calling me Trolling again)

  • Flip Jumpman

    Although I currently use the Note 3 I don’t know if I could ever leave Android 100% at least for some time.
    I think it’s partly Google’s fault for trying to steer manufacturers away from hardware buttons, SdCards, removable batteries etc… Samsung has the power to say no to Google but other OEM’s don’t have that power and basically are dictated by Google’s rules.
    We’ll see how this goes because both Samsung & Google need each other and hopefully they can “All get along” for consumers sake.


    As much as i love android, it’s starting to become like iOS. Google is starting to demand more uniformity. I think its ridiculous that I can’t even access diagnostic modes easily on jelly bean/kit kat phones when the iphone has left the field test mode openly viewable. That’s not to say Samsung is perfect- the reason why I’ll never buy a Samsung phone is because of Knox- which is reported to brick your phone if you downgrade and later want to upgrade again. I think tizen has a good chance of overtaking android because it’s an os designed to work with every little gadget you can think of and not just smartphones. But I’ll reserve my enthusiasm until it gets released.

    • Nomaan

      “I think tizen has a good chance of overtaking android because it’s an os designed to work with every little gadget you can think of and not just smartphones”
      No offense but after reading this I was like
      WTF? Do you even know what are you talking about? Do you even know about android flexibility ?


        Actually the only thing I took offense was your inability to use proper grammar.

  • david chidakel

    Android isn’t just an operating system. It’s part of a unique infrastructure. It is unlikely that Tizen could steal much of the action from Google. In fact, Samsung is “just another” (though, for the moment, the top-of-the-heap) maker of phones. It is perfectly possible for another phone maker to replace it whereas it is pretty much impossible to replace Google and all of its stuff. In my oh-so-humble opinion, if Samsung tries this, it will waste a lot of resources, antagonize Google as well as many of its users, and, ultimately, regret ruining a good thing. It would be an act of of utter hubris.

    My opinion? I do not think it will happen.


      But Samsung isn’t the only one going at it. There’s a consortium of companies actively supporting and developing it.

  • Bobby Wright

    IF Google gave support to Tizen (Google core apps and access to the play store) then yes, it could eventually live on its own. I hope Google wont be that dumb. without access to the play store and no support for core apps, tizen users would be stuck side-loading apps and it will die a quick death. I believe Google holds all the cards…

  • Will S.

    I’ve only seen one Tizen video and it looks surprisingly nice! And whether it can pose a threat to Android is really down to branding, it could take away Android sales if Samsung uses the Galaxy brand.

  • tottyrice

    I honestly hope Samsung leave Android for their os soon BC more competition is always better for the consumers and also it will give another manufacturer(s) a chance to step up for android os.

  • Dendrite

    People use apps and not OS. If they do not get the apps they want, off they go. This is the reason I do not want a Surface Pro, although I like the hybrid concept, you get a laptop and tablet in one piece of hardware. If I do not get the app I want, there are many other Android phones, and they are good.

  • Victor

    I don’t see any future of Samsung without Android. Samsung turned market leader just because of Android. People are not blind so that they will buy phone without knowing it’s core software. People want android phone and because Samsung has been able to offer them high-end Android phones, people like and love the company.

    It’s going to be a bad time for Samsung if it changes the OS because what the company is today, is just because of Android.

  • Cal Rankin

    I thought that Tizen had native Android app compatibility.
    Guess it’s just virtual.
    Oh, well. I’m sticking with Android. Once it’s all tizen, it’s goodbye Samsung.

  • whats up

    I think samsung screens are great but the build quality is rather poor…. but that aside I think Tizen will suffer from a lack of focus. Apple has a design culture that pushes the boundaries of machine-human interaction. Similarly Google has an engineering culture that focuses on building innovative and useful features on android. From what I’ve seen so far, Samsung is neither here nor there. When it’s tied to android it can afford to build on top of these (already great) features, but on a separate OS? What exactly are it’s strengths that allow it to make a niche between iOS and Android (Something even Microsoft couldn’t really do)?

  • kodintent

    Android made me interested in Tizen. Addroid uses a virtual machine and will never perform as well or be as smooth and reliable as OSs that dont use a VM. Im sick of laggy glitchy Android, its even bad on my 1.6GHz 4 core phone. Android just gets worse as the versions keep coming.

  • Will Tizen be compatible with all the core Google apps (such as google calendar, google voice, google contacts, google keep, google maps, etc.?) This will be a deal-maker or breaker for me.