Samsung is currently holding its first global developer conference in San Francisco, and has announced five new software development kits that give developers the ability to harness the hardware features Samsung includes in its mobiles. Given that Samsung makes a huge chunk of its money through its mobile division, it makes sense for Samsung to make tools available to developers to make better software for its devices. You can watch the video of the entire event below:
Gregory Lee, president of Samsung Telecommunications America, started off the keynote by saying, “We have products at every segment and every price point. Your applications, your work can be reached all over the world and across all those products.”
At the conference, Samsung also divulged information on device sales, and they’re great. Samsung is now selling a million devices every day, and has sold 250 million devices this year. David Eun, executive vice president of Samsung’s Innovation Center, said that, “We know many of these devices and screens are connected. This is largely due to the fact that some 40 percent of the population connects to the internet. We hope to build along with you one of the largest platforms in the world for content, services, apps and ads. We call this the connected home, and the connected life.”
Samsung’s Multiscreen SDK is similar in functionality to that of Chromecast. The Multiscreen SDK includes APIs that allow users to stream their content across Samsung devices. This means that you can now stream content directly to your Smart TV from your Galaxy device. Also introduced is an overlay feature that allows you to embed a tweet stream onto a video, or show stats for a ball game.
The Multiscreen SDK works off a cloud-based publishing platform, and includes one-touch sharing across devices. This is based on technology from one of Samsung’s acquisitions, MOVL. Samsung is keen on creating a connected ecosystem, one in which your devices will be able to easily share content across systems. The South Korean manufacturer makes a lot of consumer electronics devices, so it makes sense for them to be working on a platform where all their devices can be interconnected.
Juan Pablo Gnecco, senior director of Samsung’s Media Solution Center America, said during the presentation, “The question everyone is asking is what is the next big thing for developers. The answer is TV. But TV is not alone. Today the living room is full of devices, it’s truly multiscreen.”
Samsung Multiscreen Gaming
Samsung mentioned that through Multiscreen Gaming SDK, users will also be able to stream games to their TVs alongside video content. Samsung is working with Unity Technologies to create a game engine that enables users to stream their games to TVs, and use a Samsung mobile device or a tablet as the console.
This SDK will be available from November 12, and will include APIs for Android, iOS and HTML5. The SDK is based on the DIAL (DIscovery And Launch) protocol, which means that this multiscreen streaming utility will also work on TVs from Sony, LG, TiVo, and Panasonic.
Samsung also demoed the Samsung Gamepad controller accessory, which connects to your mobile device and works as a dedicated controller. It connects through Bluetooth and features dual analog sticks, a D-pad, shoulder buttons at the back along with a full set of home buttons. Although it has not been mentioned as to when this accessory will be available in store shelves, it has been rumored that Samsung is looking at an early 2014 launch.
Samsung Mobile SDK collates mobile tools into a single package so that it is easier for developers to build on these utilities. These include S Pen, media control, professional audio features, and gesture controls. This SDK in total consists of 800 APIs.
Curtis Sasaki, senior vice president of Samsung Media Solutions Center America, said that developers are trying to build software that takes into account the unique features that are offered by Samsung, like the S Pen. He said, “When we talk to developers, they’re trying to find that differentiation. When it comes to new SDKs, these, even for Android developers, allow them to look at differentiating their applications.”
Samsung Smart TV
The Smart TV SDK enables developers to create content for Samsung’s series of smart TVs. This SDK comes with WebEngine 2014, Samsung Connect and Smart Home development. The SDK allows for better search and content filtering, and features closed captioning which gives users to enable subtitles in videos.
Samsung KNOX SDK is geared for enterprise users, and makes it possible for users to use their devices in a Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) work environment without compromising security.
Injong Rhee, senior vice president of Samsung’s mobile communications, said that the enterprise mobility market will grow three to four times faster than the consumer market, and that this is an area that Samsung wants to target actively.
Rhee said, “This means a huge opportunity for device manufacturers like us because we’re seeing consumer getting to saturation. But we see a big jump in enterprise.”
In addition, Samsung has also mentioned that it is rolling out the Premium Suite upgrade to the Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy SIII and the Galaxy S4. This includes a host of software bug fixes, brings a new multi-window mode and the latest camera enhancements along with Samsung Knox. This update would start rolling out soon, with the Galaxy S4 being the first device to get it.
Samsung is making sure that it differentiates its software offerings as thoroughly as it has done its hardware. Over the years, it has done a great job in ensuring that its Galaxy range of mobiles is different from other Android devices, mostly by offering a bevy of software features and heavy UI customizations in the form of TouchWiz. Samsung Android devices are also offered in a multitude of price points. Now it is looking to create a better software ecosystem for its devices and also ensure that developers create software that is tailored to function well on its devices. The Samsung developer conference is scheduled to run for another two days, and there should be a lot more announcements from the manufacturer.