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Samsung Flow Enters Beta to Take on Apple Continuity

One of the best features of iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite for Apple fans is Continuity, a feature that effortlessly connects Apple phones, tablets and computers. For Android users on Samsung phones, that gap may be about to close. Samsung Flow, which transfers content easily between Samsung phones and tablets, is now available on the Google Play store in beta form.

Android aficionados who own a Samsung Galaxy S5, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy Alpha, Note 4, Note Edge or Galaxy Tab S can now download the program from the Google Play Store. Right now, the program's abilities are modest: either Transfer an activity to another device, or Defer it for later.

Transferring an activity is what it sounds like. For example, if you're watching a movie on your phone, you can select Transfer and pick it up immediately on your tablet. Go to an app's options menu, choose Transfer, and the content will show up right away on whichever compatible Samsung device you choose.

MORE: Best Smartphones on the Market Now

Defer appears to be the more useful of the two options. Using the example of watching a movie again, say that you have something on your smartphone during your after-work commute. As your commute ends, you can select Defer and pick it up right where you left off on your tablet once you arrive back home. Defer also works through an app's options menu.

As Samsung Flow is still in beta, user reviews have been mixed. It apparently doesn't always work as advertised, and its functionality is limited. Transfer and Defer can be useful, but it doesn't quite rival the full feature suite of Apple Continuity. Still, a new program has to start somewhere, and Samsung enthusiasts can try it out for themselves.

Marshall Honorof is a senior writer for Tom's Guide. Contact him at mhonorof@tomsguide.com. Follow him @marshallhonorof. Follow us @tomsguide, on Facebook and on Google+.

  • johnnycanadian
    Go figure. Samsung copying Apple. Ah well, if they can't innovate on their own I suppose this is the next best thing.
    Reply
  • Vlad Rose
    Go figure. Samsung copying Apple. Ah well, if they can't innovate on their own I suppose this is the next best thing.

    Well, since Apple copies from everyone else as well, as well as equal copyright infringements from both companies against each other, there isn't a problem. Whatever Apple does, Samsung seems to copy. Whatever Samsung does, Apple seems to copy as well.
    Reply
  • Marshall Honorof
    I'm not sure this is really an Apple vs. Samsung issue, specifically. If an Apple product has a beneficial selling point, it's only natural for its competitors to want to incorporate it as well. Same deal if Samsung pioneers it. Don't forget: Many of the iPhone 6's big selling points were features that had been available on Android for years.
    Reply
  • Vlad Rose
    15897345 said:
    Don't forget: Many of the iPhone 6's big selling points were features that had been available on Android for years.

    I remember that all too well with Apple fans saying that the Note 2 was way too big and monstrous. Once the iPhone 6 plus came out, it is the exact same size of the Note 2 and now called 'innovative'.
    Reply
  • markusmcnugen
    WebOS was on the path to doing this before Palm went under. I can't believe it took everyone so long to pick this up... Seemed like a no-brainer years ago.
    Reply
  • blakbird24
    WebOS was on the path to doing this before Palm went under. I can't believe it took everyone so long to pick this up... Seemed like a no-brainer years ago.

    YES exactly what I was going to say! Samsung is simply the last in line to introduce this concept. Microsoft did it with Continuum, Apple then did it with Continuity, and now Samsung with Flow. ALL OF THEM are technically copying Palm's WebOS which had it years ago. And who knows who else did it before that. This ongoing uproar about copying was obsolete years ago. Microsoft, Apple, and the Android world have been copying back and forth for years. Why complain? In this case, the consumer wins.
    Reply
  • Usersname
    Samsung has no say in Google's efforts to make smartphones as smart as Apple offerings. This flattery will simply create more fragmentation within an exceptionally fragmented Android marketplace. Any attempts to mimic Apple's technoecosystem is stupid; Apple designs, makes and codes for their entire product range. They not only have breadth of vision but depth, too. Samsung is merely a passenger riding 2nd class on a bandwagon.
    Reply
  • therealduckofdeath
    Samsung has no say in Google's efforts to make smartphones as smart as Apple offerings. This flattery will simply create more fragmentation within an exceptionally fragmented Android marketplace. Any attempts to mimic Apple's technoecosystem is stupid; Apple designs, makes and codes for their entire product range. They not only have breadth of vision but depth, too. Samsung is merely a passenger riding 2nd class on a bandwagon.
    Is that why a long line of features in Android are taken directly from TouchWiz? Samsung is the biggest contributor to the development of Android.
    Reply
  • robochump
    Go figure. Samsung copying Apple. Ah well, if they can't innovate on their own I suppose this is the next best thing.

    Well, since Apple copies from everyone else as well, as well as equal copyright infringements from both companies against each other, there isn't a problem. Whatever Apple does, Samsung seems to copy. Whatever Samsung does, Apple seems to copy as well.

    Samsung tends to copy major ideas like Apple's Touch ID, Continuity, design (even copied the Mac Mini), etc, etc. Apple won a case against Samsung on this very issue and any ideas Apple uses is most likely from Android (which exists because of iOS...lol).
    Reply
  • Vlad Rose
    16067356 said:
    Go figure. Samsung copying Apple. Ah well, if they can't innovate on their own I suppose this is the next best thing.

    Well, since Apple copies from everyone else as well, as well as equal copyright infringements from both companies against each other, there isn't a problem. Whatever Apple does, Samsung seems to copy. Whatever Samsung does, Apple seems to copy as well.

    Samsung tends to copy major ideas like Apple's Touch ID, Continuity, design (even copied the Mac Mini), etc, etc. Apple won a case against Samsung on this very issue and any ideas Apple uses is most likely from Android (which exists because of iOS...lol).

    Yeah, and Apple doesn't copy anything from Samsung, correct?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/samsung/9580996/Samsung-sues-Apple-over-iPhone-5.html

    Both companies copy major ideas from each other all the time.
    Reply