Apple’s expensive devices aren’t exactly at the forefront of spec-wars, but they do come with some unique features. One such feature is Continuity – a feature that allows iOS and macOS devices to ‘sync’ and seamlessly share data.
The idea is simple: if you are on a macOS PC, and receive a phone call on your iPhone, you should be able to pick the call up on your PC. It’s a seamless continuity of features: if you have an iPhone, you can make and receive calls on macOS too.
The idea also extends to the clipboard, messaging, among other things – but most importantly: unlocking the device.
Of course, while Apple brought the feature to the mainstream consumers, others like Samsung also worked on building a competitor to it.
Samsung announced the Flow app at a developer event in 2014. It wasn’t an answer to Apple’s Continuity, but it was close.
Samsung Flow gave users the ability to share files between devices, share activities between devices – so you could pause a movie, share it to a TV, and resume right where you paused it – and share notifications between devices. There was one tiny caveat, however: Samsung Flow only worked with Samsung devices.
This was an artificial limitation. Samsung’s Galaxy TabPro S is a Windows 10 device that supports Samsung Flow; therefore, Samsung Flow does support Windows 10. But, Samsung chose not to make the app available for other Windows 10 devices, limiting its possibilities.
Available to all
Thankfully, the artificial limitation was quite unacceptable by the users of Samsung Flow.
Samsung’s Flow app for Windows 10 on the Galaxy TabPro S already utilizes Microsoft’s Windows Hello Companion Device Framework – in short, it already integrates into Windows 10.
Samsung support has now confirmed that the company will extend its Flow app to all Windows 10 PCs with its next major update – that’s sometime in April.
Soon, Samsung Galaxy phones with a fingerprint sensor will, therefore, be able to unlock a Windows 10 PC. That’s the highlight; of course, all the other Flow features would also come with it.
April 2017 is turning into one exciting year. Windows 10 Creators Update is expected around the same time, indicating that while Microsoft is building a stable Windows release, others like Samsung are also preparing their fair share of features.
Integrations like these are what makes ecosystems great. Apple can easily achieve these seamless features as the company can knit macOS and iOS together at any point. It’s much harder to do it when Microsoft, Samsung, and Google, have to come together.