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Samsung responds to Apple's Continuity with its own cross-device 'Flow' feature

Samsung this week announced its answer to Apple's Continuity: a new cross-device sharing feature called "Flow," intended to allow users to move activities and content between Samsung smartphones, tablets, wearable devices, PCs, and more.

In a presentation at Samsung's developer conference in San Francisco, company Vice President of Research Pranav Mistry announced the new feature, which will enable users of Samsung's wide range of devices, including smart television, to finish watching a video from their phone on their tablet, or make edits to a document in the same way.

The feature works in a similar fashion to Apple's own "Continuity," a key component of iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, both of which were announced at this year's Worldwide Developers Conference in June. Like Continuity, Flow will deliver alerts and notifications between devices, including text messages and phone calls.

Flow is split into three key functions: Transfer, Defer, and Notify:

  • Transfer allows the quick moving of content from one device to another, such as an image or a video.
  • Defer works in a similar way to Apple's "Handoff" in that it allows users to "pause" an activity, such as writing a document, and allows them to pick it up on another device.
  • Notify is simply the syncing of notifications across devices, allowing users to be alerted to text messages and phone calls on their tablet, smart watch, PC or even their television.

Android developers will be able to build the feature into their own apps, as Flow is said to be compatible with the operating system's standard "share or view" capabilities.

Samsung did not reveal a release date for Flow, but is currently holding sessions on the feature for developers during the conference.