CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again


Swimmingly move between Samsung devices with Flow

Showcased today at its developers conference, Flow hopes to smooth over device continuity and is Samsung's answer to Apple's Handoff.

With Flow, users can beam their current tasks from their Samsung phone to their tablet, and vice versa. James Martin/CNET

Moving between mobile devices can get pretty tedious sometimes. You can begin watching a video on your smartphone, realize that it'd look better on your tablet, and then be discouraged by the fact that you'll need to find the relevant app on your tablet, open it up, and find the video again.

To smooth over these transitions, some companies have developed systems that allow users to seamlessly continue tasks between multiple devices. Apple, for example, has Handoff, which works between iOS 8 devices and Mac desktops with OS X 10.10 Yosemite. Baton, developed by Nextbit, works in a similar way with Android apps as well.

Today, Samsung demoed its own continuity platform for developers at its second annual conference held in San Francisco. Dubbed Flow, the system is broken into three parts: transfer, defer, and notify. Transfer lets you seamlessly shuttle an open task, like getting directions on Google Maps for example, from your tablet to your phone and vice versa. To use Flow, users would select it among all the other sharing options within the app. Once Flow is tapped, choose the device destination of your current task, and it would immediately appear on the other screen.

Defer allows users to continue tasks later, on another machine. If you're reading an article on your phone, you can use Flow to store the piece on your laptop at your home. When you're ready, the article will be there waiting for you.

Lastly, Flow lets you see notifications for one machine on another. An incoming or missed call, a low-battery warning, or new software updates on your handset can all be alerted on your tablet or even a Samsung TV.

Currently, developers can get their hands on Flow through a preview SDK. It's only available for Samsung Android devices for now, but the company hopes to expand its capabilities across all Samsung devices.