Over the last several years, as computers became more powerful and take increasingly different form factors, the landscape changed so that it is no longer unusual for users to have several devices at their disposal. With all these devices, it is not uncommon for a user to find themselves working on something on one device and needing to transition to another device. Apple recently introduced Continuity features as part of iOS and OS X Yosemite to address this need. Not to be outdone by one of their major rivals, Samsung announced at their developer conference that they too are working on a system called Flow intended to address similar consumer needs.
Samsung’s Vice President of Research, Pranav Mistry, indicated during a presentation at the conference that Flow will consist of three components – Transfer, Defer, and Notify. All of these will work together to enable users to move between a variety of devices to access content and activities with minimal effort.
Transfer involves the ability of the platform to move content between devices. Basic transfers of video and image files is not difficult to achieve and consumers have many choices to do that. Samsung showed off how something like a video call could be transferred between devices while the call is in progress.
The Defer feature involves the ability to pause an activity and resume the activity on a different device in the same state that a user left it on the originating device. This ability is not really new for some individual apps, though making it part of the operating system may make it available to apps that don’t have native support. It may also help cut out a step or two even when using an app that currently maintains information about state.
Finally, Samsung is working on a component call Notify that does what the name indicates – it shares notifications between devices. Not only would notifications from different apps appear on all devices, like an incoming call notification, but devices could share notifications like a low battery warning with other devices.
During the conference, Mistry showed an interface that users will use to access all of the compatible devices they can link together – all Samsung of course. He also indicated the features should work with any app on Android that supports the standard Android share or view intents function. Mistry did not share information about a potential plan to make Flow available or what devices may support the framework.
source: The Verge