Should you pay for Elementary OS?

In today's open source roundup: A payment controversy swirls around Elementary OS. Plus: How to edit images on your Chromebook, and Samsung's Z1 Tizen smartphone is no match for Android phones

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Swapnil Bhartiya reports for Linux.com:

In a nutshell these apps allow me to work on my images without having to go to Linux or Mac OS X boxes. I would not underrate these apps by calling them ‘basic’ image editing tools, they are way too advanced for that category. From the built-in image editing tool to Polarr, Chromebooks cover the entire spectrum of image editing - with Pixlr and Sumo Paint somewhere in middle.

There is only one caveat though. These _are_ image editing apps and thus are quite resource hungry. If you want to do some serious image editing work and are planning to buy a Chromebook, make sure to get the most powerful processor and as much RAM as you can get. Try these apps and let us know which one works best for you.

More at Linux.com

Ars Technica reviews Samsung's Z1 Tizen smartphone

Samsung has a new phone based on its Tizen mobile operating system. Many have wondered if Samsung will eventually dump Android in favor of Tizen. But a review of the phone by Ars Technica indicates that Samsung has a long way to go with Tizen before it can consider getting rid of Android.

Ron Amadeo reports for Ars Technica:

...Tizen doesn’t have any stand-out aspect. It’s all the negatives of a new OS without any of the positives.

Tizen is just a less mature version of Android with no apps and no major ecosystem player supporting it. The OS feels like it’s straight out of that Dilbert comic where the Pointy-Haired Boss suggests “If we work day and night, we can match our competitors’ features within twelve months.” Tizen seems to have done a good job copying an OS from several years ago, but it never evolved while its competitors did. For now, the conclusion of any Tizen-based smartphone review will always say “this would have been a better product if it ran Android.”

The Good
[This space intentionally left blank]

The Bad
Tizen has almost no apps right now, and no one is building apps for Tizen—not even Samsung. As the creator of the OS, it’s Samsung’s job to lead the ecosystem forward. Who will support this platform when even the platform owner won’t?

More at Ars Technica

I had some thoughts of my own to share about Samsung's Z1 smartphone on my blog:

Samsung should focus on its chip business and other profitable areas instead of vainly chasing Apple and Google in smartphones. The only real advantage Samsung had over Apple was larger screen sizes, and now that is gone forever. And anybody who wants the best Android experience possible is already running stock Android on one of Google’s phones. So what’s left for Samsung in the mobile phone market? Not a whole lot at this point, so it’s time for them to go.

I doubt Samsung will take my advice, but I think it’s just a matter of time before they are forced to realize that the jig is up and that the company’s mobile phone business isn’t bringing in the profits any more. Tizen will never be more than a second-rate afterthought with very few developers, no viable ecosystem and no real reason to exist other than to continue the ridiculous pretense that Samsung can successfully release phones without Android.

More at Jim Lynch

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Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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