Saturday, 19 March 2016 16:48

Samsung goes with the Flow to unite Android and Windows devices

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Samsung is making its Android and Windows devices work seamlessly together. It announced Flow as a concept last year.

Flow’s first tangible example will be the new Windows 10, Galaxy TabPro S that will start selling for US$899 in the US later next week. iTWire has pre-release information on Samsung’s desirable, ultra-thin, full-fat, Windows 10 tablet/detachable here.

In essence, Flow will allow suitable Android smartphones to complement the Windows Tablet via:

  • common login authentication (using the smartphone fingerprint, pin or pattern)
  • display mobile notifications like missed calls, messages, tasks and others to appear on the tablet
  • activity transfer
  • activity defer
  • hotspot sharing
  • screen casting
  • And much more

It uses Bluetooth LE or Wi-Fi and Android’s Share action as the technology base so most Android apps like YouTube, Google, Pinterest, Twitter and many more should support it.

Flow will initially be on Galaxy S5 and later, Note 4 and later, and some lower specified Galaxy-class devices.

Samsung is ensuring that its smartphones have a place in a Windows world, and this is just the start of Flow – we can expect reverse flow and expansion to a lot more devices.

The tablet (hybrid) is amazing value for the specifications - read on.

  • 12” Super AMOLED 2160 x 1440 display
  • 4GB RAM and 128/256GB SSD (no mention of microSD slot)
  • 4G LTE Cat 6 and GPS option
  • Wi-Fi dual band and MIMO AC, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC, Wi-Di
  • 5200mAh (10.5 hours) with fast charge (30 minutes gives 2.4 hours) battery (and with AMOLED screen should give long use) and USB-C connection
  • Skylake 6 Generation Dual Core M3 processor 2.2GHz
  • Rear Camera – 5MP, HD, autofocus, Front camera 5MP
  • 290.3 x 198.8 x 6.3mm and 696g
  • Full-size detachable keyboard /cover included
  • USB-C (and multiport adaptor option)
  • Bluetooth pen (active stylus) option
  • Xbox streaming

Initial US reviews are positive praising the 12” AMOLED screen and the quality of the device. Depending on the price in Australia it may be a Surface Pro 4 Core m3 killer.

And in case you are thinking that Samsung is abandoning its Android roots, it made Windows devices well before Galaxy smartphones and tablets. “This is not any kind of walk back from Android at all. This is a vote for Windows, not a vote against (Android),” said Gary Riding, Samsung’s senior vice president for mobile computing marketing.  “Consumers are saying they want this choice.”

What Samsung knows is that the Windows 10, hybrid/detachable, tablet form factor, is the only area of ‘PC’ growth, and it is expected to wipe out lesser tablets within a few years.

It is unlikely that Android – essentially a smartphone operating system - can compete with Windows 10 computing devices in the content creation and work productivity sphere. I think Samsung will go with the ‘flow’.

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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