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Samsung Amps Up Its Multi-Window Android Upgrade 229

Posted by timothy
from the like-ms-windows-eh? dept.
DeviceGuru writes "New multiwindow, multitasking features in Samsung's recent Jellybean update to the Galaxy Note 10.1 have pushed the user interface of Android tablets into new territory, adding MS Windows-like capabilities that are sure to delight many users — and aggravate others. Although some observers have warned of the dangers of forking Android, Samsung's efforts to extend Android and its ecosystem can be defended as being consistent with Google's master plan for the Android system, most of which is released under ASLv2. And remember: unlike Apple, Android device makers, and the wireless carriers who offer Android smartphones to their customers, need ways to differentiate their products."
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Samsung Amps Up Its Multi-Window Android Upgrade

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  • It is open source (Score:2, Interesting)

    by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @04:27PM (#42683407) Homepage
    They're free to fork it if they want. If google doesn't like it then tough. They can think back to the time they pissed off oracle and the Linux kernel people. Besides that's what happens when you flood the market with a bunch of nearly identical cheap phones. Hardware people will need to stand out in some way and unlike the iPhone most of them have shit margins and won't have a problem doing what they think they can do to protect their position
  • by Dynedain (141758) <slashdot2 AT anthonymclin DOT com> on Thursday January 24, 2013 @04:34PM (#42683503) Homepage

    You do that mainly with hardware and with customer service.

    Look how well that worked for Dell, HP, Compaq, eMachines, IBM (desktop/laptop services), Sony (laptops), etc.

    Focusing on hardware results in a race to the bottom. And in the mobile market, customer service is a function of the carrier, not the device manufacturer. Apple has proven that the way to profits in saturated markets is to focus on the entire user experience. This gives them a major differentiator that lets them stand out and have a noticeable difference from other similar products.

    If you settle on being an Android device manufacturer, how are you different from other Android device manufacturers? Screen size and color of your case isn't enough.

  • by kamapuaa (555446) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @04:35PM (#42683513) Homepage

    You do that mainly with hardware and with customer service.

    But the hardware is all reaching towards one end goal: a big screen, fast enough, good resolution, not too big. Sure there's some room for variation, like maybe one has a larger battery at the expense of weighing an extra half an ounce, but there's really not not much to differentiate.

    Soon, generic Chinese manufacturers will be able to make a phone that has a big screen, is fast enough, has good resolution, and isn't too big. It will load the same Android OS as everybody else. And it will be priced as a commodity. Nobody will pay more because they like the custom look better.

    And customer service? I've never had to deal with a phone's customer service, ever. If it's a factor at all, it's a very small one.

  • Re:Oh, good. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Andy Dodd (701) <atd7@@@cornell...edu> on Thursday January 24, 2013 @04:46PM (#42683641) Homepage

    This is why CyanogenMod didn't implement Cornerstone. It's also why Samsung's multiwindow isn't worth all the hype it has been given:

    It only supports Samsung-customized Google Apps, a bunch of Samsung's own apps, and 1-2 third-party apps. Anything not in the multiwindow whitelist is blocked from multiwindow.

    Why? Because multiwindow fundamentally breaks the Android CTS and thus any app that is enabled for it must be "opt-in" at the discretion of the developer. If Samsung were to do this for all applications without a whitelist or apps "opting in" via a manifest entry, they would be blocked from the Play Store. Google treats devices breaking apps in the Play Store VERY seriously - When CyanogenMod was considering Cornerstone, they were effectively told that if some sort of "opt-in" mechanism weren't present, Google would be forced to blacklist CM. It's the same reason CM never merged in Paranoid Android's per-app DPI stuff... Google was VERY unhappy about that.

    The reason being: If an app developer gets 1-star reviews due to a device behaving badly, that device is probably going to be blacklisted from the Play Store if the app runs fine on any device the passes Google's CTS.

  • by BasilBrush (643681) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @10:21PM (#42686907)

    Samsung by grabbing so much market share of Android sales, now how the power to drive Android in a direction it wants to go.

    Oh dear. That's another of those things that killed Symbian. An OS from one company, with one of it's customers (Nokia) so large, and doing it's own development on top, it could drive the platform in the direction it wanted.

    It drove all the other manufacturers away from the OS, and then the lack of consistent vision for the OS made it into a horrible mess.

    Sound familiar?

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