Google’s Android remains the most dominant mobile operating system to date, but it still is difficult to get some paperwork done on any Android device. In fact, one of the biggest complaints about the mobile platform is its failure to accommodate for work. While a real solution is still in the works at the tech giant, Samsung has already come up with one.
Enter Samsung DeX, a brand new system the company introduced in its Unpacked Event Wednesday. The new feature, which puts Samsung on top of the smartphone race, aims to soothe these productivity woes. In case you missed it, here’s everything you need to know:
What is DeX?
Short for “desktop experience,” the company calls DeX a solution to improve productivity and “reduce the need to carry multiple computing devices.” The feature sees the new Samsung Galaxy S8 switch into running the familiar desktop version of Android, which the phone maker calls its DeX UI (user interface).
You’ll be able to run proper desktop software like Microsoft Excel and Adobe Acrobat Reader among others, and even use a traditional keyboard and mouse setup, if you’re in the mood to do something productive.
How does it work?
To access Samsung Dex, you’ll need what they call a DeX station. This is basically a small dock which sits on your desk and can be plugged into a monitor. This is reportedly sold separately from the flagship handset at €150/$160 but will go on sale alongside the Galaxy S8 on April 28. Of course, you need the new handset as well for it to work.
According to Android Central, the DeX dock comes with an HDMI port, two USB ports, Bluetooth, and a cooling fan to boot. Once plugged in, you can hook up other peripherals to start the computerization process. Docking your Galaxy S8 in the DeX Station also charges the handset at the same time.
What apps does the DeX run?
Samsung has collaborated with the likes of Microsoft and Adobe to make their important apps compatible with Samsung DeX compatible. It’s also capable of remotely accessing virtual desktops through partner services like Citrix, VMware, and Amazon Web Services. Then there’s Android.
Unfortunately, Windows and Mac apps aren’t supported yet in this computer wanna-be. It remains to be seen exactly how the DeX apps and Android apps will work together, and how the system will handle apps that aren’t designed to run on a bigger screen or in a windowed environment. But we should get more details about that in the coming days.
Is it a laptop/computer replacement?
The South Korean giant doesn’t seem to be promoting its new product as a replacement for laptops. Android Authority says Samsung designed DeX “with enterprise users in mind and as such supports virtual desktop environments.” The idea is that business users can have access to a much wider variety of work applications supported beyond Android by just plugging the phone should the need arise.
Regional availability for the Samsung DeX dock has not been announced yet. But we’ll be sure to update you once they do.