Wednesday, Samsung held its 2022 developer conference. A standout attribute of this conference is they invited people to attend in person; something I’ve not really seen in developer conferences since 2019 (for obvious reasons🦠). Ofcourse, for those that cannot attend, many aspects of the conference were also streamed from https://samsungdeveloperconference.com and from their YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/c/SamsungDevelopers ).
Concerning the content, the conference felt a bit heavier on items of consumer interest. The keynote highlighted Know Matrix, Samsung’s block-chain based solution for security among their devices (not just phones), Samsung TV Plus, Gaming, Tizen, and more.
The sessions for the conference were available either as prerecorded presentations, or live sessions. The prerecorded sessions were made available all at once .
In addition to making updates to their interface (One UI, coming to the S2022 series at the end of the month) Samsung is adding a Task Bar to the Tab S8 and their foldable phones. Samsung also covered support for multitasking; Samsung’s phones support running 2 or 3 applications simultaneously. Many of the multitasking features use standard Android APIs. Samsung has also made available a task bar on their larger screen devices (tablets, foldable phones) to enable switching applications without going to the home screen or task switcher. There ar multiple levels of support that an application could have for multi-window capable devices. One is simply supporting the window being resized.
FLAG_ACTIVITY_LAUNCH_ADJACENT indicates that an application was designed for a multi-window environment. New interactions enabled by multi-window applications includes drag-and-drop from one instance to another, multiple instances of an application, and supporting “flex mode” (where either side of a foldable device is used for different purposes).
Some well-known applications already support features for these environments, including Gmail, Facebook, Microsoft Outlook, and Tik-Tok.
It’s been 10 years since Tizen was released in 2012. In previous years, has presented Tizen as its operating system for a wide range of devices. The OS could be found running on some cameras, phones, TVs, and wearables. The Tizen OS got a great footing in TVs; you’ll find it on all of the Samsung TVs available now above a certain size, some computer monitors, and a few TVs from other manufacturers. Its presence on other devices has also diminished, with Samsung’s wearables now using Android Wear and the Tizen phones being out of production. I encountered some of the “Tizen Everywhere” marketing, but it now appears to refer to the wide range of displays that use Tizen.
One of Samsung’s presentations concerning Tizen had its own timeline of Tizen’s evolution. I might make my own, since I’ve been interested since it was in its proto-version (Bada). Samsung announced Tizen 7.0. The features highlighted in the release were in the areas of
- OpenXR runtime
- Real-time Kernel
- 3D Rendering enhancements
- Android HAL support
- Cross-platform improcement
- Natural User Interface Enhancements
I personally found the natural user interface enhancements to be interesting. It included a lot of AI driven features. Support for running Tizen applications on Android was also mentioned. I’m curious as to what this means though. If typical Samsung Android devices can run Tizen, then it gives the OS new relevance and increases the strength of the “Tizen Everywhere” label. Tizen has been updated to use more recent Chromium release for its Web engine. Tizen also has support for Flutter. Support was actually released last year. But compatibility and performance are increased with Tizen 7.0.
Samsung has also exposed more Native SDKs in Tizen 7.0 to C# and C from other SDKs. For .Net developers, Tizen 7.0 has increased MAUI support.
Samsung TV Plus
This is Samsung’s IPTV service. It is integrated into the TV in such a way that it is indistinguishable from OTA channels. Entities interested in the services that this has to offer are most likely Advertisers. Samsung provided information on both making available one’s video content on Samsung TV and how to monetize it. While I don’t see myself as one that would be implementing features related to this, I did find the presentation interesting. Before a show airs (about 5 minutes before) the ad slots are available to advertisers to fill. The ad inventory is auctioned off.
The TVs support being paired with a Bluetooth controller and streaming games through the Samsung Gaming Hub. HTML-based games are served to the phone via what Samsung calls Instant Play. Samsung also showed off the features it’s made available for emersive audio within gaming environments.
Samsung says they worked with Google to come up with a single set of APIs that developers can use for health apps. Often times, Samsung begins developing for some set of hardware features and later Samsung and Google normalize the way of interacting with those features. I thought these sessions would be all about Samsung Health (the application that lets you log your health stats on the phones). But the development also included their large screen (TV) interfaces with enhancements for tele-health visits. Collection of health related data has been enhanced on the Galaxy Watch 5.One of the enhancements is a microcontroller dedicated to collecting health data while the CPU sleeps. This allows the watch to collect information with less demands on the battery. The new watch is also able to measure body composition through electrical signals.
Samsung’s SmartThings network now also includes the ability to find other devices and even communicate data to those devices. Like other finding networks, their solution is based on devices being able to communicate with each other. Devices can send two bytes of data through the network. How this two bytes is used it up to the device. 2 bytes isn’t a lot. But it still could be of utility, such as a device sending a desired temperature to a thermostat, or another device simply signaling “I’m home.”
There were plenty of other topic areas covered. I’ve only highlighted a few areas. If you would like to see the presentations for yourself visit the YouTube Channel or see the Samsung Developer’s Conference page.