Samsung and Apple have been butting heads for quite some time, both with products for consumers and within court rooms, and it doesn’t look like that’s going to end any time soon.
Apple has iBeacon, which allows retailers and other businesses to notify a customer via an alert on their iPhone through a dedicated application for that business. Going one step further, Samsung as officially announced Proximity, a service that works exactly the same way — utilizing Bluetooth LE to receive alerts — and yet manages to change things up at the same time. Instead of utilizing a specific application to receive notifications from a business, Samsung’s new Proximity feature is apparently sewn into the very fabric of its proprietary user interface on its Android-based devices.
With Proximity, then, Samsung allows businesses to offer up their own application to send out notifications, or upgrade an existing app to get the job done, but it’s just that. An option. Unfortunately for consumers with a Samsung-branded handset, there isn’t any information at this point on how to turn off notifications in general, or if there will be a way to pick and choose which notifications arrive on a handset.
As of this writing, Samsung doesn’t have a launch time frame for Proximity, but it is currently signing up businesses for the new initiative.
Not to be complacent with just one new feature, though, Samsung has also announced Flow — a Continuity-like feature for its Samsung devices. Flow, like Proximity, works exactly like the Apple counterpart, insofar that a Samsung device owner can start a project on one, and then continue it on another. Samsung outlines the ability to find a restaurant on a (Samsung) smartphone, and then transfer it to their smart wearable to navigate to the location.
“By transferring an activity in the moment, you can use the right device for the task without worrying about the hassle of finding, starting, and navigating within the necessary application manually. With Flow you can find a restaurant on your phone, and seamlessly transfer it to your Gear S to navigate on the go.“
In the video below, in which Samsung shows off its Flow feature, it’s clear that the company has indeed taken many cues from Apple’s own Continuity feature, even if Samsung has made it necessary for users to choose which devices they want to transfer a call to.
Gizmodo was able to get a quick hands-on with Samsung’s newest feature, and said that “it looks like Samsung will be pushing its Continuity clone a little bit further than Apple in some places but not nearly enough in others.”
The battle between Apple and Samsung continues. What do you think of Samsung’s newest announcements?[via Samsung (Proximity); Samsung (Flow); Gizmodo UK]