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article imageSamsung thinks its DeX technology can transform the way you work

By James Walker     Jul 6, 2017 in Technology
Samsung has detailed the design and development work that went into the creation of its DeX desktop for Android devices. Samsung said the feature isn't meant to be just for power users, instead claiming it adds an "additional dimension" of convenience.
Samsung launched DeX on the Galaxy S8 earlier this year. It's essentially Microsoft's Continuum feature of Windows 10 Mobile implemented on an Android device. While it appears to be a clone of Continuum, Samsung has revealed DeX entered development in 2014, a year before Microsoft unveiled its approach.
In an interview published to its newsroom, Samsung engineers Hyoungsik and Minchul Kim explained why it's taken three years to get DeX to consumers. Hyoungsik said the smartphone technology of 2014 wasn't powerful enough to support a desktop interface. The Android OS of the time was unsuitable for the task, making DeX initially an unactionable idea.
The scene has changed considerably in the years since 2014. The hardware and software have "finally caught up" to what's required for DeX, allowing Samsung to realise its long-held ambition of expanding your phone to your PC.
Samsung DeX
Samsung DeX
The company said that DeX has been most popular with people who are generally reliant on their phone but still occasionally have to use a PC. They tend to value traditional desktop features, such as mouse scrolling and keyboard shortcuts, and have to complete tasks that aren't possible on a phone alone.
Samsung considers DeX to be beneficial to this kind of user. The software can offer a new simpler workspace that's centralised on the primary device in the system, the smartphone. The desktop capabilities are retained but they're combined with the phone in a cohesive manner.
"Those who have shown real interest in Samsung DeX are the people who have PCs but tend to do basically everything – from compiling reports to sending video messages to their friends – on their phone," said Hyoungsik. "These consumers are highly satisfied with the fact that they can finally enjoy movies, games and other media from their smartphones on a larger screen."
Samsung DeX
Samsung DeX
Samsung's also aiming to attract business users. Corporate customers focused on B2C and B2B interactions have expressed an interest in DeX. Samsung said it is pursuing a pilot program with organisations ranging from banks to government agencies. While DeX only natively runs Android apps, it is possible to access Windows programs using virtualisation and remote desktop solutions.
Samsung expects enterprise interest in DeX to grow as more companies come to appreciate the opportunities it offers. The company argues that DeX is a more efficient solution than supplying employees with conventional laptops or PCs.
Samsung DeX
Samsung DeX
"Samsung DeX is a great solution for the workspace not only because it helps to improve efficiency but is also cost-effective, as it helps to minimize costs such as management fees commonly associated with the utilization of PCs and other devices," said Minchul Kim.
Samsung is planning to add new features to DeX over time but it's still getting acquainted with how customers are using the product. It's working to establish "new use cases" where DeX is proving valuable, enabling it to better tailor the software to the needs of users.
Samsung said it remains committed to expanding the role of the smartphone to encroach on that of the PC. The company considers the traditional desktop to be an outdated technology. Samsung sees DeX as the route to more productive digital interactions for both consumers and enterprises.
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