While many software makers have threatened to challenge the dominance of Apple's iOS and Google's Android in mobile space, most have either died a swift death or remain on the very fringes. From the periphery platforms like Windows and Ubuntu to the recently-scrapped Firefox OS, few seem capable of taking a noteworthy fight to the Big Two. The Tizen OS is by no means a front-runner just yet, but unlike Microsoft, Samsung seems keen to press on with the evolution of its platform. Sammy's continued faith in Tizen appears to be paying dividends, with popular street racer Asphalt 8: Airborne now available for the Tizen-powered Samsung Z1 and Z3.
Only a handful of firms really have the inclination and the means necessary to do battle with Apple and Google in this space. With Microsoft seemingly disinterested in the mobile scene at present, Samsung certainly has the funds to put into the research and development of Tizen.
Creating a platform, as Microsoft has learned, is only one part of building a successful platform. The broader aim is to have a strong ecosystem of developers creating apps and experiences -- something that Tizen appears to have with the introduction of Asphalt 8: Airborne. Sure, it's just a game, but it's a big game by a big publisher, and if Asphalt's creator Gameloft can see the value, there's no reason why other devs won't follow suit.
If you own a Samsung Z1 or Z3, Asphalt 8 is now available for free through the Tizen Store. For those uninitiated, the Asphalt series is renowned for high-energy, super car street racing with plenty of nitrous boosters to keep it that way. You can pick from a number of vehicles by well-known manufacturers and race to your heart's content, through courses ranging from city streets to snowy mountains.
Once described as "dead in the water" as a viable alternative to Android by Generator Research analyst Andrew Sheehy, Tizen now looks anything but a sinking ship. With quality developers also hopping aboard, Samsung has legitimate reason to feel quietly confident at the future prospects of Tizen.
With a slew of Tizen-powered smartwatches already on the market and developers putting in the work on the apps front, could we see higher-end or even flagship-level smartphones and tablets running the firmware in years to come?