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Samsung Amps Up Its Multi-Window Android Upgrade

timothy posted about a year ago | from the like-ms-windows-eh? dept.

Android 229

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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Man, my head is reeling (5, Funny)

crazyjj (2598719) | about a year ago | (#42683073)

First, I find out last night that Attack of the Show was just Leo Laporte's bad dream all along, and now this. But I do love the delightful irony* of desktop OS maker Microsoft moving AWAY from the windows, building a more tablet/phone-oriented OS for desktops with Windows 8--at the same time as tablet/phone maker Samsung is moving TOWARDS the windows, building a more desktop-oriented OS for its tablets and phones with this. You can't make this shit up.

* And before any of you grammar Nazi's start soiling your panties, yes, I am damned well familiar with the *classic* definition of "irony." So the first one of you pretentious pedagogues who feels the need to show everyone how big your intellectual dick is by pointing out that classic irony is more akin to what we generally call "sarcasm" today is going to get a visit from me tonight. And I've got diarrhea and a strong desire to leave a double-decker in every toilet in your house.

Re:Man, my head is reeling (4, Funny)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#42683129)

And before any of you grammar Nazi's start soiling your panties

You only get to use the apostrophe if you capitalize Nazi.

Re:Man, my head is reeling (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#42683487)

Not as long as it's plural, which "grammar Nazis" is. /End Pedantry

Re:Man, my head is reeling (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#42683909)

NAZI is a backronym, Nazi is a phonetic spelling, the former gets the apostrophe and the latter doesn't.

Re: Man, my head is reeling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42684065)

You don't add apostrophes for pluralization (eg bananas is not banana's). Please provide evidence to this supposed standard that encourages poor use of apostrophes - I use the Macquarie Style Guide as my reference.

Re:Man, my head is reeling (1)

MatrixCubed (583402) | about a year ago | (#42683565)

Or if you happen to sell groceries [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Man, my head is reeling (2)

stevedog (1867864) | about a year ago | (#42683159)

Ironically, you used irony correctly the first time.

Re:Man, my head is reeling (5, Funny)

oodaloop (1229816) | about a year ago | (#42683215)

Exactly. It's like rain on your wedding day.

Re:Man, my head is reeling (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42683363)

Or, more relevant to Slashdot readers, it's like meeting the girl of your dreams, and then meeting her handsome husband.

Re:Man, my head is reeling (4, Funny)

wolfsdaughter (1081205) | about a year ago | (#42683519)

No, it's meeting the girl of your dreams and then meeting her beautiful wife

Re:Man, my head is reeling (4, Funny)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year ago | (#42684289)

Isn't that part of the fantasy?

Re:Man, my head is reeling (1)

stevedog (1867864) | about a year ago | (#42683235)

Also, I realized afterwards that my reply sounded snarky, and I apologize for that. I only meant that you needn't be so angry, since you dedicated half your post to a protest against something that hadn't happened yet. Just let the assholes be assholes; you don't even have to give them the honor of a response, let alone a preemption.

Re:Man, my head is reeling (1)

timeOday (582209) | about a year ago | (#42683197)

Perhaps both are suitable for different devices or different people? The 1280x800 screen on the Galaxy Note is more than most PC's had throughout the 90's and into the mid 00's, and those always had overlapping windows. The original iPhone had a 480x320 screen, so you could tile 4 of those onto today's screens with room to spare.

Anyways it's just a software change and can probably be turned off if it sucks.

Re:Man, my head is reeling (1)

cheater512 (783349) | about a year ago | (#42683705)

Yeah but Windows 8 is for computers with 1080p or larger displays. It is still very curious.

Re:Man, my head is reeling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42683279)

[...] is going to get a visit from me tonight. And I've got diarrhea and a strong desire to leave a double-decker in every toilet in your house.

Technically, that would make your name "delusionaljj", not "crazyjj".

Re:Man, my head is reeling (1)

crazyjj (2598719) | about a year ago | (#42683325)

Does hearing voices in my head telling me that Tom Cruise is one day going to cause nuclear armageddon make me delusional or crazy?

Re:Man, my head is reeling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42684197)

Does hearing voices in my head telling me that Tom Cruise is one day going to cause nuclear armageddon make me delusional or crazy?

You are perfectly sane. What you are hearing is a modulated tachyon beam sent from the future as a warning. Please spread this warning to all of humanity.

Re:Man, my head is reeling (2, Informative)

Known Nutter (988758) | about a year ago | (#42683375)

And I've got diarrhea and a strong desire to leave a double-decker in every toilet in your house.

For what it's worth, the term you're looking for is Upper Decker.

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Upper+Decker [urbandictionary.com]

Re:Man, my head is reeling (4, Funny)

crazyjj (2598719) | about a year ago | (#42683731)

Nope, I'm leaving it in top and bottom.

Re:Man, my head is reeling (0)

Mike Buddha (10734) | about a year ago | (#42683393)

And I've got diarrhea and a strong desire to leave a double-decker in every toilet in your house.

That's an upper-decker, not a double-decker, you jerk.

Re:Man, my head is reeling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42683651)

And I've got diarrhea and a strong desire to leave a double-decker in every toilet in your house.

That's an upper-decker, not a double-decker, you jerk.

as you would expect from coarse slang, either term is known to represent the same thing. check it out, it's on the internet.

Re:Man, my head is reeling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42683855)

No, a double-decker uses both tanks!

Re:Man, my head is reeling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42683495)

It's "Upper Decker" not "Double Decker".

idiot.

Re:Man, my head is reeling (1)

crazyjj (2598719) | about a year ago | (#42684263)

I'm saving up a Triple Decker for you. That's tank, bowl, and the bathtub.

Re:Man, my head is reeling (1)

AbRASiON (589899) | about a year ago | (#42683539)

Your post is bang on.
About irony that is, I honestly don't know the definition anymore, it's so fucking difficult to identify the correct use of it.

It seems to be used in place of hypocrisy, sarcasm and coincidence at this point.

Re:Man, my head is reeling (0)

blind biker (1066130) | about a year ago | (#42683821)

And before any of you grammar Nazi's start soiling your panties

Incorrect use of the apostrophe: pluralizations don't need it, contractions and possessives do.

Re:Man, my head is reeling (1)

SCPaPaJoe (767952) | about a year ago | (#42684191)

I believe you should have typed "upper-decker".

Re:Man, my head is reeling (1)

crazyjj (2598719) | about a year ago | (#42684241)

Not when you're aiming for both decks.

I like this option. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42683115)

This is much needed if Android ever wants to branch into the market for people you actually like to DO things, rather than just CONSUME things. I approve, but I wouldn't like to see this on every device - only larger and more powerful devices where it makes sense, of course.

Re:I like this option. (0)

Fri13 (963421) | about a year ago | (#42683421)

It does work well on 10" tablet where you can see two/tree smartphone size/ratio screen.
But really... how about after all doing a tablet version of software?
How about improving the data swapping between running apps?

What if Android would get something so powerful for GUI apps as what pipe is for Unix shell?

That was what I have hoped from many times as I love using KDE because I can just dran and drop files from other KDE applications without going trough "open/save".
Like I have a open dialog open in words and I notice I need to burn a few files to DVD+RW. I place disk to drive, click "K3b" option and I simply drag files from that open dialog to K3b. Or I can just Ctrl+Click to select files and right click and select "burn to disk" (okay, maybe not anymore the latter one as they limited the open dialog functions, but it use to be so).

I want to take content and modify it with other tool. Like I have file manager open or image viewer and I can just drag'n'drop image files either one to words or to instant messenger or even add them to existing ZIP file.
When do we get a change to drag'n'drop content from app itself without saving it between, to other tool? Like dragging the application icon on window decoration to mark "I want the content as it is open in this window/app, to be copied to this window/application".

It is so funny that sometimes I am watching random Star Trek TNG episodes and they don't ever do any backups. They even can delete some of the files with voice commands and then still cancel the action after few seconds.
That is something what makes Unix systems so awesome to use with files as you just "push" them where and how you like them.

I don't even know can you share content between Modern apps in Windows 8 what are splitting the screen? Like take a song from music player and drag it to other Modern app?

big button (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42683133)

Do I rather to see the 4 inch by 4 inch box on my weather temperature app that shows "-25 C"?

Re:big button (1)

Fri13 (963421) | about a year ago | (#42683433)

I think 2 inch by 2 inch or 2 inch by 4 inch is just fine.... If you like, you could get a nice sun and cloud on it as well?

Re:big button (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | about a year ago | (#42684103)

Does Google Navigation describe your current location as "Hell"?

Oh, good. (4, Informative)

Fallingcow (213461) | about a year ago | (#42683137)

Awesome. More shit that can cause your app work on one Android tablet and not on another. Because there wasn't enough of that already.

Re:Oh, good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42683285)

How is a 1280x720 tablet not 2 720x640 phones side by side? I'm pretty sure that's what this system is emulating.

Captcha: Misleads... yeah exacty!

Re:Oh, good. (1)

RobbieCrash (834439) | about a year ago | (#42683339)

Looks like the apps need to be multi-window enabled to use this, so probably not.

Re: Oh, good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42684255)

modified roms let you dual screen any app

Re:Oh, good. (1)

StripedCow (776465) | about a year ago | (#42683385)

Indeed. Didn't they learn ANYTHING from Apple?

Re:Oh, good. (4, Interesting)

Andy Dodd (701) | about a year ago | (#42683641)

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.

We all love (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42683229)

The gay boy's bum
The gay boy's bum
You can stick in your dick
or a finger or a tumb
So we all love the gay boy's bum

The gay boy's bum
The gay boy's bum
You can pull out early
and cover him in cum
So we all love the gay boy's bum

Sorry (4, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | about a year ago | (#42683243)

This ia an Android thread, not iOs

Re:Sorry (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42683269)

He knows. iOS is for people who can actually score with women.

Re:Sorry (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42683371)

You mean the women's sports teams are the only places they can score?

Re:Sorry (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42683613)

It's better than having to score with a fleshlight or your hand like an Android user.

That forking android... (4, Funny)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about a year ago | (#42683251)

it's turning into Windows. Fork that!

History rewrite time.. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42683287)

You've got to love how having multi-window capability is being "MS Windows-like", according to the submitter. I guess we have a bit of computer history to rewrite again...

Re:History rewrite time.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42684251)

It's easier than saying "Xerox PARC-esque"

The Burning Platform (1)

imyller (667248) | about a year ago | (#42683293)

I, for one, welcome our new Android fragmentation overlords.

Hope for reintegration (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42683297)

I would love for this to be added in to the base Android OS. It is such a dream and is fluid as hell.
It reminds me of tiling window managers, which are so handy if you hate messing around with window placement and Actually Want To Get Stuff Done.
But it also has classic window management too.

Come on Samsung and Android devs, work together to bring this to everyone.
Yes, take your time if it means getting more people to get your tablet over others, but allowing everyone to work with this would be great.
Obviously some things won't across to some systems easily, such as pen interaction with the secondary button.
This feature actually makes Android feel more like an actual OS instead of some baby OS that forces fullscreen on you.
Shame on devs who don't make scalable apps anyway, you and your app sucks, get good.
Not to mention those that force a certain orientation on you, holy hell that annoys me. Toolbars can be made to scroll if they are too small, even forced in to a menu if it gets small enough (but that won't happen, that is just over-optimization)
I've already used a pretty decent VNC app that does the above, but it still has an odd bug where it moves the mouse down when it loses focus and comes back in to focus again. A screen-rotate fixes it. Will need to message the developer for that and see if he can figure it out.

Re:Hope for reintegration (2)

Desler (1608317) | about a year ago | (#42683627)

Why would Samsung want it in the base OS? It is a differentiating feature of their devices.

Re:Hope for reintegration (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#42683765)

They might not, but someone else might want to add it. Or at some point they might want to put it in the main tree, and have a new killer feature. To show that they are always ahead and what sort of things they bring to the party.

Re:Hope for reintegration (1)

Desler (1608317) | about a year ago | (#42683853)

Or at some point they might want to put it in the main tree, and have a new killer feature.

Again, how does that benefit Samsung? The whole point of making the feature was to have something on their devices that no one else does. Merging it into the base defeats that.

To show that they are always ahead and what sort of things they bring to the party.

Which they can already do without merging the feature.

Re:Hope for reintegration (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#42684171)

Because they don't have to maintain it. Also if this is their castoffs imagine how good what they keep is, effect.

Honestly I am laughing that we are now excited about window managers. Next they will reinvent the tiling one.

The wheel of computing just keeps turning and recycling old ideas for a new generation.

UX & Customization (3, Informative)

Fri13 (963421) | about a year ago | (#42683303)

Android device makers, and the wireless carriers who offer Android smartphones to their customers, need ways to differentiate their products.

You do that mainly with hardware and with customer service.

Then you can place own custom wallpaper and custom icons, but stupid way to do is to bake them to Android framework so user can not remove them.
The correct (and smart) way would be to do a own launcher and own icon theme for it and make it available only for your hardware.
OEM could make custom look, custom functions but should always allow easily the user to swap to vanilla Android look and functionality.

Be a good OEM, support Android and give a customer change to actually like your product and use it as they want. OEM is hardware manufacturer what should focus for hardware first and then to user experience.

Re:UX & Customization (4, Interesting)

Dynedain (141758) | about a year ago | (#42683503)

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.

Re:UX & Customization (4, Insightful)

characterZer0 (138196) | about a year ago | (#42683581)

It is only a race to the bottom because with current carrier subsidies nobody expects their phone to last more than a year or two anyway. If the hardware companies want to compete on hardware quality/price, they need to stand up to the carriers. If they do not, it is their own fault.

Re:UX & Customization (1)

Dynedain (141758) | about a year ago | (#42683663)

What's the point of hardware quality if it doesn't contribute to the overall user experience.

Reliability and performance are only small parts of the equation. And if you don't have software differences, then you can't highlight reliability and performance differences anyways. Who cares if my processor is 500 times faster than my competitor's if Angry Birds plays equally well on both?

Re:UX & Customization (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year ago | (#42683635)

Other than quality, design and price there is no way to differentiate. What else is there for makers of hardware? I bought a Samsung phone because I liked the design better than the ones for HTC, Motorola and others. They all run Android so what else really is there to go by?

Re:UX & Customization (2)

Dynedain (141758) | about a year ago | (#42684027)

That's exactly my point. Apple isn't running Android, just like Apple isn't running Windows. Because the control the software they have a much bigger impact on the overall user experience, as the software is arguably a larger factor in good user experience than the underlying hardware specs or bezel design.

If Android manufacturers want to be differentiated from other Android manufacturers, and survive the race to the bottom on pricing, then they must find ways to innovate and improve the overall customer experience. Desktop/laptop manufacturers tried to unsuccessfully bridge this problem by adding tons of vendor-specific bloatware apps on top of otherwise vanilla Windows installations. That marketplace doesn't work.

Samsung has been pushing the hardware side of the equation as much as they can, and they are standing out a bit, but not enough. Making software changes like this is where they can shine if they do it effectively and actually deliver improved experiences.

Re:UX & Customization (2)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about a year ago | (#42683775)

or you could destinguish yourself with better specs, more ram more storage, more usb ports, sd card reader, or unique features like put in a CB radio tuner as some one that does a lot of fishing and camping out of cell phone range it would be nice to be able to comunicat with my freind on half lime down river or the other side a lake or just to save minutes. or integrated weather radio or stylus for writing, or come with hdtv tuner or am/fm tuner or any of a dozen more features to make each model stand out. or make it water and drop resent ant so if you drop it in the water it will survive with out having to sit in a bowl or rice for week to dry out. Make all sorts of smart feature phones to stand out.

Re:UX & Customization (1)

Dynedain (141758) | about a year ago | (#42684079)

My point is that approach was tried in the desktop/laptop market. And in the end, customers care more about price than minor feature differences. As a result, all mass-market desktop/laptop Windows manufacturers started losing money when the boom tapered off, and now are indistinguishable, and forced to sell off business units.

The only laptop manufacturer that has continued to experience massive growth is Apple, and that's because their product is noticeably and identifiable different by the consumer. So much so that consumers are willing to pay a premium for that difference.

2 vs 3 USB ports is not a noticeable difference. And adding a CB or weather radio appeals to very niche consumer groups. When it comes to making your product stand out, that is to differentiate from your competition, your differences must be noticeable and desirable. Specs is not noticeable (even if it is desireable).

Re:UX & Customization (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | about a year ago | (#42684159)

Or you could distinguish yourself by supporting your hardware with software upgrades as long as the hardware is capable. replaceable SD cards and batteries, and the option to install Cyanogenmod^H^H^H^H^H another OS.

Then again, you could be Nokia.

Re:UX & Customization (5, Interesting)

kamapuaa (555446) | about a year ago | (#42683513)

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:UX & Customization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42683527)

Being an OEM is a race to the bottom. Look at how HP and Dell are doing as "good" Windows OEMs. Microsoft has gotten into the hardware game. Apple's competitive is advantage is that they own the operating system and can make changes on a whim. They were able to release retina displays on notebooks before anyone else because they could modify their OS to support high DPI displays properly.

Android OEMs will always have to compete against others making similar hardware. Differentiating software is the only way to make profits in the long term.

Re:UX & Customization (1)

alvinrod (889928) | about a year ago | (#42683645)

Hardware isn't good enough anymore. Almost everyone is using the same off-the-shelf parts and in some cases, the field (TI isn't selling OMAP SoCs any more) is growing smaller. It's made worse by the fact that there's one company (Samsung) that can make most of their own hardware and edge everyone else out on margins if they want. We can already see this happening as outside of Samsung, other handset manufacturers are barely profitable if at all.

Eventually Chinese manufacturers will be able to undercut Samsung, so they need to find a long-term solution to differentiate their product. The only other way to go is software. Any custom experience for Android that you can only get on Samsung just serves as a way to lock-in customers. Honestly, I'm not surprised that they haven't started their own app store by now. If they can get to a position of supreme dominance they can even start charging Google to put their Google apps on phones.

Samsung needs to be in a position where they can control as much of their own destiny as possible. Having to rely on Google for all of the software experience (that also is made available to all of their competitors) isn't a good proposition for them as a company. They need to have as much leverage and control over that as possible, and now that they're far and away the leading Android manufacturer, they're in a position to flex their muscles a little.

Re:UX & Customization (1)

91degrees (207121) | about a year ago | (#42683913)

I think competitors should differentiate by features. There's a certain annoyance to this, but it does allow the market to establish what features people want. And while the free market isn't the perfect solution it does provide more concrete results than focus groups.

MS Windows-like capabilities (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42683343)

Not windows 8.

Like it or not, Samsung is Android (5, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year ago | (#42683347)

Well really there are three Androids now:

1) Amazon
2) Samsung
3) Everyone else

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

Its not a bad or a good thing; it's just what is. If I were doing Android development supporting Samsung extensions would seem to be a pretty good idea.

Re:Like it or not, Samsung is Android (1)

Beyond_GoodandEvil (769135) | about a year ago | (#42683377)

Well really there are three Androids now: 1) Amazon 2) Samsung 3) Everyone else
Which ever one of those vendors fixes the bluetooth stack in 4.2.1 to work w/ my in car audio gets my business, I have no need for 8-12 tiles/windows, but I do need for shit that wasn't broken to remain not broken going forward.

Re:Like it or not, Samsung is Android (1)

Threni (635302) | about a year ago | (#42683463)

> need for shit that wasn't broken to remain not broken going forward

Does it work when you go backwards?

Re:Like it or not, Samsung is Android (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | about a year ago | (#42683423)

Their Jelly Bean version of TouchWiz moved closer to vanilla Android at the same time that Android was taking a few cues from TouchWiz with the quick settings menu. I wouldn't be shocked to see Samsung's version and vanilla to merge closer together so long as Samsung is selling as much hardware as they are.

With high resolution tablet displays and powerful multi-core ARM processors, true multitasking becomes more viable. Why ignore that?

Re:Like it or not, Samsung is Android (2)

marsu_k (701360) | about a year ago | (#42683489)

In a way, that is already happening - 4.2 features "quick settings" which have been around for ages in TouchWiz, for example. Whether vanilla Android does it better than Samsung is debatable, but personally I don't mind that such features can go "upstream".

WRT to the article - I haven't got a Note, but I have multi-window support on my stock (international) S3, and mostly it is a gimmick. It doesn't offer the "cascade view" as in TFA, but you can have two apps side-by-side. And unless doing very much of copypasteing, there's no point to it. However, I really don't see how this functionality fragments Android. It's not like any apps I run require the functionality, most will simply be hindered by the lack of space.

I think you can code to it though. (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year ago | (#42683583)

I really don't see how this functionality fragments Android.

It doesn't exactly fragment in the traditional way, but I believe you can code in some ways that enhance your apps use in the multi-window mode - but because Samsung is such a large component of the Android market and also most of the higher end of it, if I were making an Android app I'd specifically add whatever support made sense for that even though it is Android specific.

Re:Like it or not, Samsung is Android (1)

Cinder6 (894572) | about a year ago | (#42683671)

I think it would be a nice feature to have on my iPad, if only so I could have an IM window open on one side of the screen, and a web browser/whatever else on the other. (Or maybe a movie on one side, or ___ or ___.) There are certainly uses, though I doubt I'd ever use it on a phone.

You're missing the Nexus series. (2)

Chirs (87576) | about a year ago | (#42683999)

The N4/N7/N10 are pretty much flying off the shelves as fast as they can make them.

It is open source (1, Interesting)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about a year ago | (#42683407)

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

Re:It is open source (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42683515)

If the hardware doesn't pass Google's compatibility test, it doesn't get to ship with the Play Store, which would be bad for Samsung.

Since it is shipping with Play Store installed, it's probably not a problem for your app's compatibility unless you're doing something stupid.

Re:It is open source (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about a year ago | (#42684095)

Surely Amazon would be happy to take their spot. In all honesty though I think it would help to see someone compete against Google in Android. I don't think Google is doing enough to protect Android. The biggest issue for me is the lack of updates and it's not even consistent so if you want to switch android phones or mobile providers you can't say that you can at least guarantee two updates.

Re:It is open source (1)

Cito (1725214) | about a year ago | (#42683529)

They should write a full Android for desktop fork :)

I'd give it whirl, would be great for older boxes, and I like the interface, just rip out the touch shit and make it more mouse friendly

id enjoy that

Re:It is open source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42683659)

They could call the desktop Android- let's see now- ah, I've got it: Linux. ;)

No, not tough... (1)

bornagainpenguin (1209106) | about a year ago | (#42684083)

They're free to fork it if they want. If google doesn't like it then tough.

Actually, if Google doesn't like it, Samsung will be forbidden to call it Android. This already happened once with Acer. [engadget.com] What makes you think Google won't spank Samsung too if necessary?

Interesting double standard. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42683455)

Slashdot seems to have some severe issues with Android being forked by various hardware manufacturers...and yet...every time a post about some new "I hate GNOME 3" Ubuntu spin-off gets posted here people latch onto it like the second coming. It's almost as if the hivemind is divided on this subject, is forking a project a good idea or not? Maybe it's not all as clear as a black and white, one line question?

Never mind, this is Slashdot. No one thinks in any other color but black and white here.

Re:Interesting double standard. (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year ago | (#42683699)

Whether forking is good or not depends on a lot of variables. Obviously if a project is stagnant or going in what a lot of people feel is the wrong direction it can be good. In other cases maybe not so good. I feel that mostly it doesn't matter. If it's a good fork eventually it will become the project and if not it'll die.

Never been all that fond of the Window widget (1)

91degrees (207121) | about a year ago | (#42683511)

While the window does have its uses, I find most of the time I want a single app operating full screen. Additional apps are sometimes useful and I tend to fit them on a second window,but on the whole I find switching between apps using the taskbar is a lot more useful.

I'm clearly not the only person who feels this way to some degree. There's a reason that firefox gained market share, and much as I wish it was, it probably wasn't because of standards compliance. It was because it didn't clutter the workspace with windows.

MS Windows-like capabilities (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42683535)

So it will
*blue screen
*get malware
*gum up registry
*hog your hardware
*dial back to Redmond
*overwrite the bootloader regardless of other OSes
*600 page EULA
*super sikrit code keys asked at every turn
*activation bullshit

hmm.. no thx

Lemme ask: has this guy ever used a computer or just M$ Winders?

Android does windows! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42683557)

Android does windows! When will Google update my phone to that? Man I can't wait.

I'm kidding I know it's a forked version but I wonder if Google will now how to add it.

It's "Samsung," not "Android" (1)

lseltzer (311306) | about a year ago | (#42683591)

Nobody uses the term "Android" when pitching to consumers, but Samsung is particularly aggressive about differentiating their software. If all the distributions competed only on hardware it would be a boring market.

Good, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42683629)

I applaud Sammy on making Android more useable in a hybrid/convertible setup, however, I wish they'd make it less ugly. Windows 8 has ugliness in ex-Metro, but at least the desktop environment looks great.

No no no ... (2)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#42683733)

wireless carriers who offer Android smartphones to their customers, need ways to differentiate their products

In my experience when carriers try to 'differentiate' their phones, they install shitware, cripple the device, and sometimes even modify it to cost you more money.

Years ago when phones which could surf the web were new, a friend spent an entire weekend trying to reconcile his charged bandwidth with what he believed it should have been -- in the end, the way the carrier had injected themselves into the process ended up sending twice as much data. It could have been innocent, or it could have been a cash grab. The end result was the same, a slower more costly data plan.

In my experience, the carrier specific stuff installed on a phone makes it worse. On my current Android phone, I disabled everything specific to the carrier and ended up with a *far* better phone, because they want to stick themselves into everything or sell you ring tones and other shit.

Carriers usually aren't qualified to do a good job of this, and they're only looking out for their own profits.

Awesome move (1)

water-and-sewer (612923) | about a year ago | (#42683829)

I'll let the "forking android" conversation run its course. From the point of a casual tablet user, this is progress. There are lots of times it's a hassle to have some info in one app, and some in another, and only be permitted to have one open at a time. This may be confusing or cause the world to stop spinning or whatever, but to me it's useful.

MS patent lawsuit coming in 3... 2... 1... (1)

Kergan (780543) | about a year ago | (#42683907)

Hasn't Samsung learned its lesson when it copied Apple and got fined a billion dollars for doing so?

Re:MS patent lawsuit coming in 3... 2... 1... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42684021)

Hasn't Samsung learned its lesson when it copied Apple and got fined a billion dollars for doing so?

They didn't copy Microsoft. Only you and the submitter seem to think windows means MS Windows(TM).

Make sure to contribute back (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42683921)

Forking android is fine, as long as you give Google some pull-request love. If the changes are not integrated back in, Google will come up with their own different implementation of it next year.

Samsung Android devices crash on cut & paste (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42683995)

Samsung has zero credibility on putting out quality software. There is a bug on their Android software (not on Google's base code), that causes applications to crash when they use the clipboard. Has been this way for months, and ever after various software updates, Samsung has failed to acknowledge the error even exists, so there is also very low chances that they will go through the trouble of putting out a fix, as simple as it may be (users with root access can just periodically delete a file and everything works perfectly fine).

What a joke.

https://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=35732
http://developer.samsung.com/forum/board/thread/view.do?boardName=GeneralB&messageId=213645

Adding "MS Windows functionality" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42684029)

It's funny that the Samsung/Android is adding "MS Windows" functionality at the same time MS Windows is loosing that functionality.

Re:Adding "MS Windows functionality" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42684069)

It's funny that the Samsung/Android is adding "MS Windows" functionality at the same time MS Windows is loosing that functionality.

D'oh! I know better; that was just a typo (stupid keyboard!).

As of today...18 apps...not so many (1)

Bearhouse (1034238) | about a year ago | (#42684075)

OK, Samsung is the biggest player in Android right now, but seeing as how so many iOS and Andoid devs seem to have so much trouble making their apps scale to different resolutions, I wonder how many 'windowing' apps we will ultimately see.

I don't know anything about developing for those platforms; can anyone here say how hard or trivial it is?
(Like, why did I get an update for virtually all my iPhone and iPad apps when the iPhone 5 came out, although they seemed to be just to cater for the different screen resolution of the iPhone 5, which i was clearly not using. Have not noticed this with my Andoid devices..)

Also, how hard for Google to just stick this feature back into 'base' Andoid? Real multi-tasking and windowing, that would really stick it to iOS, eh? The hardware seems beefy enough now...

I don't know (1)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | about a year ago | (#42684153)

Needing multiple windows on a tablet or phone means you are using it wrong, or really want to be using a laptop.

Now make it work (1)

tompaulco (629533) | about a year ago | (#42684219)

It's great that Samsung is making multiple windows possible, now how about making it work as a phone? The only time my phone has ever crashed was when I was making a call. It's a PHONE. Making a call is it's PRIMARY PURPOSE. If it screws up when sending a text or an e-mail, or while playing a game, that is understandable, but if it is making a call, there is no excuse for that ever failing. My 20 year old bag phone never rebooted when trying to make a call. Neither did my Motorola brick, flip phone, or any of my several Nokia's. But suddenly I get an S2 and it reboots during calls. This morning, I tried 5 times to call into a conference number. Whenever it connected, the screen completely freezes. I am unable to push any button or get back to the number pad screen to put in my code for the conference. Then after about 5 seconds, it reboots. After 5 attempts, I called from my house phone. Surprise! The house phone didn't reboot. It just made the call, just like a cell phone is primarily supposed to do.
I don't care about all the whizbang apps, web surfing, texting, e-mailing, alarm clocks, calendars, phonebooks, etc. If it can't fulfill it's primary purpose of making phone calls, then it is a crap product and should not have been released.

Just install ADW Launcher ... (1)

kbahey (102895) | about a year ago | (#42684301)

If you don't like the user interface that the handset manufactuer cooked up and puked on your Android phone, just install ADW Launcher [google.com] on it, and you get a functional as well as speedy.

I did that on my Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc to get rid of Sony's TimeScape.

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