Earlier this week a leaked photo of a slide from a supposed Samsung presentation for the Galaxy S8 coming out this year made its way into the news. The photo shows a slide titled “Samsung Desktop Experience: Next Mobile Workspace”, with a graphic of a desktop computer with keyboard and mouse, tethered to a Samsung smartphone, and with bulleted text next to it saying:
- External Monitor
- Keyboard & Mouse
The unmistakable Android logo is seen right next to the PC monitor.
If this is true, then Samsung could be the next major contender in the race to blur device screen sizes and build a truly cross-platform experience, joining the ranks of Microsoft, Google and even Apple to a degree.
I’ve spoken about this before. Microsoft and Google both want to bridge the desktop-mobile chasm that has developed over the years, but they’re approaching it from opposite ends.
Microsoft is looking to bring desktop emulation to smartphones and leverage decades of legacy desktop software, and we should hear more about that at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. They’re already working with Qualcomm on a cellular PC project that’s expected to be announced at MWC 2017, so we know it’s quite near.
On the other side, Google is busy stuffing Android into its Chrome OS – or Chrome OS into Android, I forget – and trying to give desktop users the Android experience under the name Andromeda, with the benefit of access to millions of apps.
Apple tried to do much the same thing as Microsoft with their Handoff feature that brought OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 together. What it does is to serve specific apps across iOS and macOS devices so they are synched and made available on both devices. But that’s more of a Bluetooth file-sync capability rather than an actual emulation of the desktop experience on mobile and vice versa, the way we see it.
If Samsung Desktop Experience is, in fact, not a poorly informed leak, why hasn’t it made its way into the news before this? By now, Samsung’s Galaxy S8 is sure to be in advanced production stages – if the estimated February release date is correct – so it’s a little hard to believe that they would have gotten this far with absolutely no word from anyone, including their vendors and suppliers leaking out.
If this rumor is true, then Galaxy S8 users are in for a treat. We don’t yet know what approach Samsung has been using to develop the Samsung Desktop Experience. Hopefully, we’ll learn more about that as we get closer to the Galaxy S8 launch.
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