Yesterday, OpenMobile, the company behind the ACL app, shut down their operations and switched off their website. For those that are not familiar with ACL, it stands for Application Compatibility Layer and it essentially enables Android apps to run on non-Android operating systems including Tizen, Linux, and others.
The contract between OpenMobile and Samsung was up for renewal, which Samsung chose not to renew. According to people familiar with the situation, this was the major reason for the company needing to close its doors – as Samsung was a major source of funding for the business.
Visitors to the companies webpage are now greeted with a message saying “Sorry, OpenMobile no longer is operating as a business.” It’s sad to see the company close down as we first started working with them back in 2010 when they brought their app catalogue to MeeGo.
Many of the top apps in the Tizen Store were enabled by this technology including MX Player, ES File Explorer, SHAREit, Angry Birds, UC Browser, PIP Camera, FlipKart, Saavn and more. According to OpenMobile, this technology was an essential part of the Tizen ecosystem. OpenMobile managed to release only 12 apps on the Tizen Store out of their huge portfolio of apps, that ran in the 1000s, and contained some of the biggest names in the industry. ACL apps also enjoyed being some of the most downloaded apps on the Tizen Store.
The attraction to Android App Developers was that they could distribute their apps to App Stores on different platforms, without needing to modify their Android APK file – the promise was that it would run seamlessly on a non-Android operating system. Samsung were never quite a fan of ACL and didn’t believe it was the best solution to their Tizen Smartphone app needs. In their wisdom, Samsung believes hardware is what drives an ecosystem, whereas lots of other people believe it is apps.
At the moment all of the ACL enabled apps have been pulled from the Tizen Store and there is no solution, that we know of at least, for the app problem that many Tizen smartphone users experience in the store.