Five YEARS after Windows 10 Mobile's wireless Continuum, Samsung's DeX looks to go wireless too

Yada yada. Same old story. But it bears repeating. Symbian's smartphone OS and Nokia's hardware was way ahead of the competition for half a decade, from 2004-2009, arguably. Then we had Windows Phone, again ahead in responsiveness and UI, along (again) with Nokia hardware innovation. We all know how the story played out here, but I'd argue that the Lumia 950/XL were also ahead of their time in some ways, in 2015. Both in their imaging hardware and algorithms but also in the Continuum system, extending the OS to use Desktop UI elements and hardware through a dock, a simple cable or - in this case - over Wifi.  I used Continuum wirelessly many times to compatible monitors, TVs and adapters and, five years later, Samsung's rival DeX desktop system is also (apparently) about to get a wireless option. So welcome to the desktop party, Samsung.

Samsung DeX wireless

From the XDA article:

The history of Samsung DeX is pretty brief. When it launched with the Samsung Galaxy S8, it was pretty cumbersome to use since it required a dock and a mouse and keyboard to be connected. With the Galaxy Note 9, Samsung got rid of the dock requirement (since the phone has native DisplayPort Alternate Mode support) while also letting you use the phone’s display as a trackpad and keyboard. With the Galaxy Note 10, Samsung made a Mac and Windows app so you could access DeX from your PC (and unofficially, on Linux and Chrome OS). There was also a brief stint with running a GNU/Linux distribution through DeX, but that initiative was sadly canceled. Fortunately, we’re finally seeing progress on wireless Samsung DeX mode, which we heard was being worked on all the way back in late 2018. On the upcoming Galaxy Note 20, Samsung may finally allow DeX to work wirelessly.

I found the above screen in the Samsung Tips app as part of the settings. On my Galaxy S20 Ultra and Galaxy Z Flip, the latter of which doesn’t actually support DeX, the page showed up under the “Become a power user” section. The first page under this section is the wireless Samsung DeX tip. The header is “DREAM_DEX_HEADER_USE_DEX_WIRELESSLY_M_TIPS.” This was likely pushed to live servers accidentally. What’s interesting about the header is the “DREAM” at the beginning. Dream is the codename of the Galaxy S10 series which makes me think the Galaxy S10 and up should get support for wireless DeX mode.

Samsung DeX wouldn’t be the first desktop mode for Android devices to get a wireless mode. Huawei introduced wireless casting a while back for its EMUI Desktop mode. It’s good to see that Samsung is following suit and working to improve DeX with meaningful features.

Noted re: Huawei, though Windows 10 Mobile and Continuum worked wirelessly since 2015 and I don't think it got enough recognition for this.

It is fair, of course, to say that Samsung DeX and Huawei 'Easy Projection' are slicker and work faster (at least via a cable, which is how I tried them both recently with the NexDock 2), but this is down to two main factors:

  1. far faster chipsets. The Lumia 950/XL had to make do with 'old' (for their time) Snapdragon 808 and 810 processors, something like ten times as slow as today's flagship chipsets.
  2. lack of Continuum development. Although the basics worked in terms of UWP applications, we never got multi-windowing, though perhaps point 1 had something to do with this!

Interesting anyway, I do wonder whether wireless DeX will appear with the new Samsung Galaxy Note 11 series in a few weeks time, and then back-ported in updates to the S10 and above?

Published by Steve Litchfield at 10:07 UTC, July 17th

Section: Flow
Categories: Link of Interest, Unconfirmed
Platforms: General, Symbian^3, General