Samsung Flow 001

OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 have brought out a set of features dubbed Continuity which allow users to easily transition between their Macs and iOS devices without skipping a beat. Now Samsung has responded with a feature of its own.

They’re calling it Flow and it’s pretty cool. With Flow, you can change devices in the midst of an activity or pause an activity until you’re ready.

Now available in beta as a free download from the Google Play Store, Flow currently supports select Samsung tablets and smartphones: the Galaxy S5, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy Alpha, Note 4, Note Edge and the Galaxy Tab S.

Using peer-to-peer networking, Flow devices communicate directly with each other, bypassing the cloud. It uses Bluetooth LE to advertise a device’s availability and Wi-Fi or Bluetooth for data transfer.

Advertised as a platform rather than a feature, one crucial difference between Flow and Apple’s Continuity/Handoff is that the former requires some manual work, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing: with Flow, you get a dedicated button in apps that lets you specify the device of choice where your content will flow.

Samsung Flow 002

“Transfer an activity to the right device for a task. Pick up right where you left off rather than starting from scratch on the new device,” Samsung said. Flow’s Task List, another cool feature, gives you a single place to track your deferred activities.

Flow synchronizes your deferred activities across your devices when they’re near each other. You can also transfer an application across devices and act on content within an application on a different device.

Samsung Flow 004

In addition, Flow may propagate notifications across devices so that users can act on relevant notifications in a timely fashion. Out of the box, Flow supports the native Android sharing functions so the feature works with a number of existing third-party applications.

I like Flow, in particular its ability to defer viewing media until a later time. And its ability to move activities across time as well as devices may prove enough of a differentiator to set itself apart from Apple’s Handoff and Continuity features.

As a matter of fact, Continuity doesn’t support media activity deferring so I sincerely hope that Apple for once will dare take a page from Samsung’s book and implement a similar feature of its own.

Handoff still does a few things unsupported by Flow, like sending and receiving text messages and phone calls on a Mac, for instance.

If Samsung’s nicely done promotional video is anything to go by, Flow should be a bigger ecosystem play for Samsung as the feature should soon be implemented across the company’s smartwatch range as well as on PCs and Samsung-branded Smart TVs.

Samsung Flow 003

Samsung said an SDK will enable developers to enable their own apps for Flow. Direct integration allows applications to take full advantage of Flow’s capabilities and provide truly seamless experiences.

“Samsung Flow will scale to other device types and operating systems, for the Samsung Developer Conference we will focus on Android phones and tablets,” promised the firm.

What do you think of Samsung Flow and should Apple extend the functionality of its own Continuity platform, do you think?

Source: Samsung

  • 5aga

    meet flo

    • Lemerio P.

      I was waiting on it. Lol I knew someone was thinking the same thing.

      • James G

        Almost *everyone* was thinking the same thing.

  • giulio

    i hate samsung with all my heart

    • That_Fruitarian

      How come?

      • Dan

        No doubt because he has an inferiority complex. Apple is his everything and any competition is the enemy.

      • askep3

        I think its better, with the competition Apple has reason/pressure to make continuity and handoff even better

      • Dan

        I agree, with every company trying to surpass the other, we the customers benefit. Some people spout things like ‘I hate…’, they don’t seem to understand that.

      • giulio

        it is ugly and bad

      • @sexyhamthing

        great reasoning

  • ravinigga

    ITS always this. Is good but not better.

  • InfinitePlusOne

    Lol

  • Mr_Coldharbour

    If Apple one day decides to close shop and just give their products away for free to whoever walks into their stores, rest assured, Samsung will be quick to follow the same exact model. Samsung will even follow Apple off a cliff if it came to that. It’s been proven time and time again that Samsung has no character, no originality, no shame and no class. End of story.

  • José Gabriel Rivera Velázquez

    This is what I like. Companies taking different spins on existing ideas. I know all companies copy each other all the time but this is like “Hey! I’m going to copy your idea but look I made this on my own that you can copy as well :)”. This is how it’s supposed to be and at the end everyone wins.

    • Manuel Molina

      There’s different spins and then there’s doing every single thing your enemy does and tries to do it or mimicking it. It’s sad to say that I’m not seeing how Samsung brings competition to Apple when Samsung is only trying to compete but Apple isnt.

  • Tyler Smith

    Still not as good as handoff but i respect it..

  • James G

    Continuity/Handoff really needs media support. Hoping it’s added in iOS 9 / OS X 10.11. I want to be able to resume playing music from my iPhone on my MacBook Pro and vice versa. Heck, add Apple TV to the mix, too.

  • jbelkin

    Hilarious waste of resources. What the subset of people running the latest Samsung android phones + the latest android OS + those will to download this + WIN Pc users who can afford a $399 WIN PC or more + WIN PC users running WIN 8 + Interested users who want this feature … so oiutside of samsung employees, 8 people in this world? Samsung is the dumbest company in the world. They do realize that by blatantly copying IOS features and branding themselves as essentially counterfeiters, people with money will actually buy FEWER samsung products? In fact, I purchased an LG TV – not even bothering to look at a samsung and next home appliances I look at – Samsung is on the same list as Russian makes.

  • Mr_Coldharbour

    Apple has at least a few flagship products other than the iPhone. The Mac — the fastest growing laptop/PC/computer out there and a top-choice for many new laptop/PC buyers, the iPad — not just a larger iPhone and the iPod — the precursor to the iPhone (one of Apple’s flagship products).

  • MickeyMousy

    My sister told me recently about this amazing book that claims to teach you how to exercise your eyes so that they will naturally see 20/20 again ( TINYURL (dot) COM/better-eyes-0 ) I do all exercises everyday for about 15 minutes and I noticed that I can read and drive without glasses just after 2 weeks… I just took an eye test for my drivers license and passed without a problem. I don’t do all of the exercises but I’m always conscious of ways to practice during my daily routine. It works.3779557207

  • Jimmy

    You have to click 3-4 times on the sending device. This is counter intuitive. Apple’s handoff sends handoff notifications to paired devices. If you want it on another device, go to that device and click the button. No need to fiddle with the sending device.