Android apps will run on Tizen-powered Samsung Z1, via OpenMobile ACL

by: Andrew GrushJanuary 13, 2015
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Samsung Tizen Conference

What do you do if you are trying to establish an ecosystem of apps for your mobile operating system, or are simply trying to bolster the numbers a bit in order to look more attractive to consumers? If you’re Jolla or Blackberry, the answer is adding Android app compatibility. It’s something we are seeing more of as of late when it comes to smaller players in the mobile OS market, and it seems that Samsung is now getting on this train too — well, sort of.

According to SamMobile, the Tizen-powered Samsung Z1 is expected to be formally launched in India tomorrow at a price point of around $91 (Rs. 5,700). Tizen is far from established in the mobile world and so folks who purchase the Z1 handset should expect a limited number of apps to be available at launch. For those that want to jumpstart their app experience? SamMobile reports that OpenMobile’s Application Compatibility Layer (ACL) can be downloaded from the Tizen app store from day one.

Tizen doesn’t officially support Android apps out of the box, but ACL makes it possible to run a number of Android apps at speeds that would be comparable to similar spec’d Android devices. As an example of what to expect, the video below shows off WhatsApp running on Tizen thanks to ACL:

Initally ACL will offer more than a thousand Android apps, which isn’t a whole lot when you think of how many apps are in Google Play, but it’s certainly a start. Now it is worth noting that it is currently unclear if Samsung is officially supporting OpenMobile’s efforts in order to enhance the Tizen experience, or simply allowing the app to exist in its store for those that want the option. We’ll know more tomorrow, if the news of the Z1’s launch proves accurate.

What do you think, if enough Android apps are made compatible with Tizen, could this help make Tizen more appealing for Samsung fans looking for an alternative to Android? Let us know what you think in the comments.

  • Renascienza

    Run Android apps on your “meh” system to convince people to adopt it.

    RIM already try this on Blackberry, and wasn’t worked. Azul tried with Windows too.

    Google itself is trying this on ChromeOS, and it’s not working either.

  • bob

    jesus, nobody except a few geeks is looking specifically at android. people are usually looking at cheap, whatever is running on it.

    so, ios for the high end devices, and the rest, be it symbian, android, wp or tizen for low end, as long as its cheap.

    the moment samsung starts introducing cheap tizen handsets, the main foothold of android (arguably the only one) – the low end – will cease to exist.

    many, if not all oems are seeking software-hardware vertical integration, including all the chinese manufacturers, which mandates moving away for google, through both aosp and other operating systems. samsung will be the tipping point.

    top 3 mobile vendors:

    apple uses ios

    xiaomi uses aosp, right?

    and samsung is slowly but surely finding a way to run all the android apps on tizen that looks just like android, but its theirs. are you getting it?

    wonder what google will do about it? their own employees state that the 2015 will be disasterous and game-changing for the company. it wont be boring, thats for sure

    • anjkanu

      I doubt it would be the ruin of android. How many people outside Asia use Xiaomi? Samsung weren’t even the top seller in their native Korea sometime last year, if they cannot make Koreans totally Samsung biased I doubt they can make the rest of the world leave android and use Tizen.

      • bob

        well, im talking about sheer numbers. xiaomi, samsung and apple are almost half of handsets sold right?

        and nobody is making anybody leave anything. rarely anyone cares specifically about android. its all about cheap or anti-ios.

        sales of android high end are a testament to that

    • MasterMuffin

      Google may need to start supporting Tizen :>

      • bob

        and thats exactly what they (google) dont want to do, they live of marketshare

        • MasterMuffin

          WP being a great example

        • Mike Reid

          Marketshare of Android ?

          No.

          Google “lives” off of advertising revenue. That’s why they have apps on IOS.

          Android marketshare DOES help them control much of the smartdevice space however, keeping Apple from becoming king of smartdevices.

          • n900mixalot

            Sadly, Apple dictating NFC payments has boosted the use of that payment methime this significantly. That’s something Android and Google haven’t been able to do. They may not be the king but they are at least at the same level of authority.

      • Renascienza

        Google doesn’t support decently even Windows Phone, despite public Microsoft whinings…

    • Renascienza

      Apparently, there is more “geeks” on world that you think, because looking only on Samsung, Android devices sell about two orders of magnitude more than Tizen/Windows Phone devices with similar hardware, on all price tags.

      On past times, each provider had your own “babel tower”, almost invisible, operational system, and users wasn’t care if his device ran PalmOS, Symbian, Windows CE or something else.

      Circa 2005, this age is over. Now people buy devices by operational system name.

    • AndroidDev123

      First off, there are plenty of “free” (on contract) iOS devices, so the “Android is for poor people” argument doesn’t hold water anymore. What defines Android devices is customization, from the wide variety of devices to the ability to reskin your home screen with widgets, animated backgrounds, and even a different launcher. Will there be people who don’t care if their phone is running Tizen or Android, of course, but that doesn’t mean the majority of Samsung Android users will gladly make the jump to Tizen, potentially losing their favorite apps and forms of customization.

      Also, who’s assuming that Tizen will be Samsung’s “cheap” brand. Samsung seems to place a much higher focus on premium experiences like the Galaxy S and Note lines, which are arguably more premium than iPhones at this point, despite a slightly lower price tag. If anything, I see Tizen as Samsung’s attempt at creating their own ecosystem, following Apple’s model for keeping customers (closed ecosystem). With Android they’re limited in what changes they can make and still be compliant with Google’s certification, which is the only way they can get all of Google’s apps (including the Play Store). Sure they can make almost any changes and improvements they want, but some of them need to be integrated back into Android (like changes for Knox) in order to be compliant, resulting in improving Android for their competitors too. Samsung is likely looking for a way to stop playing so nice with their competitors, similar to Apple. Apple was able to do it because they were first to market with an intuitive touch screen smartphone (not the first touch screen, not the first smartphone, just the best experience) and had a massive adoption rate, but at this point I doubt Samsung could pull off a similar feat.

      • bob

        android for the poor argument is derived from sales data. apple has absolute dominance over the high-end sector.

        in other words, anyone paying high-end prices for smartphones is usually buying an iphone.

        only time will tell, but im still of opinion people dont actually care about android. android has never became a brand. but galaxy phones did. and if galaxy phones suddenly run a different os, i dont think they would lose much sales over that fact alone. especailly if it would run ‘all of your apps’, look and feel similar.

        samsung absolutely wants its own ecosystem. i think they are building it right now, along with all those google apps alternatives

        • AndroidDev123

          To which “sales data” are you referring, and from when? Apple is still the most popular high end manufacturer, but there are multiple high end Android manufacturers, some of which with very substantial numbers as well (ex. Samsung), so I question the claim of “absolute dominance”.

          Also, running apps or variations on apps isn’t the same as running the apps you’ve already invested in. For pay apps that could mean repurchasing (I know, probably less than $20, but it’s a psychological barrier), and for free apps it could mean re-entering your information or learning how to use a new app. When comparing devices, people will probably pick the one that works with the apps they already have, and may even return devices that don’t.

      • Sk Farid

        I think Samsung should develop more android apps for Samsung z1 . We want more apps for Samsung. Z1

    • Charles7

      Noobs generally buy what the sales person tells them to buy and know nothing other than brand.

  • MasterMuffin

    But who has the best solution? Would be interesting to see some performance etc. comparisons between Sailfish, BB and Tizen

    • crutchcorn

      We can only wait to see

    • Charles7

      Not only performance, but compatibility is key. BB doesn’t have that great of comparability.

      • MasterMuffin

        Yup, that’s what the etc. stands for :)

    • Anonymousfella

      Tizen will probably come through….Samsung has the $$$$ and an ecosystem- IoT with home appliances; maybe even car integration

  • Sylvester Nesmith

    Dear Samsung,

    Please stop trying to force Tizen on us. You really caught my attention as a consumer with the Galaxy Note 2. Since then I have purchased a number of your product for business and personal.

    I came very close to being a loyal Samsung consumer until the end of 2014. I brought the Gear S and Note Edge. Both are great devices that have awsome hardware. For some crazy reason Samsung you put Tizen on these Premium devices. Tizen does not have the developer support like Android. Becouse of this neither device will reach it full potential because of app support.

    As a consumer I dropped some money for these two devices. I am missing so many basic android functions because you don’t want to play nice with Google. A lot of your apps are not good as Google ‘s.

    One way to stop losing money and market share is to stop pushing Tizen on us. If you don’t you can say goodbye to my dollars Samsung.

    • Samsung

      Dear Sylvester,

      You are so right. What were we thinking? Lucky we always read Android Authority and take into account the open letters published by our fans. Maybe we are wrong about Tizen and it’s your letter that opened our eyes to this.

      Thank you

      Samsung

    • Android Authority

      Sylvester,

      Once again, we are not Samsung. We are Android Authority.

      Please stop sending us mail intended for Samsung.

      This is your final warning, you asshole.

      Thanks.
      Android Authority.

      • n900mixalot

        The awesome.

  • Carlos Romero

    Stop trying to make Tizen happen. It’s not gonna happen.

    • Wjdzm

      Right, because everyone should use Android for an eternity and never explore other options, ever.

      • Carlos Romero

        I guess the Mean Girls reference was lost on you.

        Anyway, if the ecosystem is developed enough, I have no problem with exploring other options. However, Samsung has been dragging Tizen behind it for years now, and I personally haven’t seen much progress on the platform.

        • Wjdzm

          You just shoved your foot in your mouth.

          “What do you do if you are trying to establish an ecosystem of apps for your mobile operating system…”
          “… the answer is adding Android app compatibility”
          “Samsung is now getting on this train too — well, sort of.”

          Your argument was that Tizen isn’t going to happen and stop bother trying. But your defense is
          “Samsung has been dragging Tizen behind it for years now, and I personally haven’t seen much progress on the platform.”
          So Samsung is actually working & progressing with Tizen and yet you say stop trying. Your argument is invalid.

          • Carlos Romero

            Thank you, kind internet stranger, for making me see the wrong in my ways. I am sincerely apologetic for the lack of sense in my words. Even though my original comment was simply meant to be a reference to the cinematographic masterpiece that Mean Girls is, I never considered that my lighthearted comment would anger my peers.
            For that, I am sorry, yet grateful for your patience in showing me the light.

      • I’m glad we’re on the same page here :)

    • Jarek W

      Tizen will happen, just like Ubuntu Touch and Firefox OS as well as Sailfish OS. Those will be the operating systems in the future. If they don’t get into the market today then they will regret not doing so in the future. You guys just cannot imagine how many mobile devices will there be in the future. There will be a piece of cake for everyone

      • MasterMuffin

        A really small for most though

        • Jarek W

          You guys are missing the point that in 5-6 years the broadband on our smartphones will be most likely around 1Gbps, with that speed you don’t need native apps as web apps will become the new native apps.More operating systems will be developed right now the better so you can have a choice when there will be problems with net neutrality or private nets etc.

      • Fatt Hardy

        Windows mobile has more marketshare than all those platforms combined and is seen as a colossal failure.

        I appreciate the effort and have tried all those systems and they just are not that good. FirefoxOS is a flawed design, Ubuntu fails to understand the modern app centric web user (thinking a browser is “good enough” is asking for failure) and Sailfish is just MeeGo on life support.

        • Jarek W

          Microsoft Operating systems are failing to sale from entirely different reasons. Just try to imagine how many mobile devices will be there in the future, how fast bandwidth will we have available and other factors. IMO those operating systems will be holding a really noticeable market share soon.

    • n900mixalot

      It has already happened.

    • joepiedepoepie

      Like the almost monopolistic situation of Nokia with symbian, no one would ever succeed in an other OS.
      With ppl like you humanity stood still.

  • I really only buy Samsung phones, tv’s, etc but if Samsung leaves Android fully (which I doubt, they’d want to keep getting money both ways) I’d have to think long and hard about the advantages of leaving Android for Tizen if any exist. I love Samsung phones but also love Android/Google, they go great together

    • n900mixalot

      The main reason is price right now. This phone is $91. For prole wanting a cheap smartphone it is hard to beat.

  • Guest

    Tizen will happen, just like Ubuntu Touch and Firefox OS as well as Sailfish OS. Those will be the operating systems in the future. If they don’t get into the market today then they will regret not doing so in the future. You guys just cannot imagine how many mobile devices will there be in the future. There will be a piece of cake for everyone.

  • dandroid13

    C’mon people, there’s life without Google.

    • Renascienza

      There is even Android without Google too.

      But Android is good. As *system* itself. Is not totally about market share, Google reputation, developers support, etc.

      These things help, for sure. But Android happens because was a nice and well implemented idea, who grew up in correct rhythm through time.

      Bet on and improve good things is far better than try push over bad things with tricks. Nature itself don’t do that.

      • dandroid13

        And a lot of this success comes from Sammy’s own success. I don’t think Tizen’s a bad thing, though, it’s just that it never takes off, first it was Maemo, then MeeGo and now Tizen, they never seem to achieve something.

        • Renascienza

          Of course, Samsung has its merits. It invests more in research and development than its competitors together. Which incidentally, license its technology.

          But their attempts to replace or try to control other people’s work has failed miserably. This is what she tried so far, only for Android:

          * The Google’s Play Store is a success. Samsung tried push his own store. Result: fail.

          * Hangouts message service is a success. Samsung tried push his version for messaging for Android devices: Chat-On. Result: fail.

          * Android is a success. Samsung tried push out your own “evoluted” operational system: Tizen. Result: until now, fail. Miserably.

          * Samsung doen’t want use pure Android on its devices, insisting on his own makeup Touch Wiz. Result: the majority of users don’t like it.

          * Android Wear are succeding. Samsung try push your own weareable Tizen. Result: fail. Galaxy Gear not manage to reach mainstream.

          Sammy need stop to try imitate Apple strategy. Handshake with others to succed together is far better.

          • dandroid13

            Sure, you got a point, but still I’ll give you my point of view, of someone who lives outside a developed market.

            Here nobody uses Hangouts, it’s all about FB Messenger and Whatsapp.
            “Normal” people don’t care about what OS is running, they only care if they can use FB, Twitter, Whatsapp, Snapchat and so on.
            Like I said, Tizen has it’s roots on Maemo, which, lke Tizen, was backed by the Linux Foundation, Sammy’s role is money only.
            The majority of it’s users? Nah, it’s more like a few whining geeks (or hipsters, lol).
            I’m yet to see someone using wearables, they get more headlines than actual real life users.

          • Renascienza

            I believe that discrete apps popularity is about geographic distribution. On my country, Hangouts have a pretty decent user base on third place of podium. But this is not the point, my first comparison was about ChatOn and Hangouts.

            I don’t know about your concept of “normal”… You are talking about… Who? I work with mobile, have professional and personal relationships with contractors, shop owners, veterinarians, musicians, construction workers, retirees, bank workers, teachers, policemans, etc. All of them know the diference between Android, iOS and even Windows Phone devices. Are all “hipsters”?

            We are on 2015, pal. Technology is all around us and is not to geeks anymore. Your normal people live on Tibet?

            (Um, it occurred to me now that there are few colleagues here who work with TI that, as I, know something about Tizen).

            Maemo and Meego are far different from Tizen nowadays. Samsung already added a pretty decent amount of work. Linux Foundation “back” any Linux kernel bearer, even Android itself.

            About wereables, the Moto 360 is already found on some wrists here, (and i am not living on USA or Europe). To have a better idea, go to Play Store, seek some watch face app and check how many downloads it have.

            The main idea of your argument is: “people doesn’t care about ecosystem which empower his devices. Or at least, care more about the device manufacturer than that”.

            Well, unless we are living in an entirely different world, this is not true.

            And Sammy’s own figures over time seem to be giving me the reason…

          • dandroid13

            “All of them know the diference between Android, iOS and even Windows Phone devices.”

            That’s not my point, I mean the average consumer here doesn’t read tech sites like this, they read news about tech but in the end they don’t care that much.

            I live in Brazil btw, where Android dominates, WP devices are the cheapest, Apple (and BlackBerry used to) means status and only celebrities use wearables. :P

            With hipsters I mean those who whine about TW being ugly, slow and all that crap. I have a friend who about rooting and so, and he asked me about using a Nexus and I told him my experiency was bad because the Galaxy Nexus lacked all the features that made the GS3 awesome, then he decided to buy a GS4.

            Tizen is the only OS endorsed by the Linux Foundation as you can see here http://collabprojects.linuxfoundation.org/

          • Renascienza

            Hey, dandroid13, we are conrades.

            (E se a gente começar a escrever em português e deixar o resto das pessoas imaginando o que estamos dizendo? Nah, isso não seria justo).

            Yes, the average customer don’t read tech sites like here, but still not ask me “what is the best device I can buy” but “what is the best Android?”. They not ask about Windows Phone because on our country the WP offer resumes to ex-Nokia and to iOS, Apple answers the question for them. People is more aware to software nowadays.

            I check the LF and don’t see Tizen or Meego as “endorsed” projects, but listed as collab projects. In other words, projects that share manpower and code with Linux Foundation (because they have an open governance and it is possible). That is different.

            As Ubuntu, for instance, doesn’t have so open governance, but i doubt that Linux Foudation don’t “endorse” this distro.

          • Renascienza

            Anyway, i am distracting myself to point here.

            My claim is about Android is the premium OS and ecosystem and Tizen, even after many years of work, does not.

            I think that is more effective invest to improve the winner than keep trying wake up the loser.

          • dandroid13

            Sure, people are more aware, but many people still buy phones because of the “ostentação” factor (haha) or because they don’t have the money. I think that competition is always good. :)

          • Renascienza

            Yeah, hahaha. Indeed. The “show off factor” :)

            There is a Samsung strategy to explore it, making cheaper models with the exact same appearance of his flagships. Seems works fine, mainly on Brazil, China and Corea.

            But even this kind of trick seems not be enough anymore. The Sammy mobile division is expecting tough times on 2015, as Sony.

          • The-Sailor-Man

            “* Samsung doen’t want use pure Android on its devices, insisting on his own makeup Touch Wiz. Result: the majority of users don’t like it.”
            BS.
            HUGE BS!!!!!!!!

          • Renascienza

            http://forums.androidcentral.com/general-news-discussion/320364-why-do-most-people-hate-touchwiz.html

            (i got some time to figure out that “BS” is “bullshit”… Sorry i am not a native english speaker).

  • LeetLawrence

    Why don’t they just make Tizen their new TouchWiz instead of making it a full blown OS?!

    • n900mixalot

      That doesn’t make sense.

      • LeetLawrence

        Yeah, what I meant to say is:
        -Drop Tizen
        -Redo TouchWiz, with some of Tizen’s design language.

  • Fatt Hardy

    Nobody is going to displace Android anytime soon in the smartphone space. Android also dominates the small form factor tablets while bigger ones also have Microsoft doing well in that field.

    Samsung should really focus their Tizen efforts in the wearable, smart car and smart TV spaces as those are areas where the market has not yet picked a winner.

    But Android is to smartphones what Windows is to desktops. Ironically this is in large part thanks to Samsung due to the Galaxy S and Note lines.

  • The-Sailor-Man

    Most of the guys here confuse Samsung BEFORE and Samsung NOW.
    Please, take it easy.
    Samsung was the main reason that Android have such success . And yes – TouchWiz functionality was the key. No matter how loud few android freaks and the apple’s propaganda is bashing it.
    Why Samsung went Tizen? Because TouchWiz running over other OS that runs own backgrounds , make it heavy, and harder to optimize.
    TouchWiz with Tizen is meant to be lighter than stock Android.
    Will see if this will happen.
    Just give them a chance.
    Samsung is not leaving Android. Just forget it.
    BTW No need only US to control all the peoples data. Right? (Windows, Android, iOS)

    • Renascienza

      “Samsung was the main reason that Android have such success”

      At least is that’s what Sammy thinks about it. But is a serious hubris, imho. And that may be one reason why it has been losing market share every month, while others are rising now.

      Before Android, the mobile market leader went by the name of Nokia. Samsung had never scratched this leadership before.

      Nokia refuses to use Android on his products (because undermining from Stephen Elop), and broke. RIM too, and almost broke. HP invest on WebOS, and need gave up. Samsung uses Android, and rise. That say something…

      • The-Sailor-Man

        ” And that may be one reason why it has been losing market share every month, while others are rising now.”

        Wrong! Very wrong. No matter how loud few android freaks and the apple’s propaganda is bashing it, TW is the best thing that happened to Android. No one buys the GooglePlay Edition except of few freaks.
        And if TW runs even better on Tizen , where is the problem?
        BTW Samsung have lost some market because of dirt cheap China and India OEMs with almost no profit.
        Do not trust the tech media much. Apple owns them ALL!

        • Renascienza

          Hey, man… Don’t shout, i can hear you. :)

          See: a lot of own Samsung customers hate TW and hate even more the update delay that it causes. Me, included, i think TW is ugly and clumsy. When i buy an Android Samsung device, my first move is install customizations enough to try rip the TW face from my sight.

          There is no “few” freaks that don’t like Touch Wiz, pal. There is a *lot* of them. But don’t worry about it, you cannot control the popular taste. Sometimes people just do not like something like us, and nothing can be done about it. Calm down. :

          Is right, TW runs better on Tizen (because is made to), and it is not a problem… To me. But is for Samsung, because nobody like or even know about Tizen. That system don’t *sell*.

          I am not talking about Indian or chinese dirt cheap devices. I am talk about Motorola rising from the grave, Huawei growing from nothing, One Plus with a customer queue because the manufactor doesn’t manage attend the demand…

          I am talking about there is no Samsung Nexus anymore.

          Yeah… Apple owns even Android Authority, right?

  • sid

    Tizen definitely looks more smoother than android. If samsung can come up with something as good as or better than ios, then its a win!

  • Jacca Anderson

    Tizen is a joint effort.The Z1 is Samsung and Intel.Plus thought it had another 30 something companies on board with the Tizen platform itself I think phone tech going fly high in coming times.

  • navnath

    Its very thirdclass system.

  • surajbhan

    Vestige app not downlods

  • IMAM

    IMO IS VERY NEED BECAUSE ITS ONE AN IMPORTANT APPS FOR VEDIO CALLING

  • ashu

    samsung z1 tizen its not good phone i buy but i dont like so plz anybody dont buy
    no viber working
    no skypy
    no imo working

  • tanvir

    Can I install and run viber and Skype on tizen through acl?

  • Bhushan

    My Question is that Ti zen
    Supports Teen Patti Indian poker ?…

  • Akshat Pai

    The worlds worst phone in my hand actually tizen is making it the worst phone if it had google play it would have been awesome tizen should go to hell and never come back

  • Anjay Goel

    why Samsung made tizen? android is open source you can make a lot of changes to it. it can support entry level phone too. i would rather buy a android powered phone rather than tizen

  • amit

    How Youtube vedio download ?

  • Michael Berger

    Why the hell would one want an alternative for Android? Best OS ever + free. Tizen is a Samsung’s ego platform that will die. I awe a gear s watch on Tizen and love it for hardware and design. Software sucks. It lacks apps even after 2 years! (no google apps, no Facebook, no whats app). Just waiting for an unofficial Android Wear porting for this watch , which is in works now – to make the switch to Android on my watch too.