Samsung Flow, the company's take on Apple's Continuity, launched in beta

Samsung Flow, the company's take on Apple's Continuity, launched in beta

Last November, Samsung took the wraps off Flow, a system devised with the aim of promoting better communication between its vast assortment of electronic products. From smartphones to smartwatches, tablets to TVs, Samsung envisions a platform of unity, where files transfer seamlessly and, more importantly, consumers flit between devices with no effort and no interruption. Today, the first step towards this movement has spawned the release of Samsung Flow to the Play Store in beta.

In this Digital Age in which we live, one device is simply not enough, and even your average, not necessarily tech-savvy consumer will probably own at least a smartphone, tablet and either a desktop or notebook. More often than not, though, these devices feel like completely separate entities, and this is a situation that the industry's foremost companies have sought to rectify in recent times. 

We know, for example, that one of the fundamental principles of Windows 10 will be to better amalgamate Microsoft's platforms for phone, tablet, desktop and console. Apple's iOS and OS X, meanwhile, have long been spiritually connected, but with the recent Continuity initiative having added such features as Handoff, those heavily invested in Apple products can pick up where they left off when moving between Mac, iPad, iPhone or iPod touch.

Continuity largely encapsulates what Samsung looks to be building with Flow. It's divvied up into three major sections; 'Transfer', for moving content between Samsung devices; 'Defer', aimed at syncing tasks between devices, and Notify, which promotes the sharing of notifications between devices. The latter feature does not yet work, however, and at present, Flow is limited to the Galaxy S5, S6, S6 edge, Alpha, Note 4, Note 4 edge and Tab S. 

Below is a video illustrating what Samsung wants Flow to do -- what it may eventually be capable of -- but due to its unfinished nature and the fact that few will own more than one of the aforementioned devices, probably won't do for most people. Still, if you meet the device prerequisites, and you'd like to give Flow a try despite its rough, still-in-beta state, the direct Play Store link is at the foot of this article. 


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66 Comments

1. TheStanleyFTW

Posts: 252; Member since: Feb 20, 2013

COMPETITION!

56. vincelongman

Posts: 5625; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

This is the big win for us all Apple's Continuity took ideas from Pushbullet, Google, Samsung, ... Now Samsung's Flow takes ideas from Apple, Pushbullet, Google, ... In the end, we all get better features and a better user experience!

2. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

This is pretty awful. "Flow" is to "Continuity" what a Ford Fiesta is to a Tesla Model S P85D.

49. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Looks good to me. I don't see the big discrepancy in performance and user experience.

53. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

Then you are not paying attention to the work you have to do to make Flow work, compared to Apple's Continuity, which just syncs constantly on devices you are logged into and performs handoffs without having to do anything.

54. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Read post 52 on why automated isn't always the best way. Sometimes you don't want it and you should be able to control it. Notifications like emails, phone calls, and the like should be automated. Which they are in that video. Like the dead battery notification and his mom calling was automatic. Spread sheets and which website you were at on your phone really shouldn't be though. When I pick up my tablet it should always start off on google search or my home homepage. If I reading an article on my phone to kill time I don't necessarily want it on my tablet or computer or tv when I get home.

57. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

If you don't want it on the device in Continuity, you just toggle it off. Simple. Samsung is using too many steps.

61. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Hitting a share button is too many steps? If you have like 10 devices, letting you choose the one you want is fine, especially if they say let you use devices you don't own.

62. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Either way SMS relay and iMessage when using continuity is a total deal breaker when communicating with people who own a android phone and an iPad or a MacBook. iMessage conversations are separated from sms messages and you can only receive SAMs messages on devices that are connected to the same wifi as your iPhone. While tablet talk and most likely flow you can receive all your text message regardless of whether your devices are connected to the same wifi connection, that combined with whatsapp web, which it seems like Apple will never approve, makes Androids Implementation much better.

66. cheetah2k

Posts: 2185; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

Apple stuff.. only for Apple users.. i5heep

55. vincelongman

Posts: 5625; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

"Continuity" is to "Pushbullet" what an AA battery is to a Tesla Powerwall. "Continuity" wasn't invented by Apple Pushbullet had it years before Apple And many companies have had somewhat similar syncing capabilities or "handoff", including Google and Samsung

58. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

You have that backward. Pushbullet requires actions for everything. Continuity just requires permission. Pushbullet isn't bad, but it is nowhere near as seamless as Continuity.

65. vincelongman

Posts: 5625; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Depends what you want to do There's plenty of areas where Pushbullet has extra features And areas where Pushbullet is more seamless and requires no action That being said there are also areas where Apple's Continuity is better too IMO my comparison is still as valid as yours Especially for someone like me with a Nexus 5, iPad Mini 2 and Windows Ultrabook and Windows desktop

64. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Google didn't invent android but hey who is really caring about who created what right?

3. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Samsung copying Apple yet again.

4. drunkenjay

Posts: 1645; Member since: Feb 11, 2013

just like apple with nfc payments OMG

8. bubbadoes

Posts: 1225; Member since: May 03, 2012

last time I looked, I didn't see Samsung pay being utilized anywhere. As for NFC, it just took Apple time in order to implement Apple Pay, which so far has toppled Google Wallet, CurrentC, Samsung pay, etc. which has been using NFC a lot longer than Apple!

11. Ordinary

Posts: 2454; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

My god you are the the greatest tard of all times, Google Wallet and Apple Pay works on NFC only while Samsung Pay aka LoopPay works on pretty much every credit card reader cause of magnets...

14. Sauce5 unregistered

No need for names. What does that make you? A bigger "tard" I'm assuming. Or are you just so perfect?

18. Ordinary

Posts: 2454; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

Who the hell are you and wtf are you talking about? When you dont know nothing about subject then keep your mouth closed otherwise get rekt, its internet m8

20. Sauce5 unregistered

Are you mad? Don't be mad, m8.

22. Ordinary

Posts: 2454; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

Aint even mad

28. bubbadoes

Posts: 1225; Member since: May 03, 2012

he knows EXACTLY what I am talking about, he just trying to provide truth his theory. believe me I know the difference! and I am still looking for one Kiosk or store that accepts Samsung pay

33. Ordinary

Posts: 2454; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

You must live in a desert then, you are more likely to find credit card reader then NFC reader simply said

13. TerryTerius unregistered

I'm 100% sure that person was talking about Google Wallet. And you wouldn't see anybody using it anywhere, because you literally can't. It doesn't work yet on any Samsung device so.... There's that. ... You know what you literally just said was Apple didn't copy mobile payments, it just took them time to do what already existed. How many users it has, has nothing to do with the fact that Apple did indeed copy the idea of mobile payments. Apple pay is not the first of its kind and no revisionist history will change that. What you just said is equivalent to saying "I did not eat a part of your sandwich, I merely took a bite of it, chewed, swallowed, and digested."

7. BobbyBuster

Posts: 854; Member since: Jan 13, 2015

"copying it wrong" just to be precise.

10. TerryTerius unregistered

Just like Apple has copied features of Android, Android has copied from iOS, both have copied from webOS, Microsoft copied from both, and both have copied from Microsoft. Literally every single tech company copies from each other. It's how the modern world came to be. Invent, Copy, Refine, Tweak, Rethink. The pattern of progress. It doesn't matter if you agree with it or not, it's fact. Get over it, and stop being a fan boy. The same goes for everyone else whining about company a copying from company b. This is the way it has always worked for every industry on earth, and it always will. Especially when you consider that all of human progress is basically copying from one another. Without it our species literally wouldn't have survived until today.

48. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

What? Samsung has been playing with DNLA and smart and Internet things for ages.

5. zibbyzib2000

Posts: 221; Member since: Nov 18, 2010

It seems useful, except the implementation is just awful. There's way too much clicking and menus involved.

19. TBomb

Posts: 1186; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

The way I saw it is.. you click the "flow button" (for lack of a better word to call it)... it brings up the list of compatible devices... you choose the device and it transfers over. how would you do it? just have it read your mind and blink over?

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