Samsung DEX Takes it one Step Further
Even if it is an unfamiliar name, the concept may not feel strange. Samsung DEX is an extension that brings a Windows-like desktop screen to a connected monitor when the smartphone is plugged into the dock. If you’ve already displayed your smartphone’s screen on a larger screen with HDMI or wireless mirroring, this might seem like a big deal. But if Samsung DEX is the feature that gives you the same experience as before, you’ll soon notice that you wouldn’t have written this.
Samsung DEX is not mirroring the same screen as other smartphones. Like Google Cast, it’s not a feature that you can control with your smartphone while casting Internet-based videos. If you connect the Galaxy S8 series with a Samsung DEX to your monitor or TV, you’ll get a completely different PC-like desktop that doesn’t seem to be associated with a smartphone. Samsung DEX is a completely different PC-like interface that makes it easy to work on a monitor or TV.
The term PC-type interface means that you can use it as a PC, although you cannot call it a PC. This is a step closer to the romance of those who have said they are carrying a smartphone. While smartphone processing power is approaching the PC level, it pushes the limits of mobile devices that have little adaptability to desktop environments such as PCs and laptops. When you plug your device into the Decks docking station, which was introduced as a peripheral to the Galaxy S8, your smartphone becomes more of a PC than a smartphone.
Now let’s go one step further into Samsung DEX. When we talk about screens like PCs, we often think of OS X for Mac users, as well as Windows, which is easy to handle with a mouse and keyboard (or trackpad). Samsung DEX is similar to Windows. It’s a very familiar form, with a large desktop that fits the resolution of the monitor, a few icons, a taskbar and tray icon, and a program screen that collects apps. Keyboard shortcuts for copying and pasting also work, as well as dragging with the mouse. There’s no Windows start button, and the experience is not strange.
Similar to the PC, Samsung DEX is not planting a new operating system. It’s just an extension that runs on top of Android N, the Galaxy S8’s operating system. It’s Android’s interface that we’ve never seen before, and it makes it possible to run and handle Android apps like a desktop PC. As a result, the Android smartphone called the Galaxy S8 with Samsung DEX is transformed so that it can be used as a PC.
Of course, not just the desktop configuration is similar. Android apps run on DEX can be resized and repositioned in windowed mode, just as if they were running an application on a Windows PC. Not only can you launch several at the same time, but you can easily switch between them, and your Internet browser can be divided into several windows instead of just one. Hover your cursor over the app you’ve launched and right-click to bring up the menu.
This does not mean that all Android apps will run on Samsung DEX. In fact, apps running on Samsung DEX should be optimized for the DEX environment. The Samsung DEX developer’s site explains that you can run non-DEX compatible apps in windowed mode, but the previous Unpack and Samsung DEX official web pages are based on running compatible apps. Once you’ve developed an app for Android N, you’ve explicitly defined Multi-Windows and Window Scaling, and have defined your keyboard/mouse counterparts. Multi-window mode, apps that don’t specify resizing can run in a fixed-window mode without using some features, but widget-based apps and apps that work only with touch won’t work with DEX.
The optimized app for Samsung DEX is Microsoft Word Mobile. Productivity apps like PowerPoint Mobile, Excel Mobile, native apps like Chrome Browser, YouTube, Google Play, third-party apps like Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop Express, Acrobat Reader, AutoCAD Mobile, Line, KakaoTalk, Lineage 2 Revolution and Tribes There are 30 of them, including back games. The DEX Optimizer will grow even more if you include basic programs like the Galaxy S8’s mail, music, and video, but it’s hard to see that much.
I can’t say it’s near perfection, but by allowing a PC-like environment or a smartphone to be used on a PC, anyone who dreamed of doing two things with a single smartphone would have hoped to realize the possibilities in DEX. However, the other side, which is not perfect, cannot be easily ignored. The desktop environment is similar, but not exactly the same. This part is the hardest to solve. We should try to adapt to the desktop environment of smartphones, but it is unknown whether Samsung will invest that much for its own ecosystem. There’s only one peripheral that can use DEX, and they don’t venture into innovative peripherals like Motorola’s lap dog. DEX is positive in terms of expansion that leverages the full computing power of smartphones.