May 25, 2015
Samsung has been saying for a while now that interconnection between its devices was one of its linchpins for 2015. That’s good news for channel partners selling enterprise mobility solutions into business accounts.
Last November, at its developers’ conference the vendor unwrapped a nifty little app called Flow that, for all intents and purposes, amounted to its version of Apple’s (AAPL) Continuity–a service that allows users of its products to toggle tasks back and forth between devices.
In other words, just because you’ve starting browsing the Web on your Galaxy S6 smartphone doesn’t mean you have to finish there–you can transfer your session to a Samsung phablet or a tablet.
Now, Samsung officially has released the Flow tool, which is still in beta for now and only supports a few of Samsung’s latest devices, including Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, Galaxy S5, Galaxy Alpha, Note 4, Note Edge, or Galaxy Tab S, with the latter the lone supported tablet.
The beta version is available on Google Play and, while the app is available only on the select devices, Samsung is positioning the feature as a platform not “just an application,” urging developers to add it into their apps.
“With Flow you can change devices in the midst of an activity or pause an activity until you’re ready,” the vendor said.
As expected, there are some differences between Continuity and Flow (gotta love these names, no?) For one, users have to instruct Flow about the activity or task to transfer between devices, including the destination target.
Once Flow is installed on a user’s eligible Samsung devices it comes to life with the Android share button or, with some apps, a special Flow button. The user then is free to point the activity to a different Samsung device where it will show up nearly instantaneously, Samsung said.
Flow is a project of Samsung’s Research America Think Tank Team, a 39-member unit directed by Pranav Mistry. The group also works on Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch and Project Beyond, a 3D omniview camera that uses the vendor’s Gear VR headset.
According to its website, the unit’s areas of work include electrical engineering, optics, computational imaging, robotics, machine learning, natural language processing, visual design, computational graphics, material science and biosensing.
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