Monday, September 30, 2013

Exploring the Samsung Mobile SDK

 As I worked with the Samsung Chord SDK, I came to realise that the Samsung Mobile SDK is an ecosystem in itself for an Android App Developer, with many new add-ons in the true spirit of extending the features of Android SDK in a powerful way.

One such package that is part of the Samsung Mobile SDK is the Pen package. In fact, Samsung has thrown open a new Samsung SmartApp Challenge currently targeting the new devices released by Samsung recently.

 The Challenge (Android Contest) is open from September 5th to November 30th with the judgement being pronounced in late February 2014. More details are available on the Samsung Developers site.(

It is targeting the usage of Pen package and Look package of the Samsung Mobile SDK on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and their tablet Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition) both of which have been just released!! Wow, this seems like a smart move J Getting the strong Android Developer Community to rally around for the Challenge with their flagship SDK.

The new devices themselves have a lot to offer over the predecessors. It would be essential to understand what is provided as pre-packaged features in these phones before we can understand what the Pen package and Look package have to offer for Android Developers.  

In this post let us see what these devices have to offer with the said packages before I talk about the packages themselves.

The features offered by the usage of S Pen in Note 3 seems to be significantly more and hence gives more options for an app developer. And as I see and hear more about the Note 3, it certainly seems to be a class-leading tablet going to take the mobile market by storm.
 One of the important new features on the Note 3 using S Pen is the “Air Command” feature. If you just hover over the screen and press the screen once with the S Pen (pressing the S Pen button), the Air Command window pops up. And from the Air command window – you have access to the following features:

  1. Action Memo
  2. Scrapbook
  3. Screen Write
  4. S Finder
  5. Pen Window
The Air Command window looks like this:

Action Memo lets you handwrite a note. It just does not stop there, though!!  This is nothing new, you may say. Even in the 90s there were devices that capture notes written with a stylus! 

But this goes a step beyond and builds intelligence out of what you have written. For e.g. if you jot down a phone number, you can easily save it to you contacts without keying it in again!  If you jot down a valid address, it lets you navigate to Google maps directly to that address! How cool can it get?!! You can do many things like, call a phone number directly from the scribbled number, email to a scribbled email id, send instant text messages, add to a task list etc.

Scrapbook lets you circle content and not just grab a screen shot but actually fetch the content and save it automatically for easy browsing later. This includes even grabbing YouTube content!!

Screen Write captures a screen image and allows you to write comments on an image.

S Finder is the phone’s search engine providing a system-wide search.  It really is very handy in searching the content on the entire phone including chat messages, scrapbook etc.

Pen Window seems to be THE feature that is starting off a new trend in working with multiple windows of varying sizes and allowing for easy interaction between them. It gives your access to eight apps by drawing a box of any size on the screen! It may open up for more apps soon – a window of opportunity there.

The same is available on the Note 10.1 (2014 Edition) tablet as well with a few additional features.

The Look package grows on the basics provided by the Pen Package.  The Look package provides specialized widgets in the Android View System.
In my next few posts, I would look at what these powerful SDKs have to offer.

This article is sponsored by Samsung

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