Taking another step towards convergence, Samsung has come up with a way for their Android mobile device users to interact with their smartphones and tablets using the mice, keyboards and even the screens of their PCs.
The SideSync function, which will be shipped with Samsung’s new ATIV PCs that will launch locally in late August or early September, features more than just automatic data backup from our Samsung mobile devices to our Samsung PCs. It also lets us to operate and navigate through it with the use of a mouse. We simply need to plug in our Samsung mobile devices via a USB cable, determine where the mobile device is located (either to the left or to the right of the PC monitor), and we’ll be able to click through the Android interface just by moving the cursor out of the PC screen and in the direction of the smartphone or tablet.
Drag-and-drop file sharing is enabled, meaning you can get an image file from anywhere on your computer and drag it to the gallery of the connected mobile device.
As mentioned, keyboard interaction is also enabled to allow us to type characters in the messaging app or browser using our PC’s keyboard. We can even utilize the convenient keyboard shortcuts for easier clipboard copying—Ctrl+X for cut, Ctrl+C for copy, and Ctrl+V for paste. This is something that makes sharing a long URL to a friend or a colleague via SMS much easier since you can just copy and paste the link from your computer’s browser to your mobile device’s messaging app.
SideSync also enables screen mirroring in a feature called Phone Screen Sharing, in which the display of the smartphone can be viewed on a PC monitor. The mirrored display is shown in a program window that looks exactly like a real smartphone, and the size of this virtual phone can be adjusted to the user’s preference. It is also responsive to the device;s gyroscope. It’s important to remember that the purpose of this is simply to reflect the screen of the mobile device, so no desktop notifications pop up when you receive an SMS or voice call while the virtual phone is opened or minimized.
SideSync also features a nifty pen mode for drawing notes on the mirrored display, like when you need to draw directions on Google Maps and send it as a screenshot to help out a friend. It also has a screen capturing mode that lets users take a screencap of the smartphone’s display on the PC.
The SideSync app for smartphones and tablets is available to Samsung mobile devices that are equipped with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean or higher. For PCs, it is available for download on Samsung ATIV models (ATIV TAB/ATIV BOOK/ATIV ONE), running on Windows 8. Compatible Samsung PCs bear the SideSync sticker.
In addition, SideSync is also compatible with the Samsung Galaxy Camera.