SmartThings to Control Samsung’s Smart Appliances

Ry Crist Reporting for CNET:

With a SmartThings hub plugged into your home router, you’ll be able to monitor the status of your Samsung smart appliances right on your phone via the SmartThings app. If you’ve got a Samsung smart refrigerator in your kitchen, you’ll be able to check the temperature or humidity level, or receive an alert if the door gets left open. Additionally, you’ll be able to broadcast important smart home alerts to the screen that’s built into the refrigerator door. For instance, if a SmartThings moisture sensor detects a leak in the basement, the fridge will give you a heads up.

The washing machine and air conditioner integrations are more focused on saving energy – and money. With Samsung’s air conditioner in your window, you’ll be able to track your energy usage and control the temperature remotely or automatically – similar to what you’ll find with the Quirky Aros. You’ll enjoy remote control and alerts for the washing machine, too, along with the ability to set it to run overnight, when energy rates are the least expensive.

As for Samsung’s robot vacuum, SmartThings is promising a smart scheduling feature, along with push alerts whenever a cycle is complete, or when the dust bin needs emptying. Samsung’s also promising to leverage the vacuum’s integrated camera and microphone for smart security purposes. If SmartThings detects unexpected motion somewhere in your home, it can send the vacuum to investigate.

So with Samsung starting to integrate SmartThings technology with their own products now, Samsung are all in with the notion of connecting your home appliances together to make them smarter and to make them work for you – with their recent capture of SmartThings, they certainly have a good software team behind them to make this happen.

[Link] What the deceptive Samsung “wall-hugger” ad doesn’t tell you

 

Steven Sande’s view on the Samsung Ad:

Yeah, I don’t know about you Galaxy S5 owners, but I bought my iPhone 5s for its high-resolution Retina color display. Frankly, I don’t think that “black and white colors” are going to cut it in Apple-land, where everything is colorful and happy. And it also shuts down “all unnecessary features in your S5” — hmmm, I wonder what those could be? How exactly does Samsung provide all of this amazing battery life in ultra power saving mode?

In addition to measures in power saving mode, Galaxy S5 ultra power saving mode saves additional battery in the following ways:

Change the screen from color to grayscale; Limiting the number of usable applications; Turning off mobile data when screen is off; Turning off WiFi and Bluetooth

So, let me get this straight. If I put my amazing Galaxy S5 into ultra power saving mode, I’ll see everything in grayscale, I’ll only be able to run a few apps, mobile data will be turned off when the screen is off, and WiFi and Bluetooth are totally disabled.

In other words, not only do I have a boring grayscale device in ultra power saving mode, but I can only run a few apps. What apps are those?

In ultra power saving mode, you’ll have access to some basic apps, like the ability to send text messages, make phone calls, and browse the web with Samsung’s browser.

You can add some other apps available when your Galaxy S5 is in ultra power saving mode. Of course, the apps are limited to some stock apps only. This includes, Phone, Messaging, Internet, Calculator, Google+, ChatON, Memo, Voice recorder and Clock.

So I can’t use Twitter or Facebook, take photos or shoot video, edit documents, write posts and upload them to the TUAW CMS, or do anything else very productive? I think I’ll take my iPhone 5s and just carry a couple of big battery packs with me, thank you. And almost 15 million people have watched this video on YouTube? Must be a lot of Galaxy S5 users who are wishing they’d waited for the next iPhone to appear…

That’s ads for you – If you don’t look deep into things and get suckered, then Samsung’s ad strategy works…

[Link] Samsung Buys SmartThings for $200 Million

 

Internet of Bling: Samsung Buys SmartThings for $200 Million | Re/code

SmartThings will continue to be run by CEO and founder Alex Hawkinson and operate independently, Samsung said. But most of its operations — which now include 55 employees in Washington, D.C., and also offices in San Francisco and Minnesota — will be moved to Palo Alto, Calif., to become part of Samsung’s Open Innovation Center (OIC) there.

It was only a matter of time before SmartThings got bought out – their hub, devices and 3rd party control of other smartphone-controlled products stood head and shoulders above their competitors. Samsung you would think, would try and include SmartThings technology into their devices but as long as SmartThings remain separate as they have stated, then with Samsung’s backing they can improve their products so that they become more mainstream and integrate with even more 3rd party device companies.

Samsung still obsessed with Apple, screen quantity over quality

 

Rene Ritchie on Samsung’s Latest Ad:

And this, once again, highlights important differences between the two companies. Not just that Samsung shows off Apple products in their ads and Apple sticks to showing off their own products, or that Samsung uses plastic where Apple uses aluminum, or that Samsung uses SAMOLED where Apple prefer LED, or that Samsung has a bifurcated software experience, split between Android and TouchWiz and Apple has a coherent one, all iOS, all the time, but at their cores.

Samsung, like everyone’s favorite crazy uncle, believes in trying everything and anything, throwing it all at the wall in hopes that something sticks. It doesn’t matter if any one of those products is substandard or marginal, if things like PenTile pixel arrangements downgrade screen quality or some features exist only in their own apps and not Google’s, preventing people from having a consistent experiences.

Apple, by contrast, stays focused. They take their time. They weren’t first to phones or tablets or TV boxes, and they weren’t first to phablets. They believe in quality over quantity. They had 3.5-inch phones for 5-generations, the 4-inch phones for 2. They went to Retina display, in-pane switching, 16:9 aspect ratio, and in-cell display. They didn’t make many more screens, they made far better screens.

And according to the latest numbers, the iPhone 5s still outsells the Galaxy S5.

Many people simply don’t want a bigger phone. They want something that easily fits in their hand or pocket or purse. For those who do, however, they currently have to choose between iOS on a 4-inch device or not-iOS on a bigger device. Imagine what will happen this fall, when they can get iOS on a bigger phone.

If history is any indicator, what Samsung’s really going to need to make bigger is their ad budget. And better too. Way better.

Focus. Spot on from Rene Ritchie.

New Samsung Galaxy S5 ad forced to cherry pick lines from lackluster reviews

 

AppleInsider:

He added, “the Galaxy S5’s finger sensor is unusable. It has failed to recognize my finger just about every time I have tried it. It has been so terrible that the sensor feels more like a marketing gimmick than a legitimate feature. And it makes me wonder about Samsung’s capacity to keep up with Apple’s innovations.”

Talking of Samsung, this is a great read. Shocking how far Samsung went to get positive review quotes from reviews that upon reading, were far from positive.

Apple’s iPad is still the most beloved tablet

 

Ben Zigterman:

Despite an onslaught of competititon, Apple’s iPad received the highest marks on the latest J.D. Power tablet satisfaction survey. According to the survey of over 2,500 tablet users, the iPad ranked first in every category except price and its overall satisfaction score of 830 out of 1,000 beat Samsung at 822, Asus at 820, Amazon at 817, and Acer at 769.

The survey mesaured satisfaction across five differrent categories with some categories receiving more weight than others. They include performance (28%), ease of operation (22%), features (22%), styling and design (17%), and cost (11%).

Samsung performed well in the features, styling and design, and cost categories.

Apple has traditionally performed well in J.D. Power surveys. The iPhone has received it’s highest ranking for the past few years, and in 2012 and 2013, the iPad was the top tablet, although in a survey from the second-half of 2013, Samsung briefly took the lead. Overall, Samsung’s tablets have improved their satisfaction ratings over the past couple years, while Amazon’s Kindle Fire’s ratings have declined.

There’s iPad – then there is everything else.

Samsung fires its mobile design leader

 

Reuters:

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, the world’s biggest handset maker, has replaced the head of its mobile design team amid criticism of the latest Galaxy S smartphone.

Chang Dong-hoon offered to resign last week and will be replaced by Lee Min-hyouk, vice president for mobile design, a Samsung spokeswoman said on Thursday.

Will be interesting to see if Samsung stop their blatant copying from now on in their new products or whether Mr Dong-hoon was just a fall guy to show the court (and their shareholders) that it’s not really Samsung’s strategy to go down a route that ends in expensive and very public litigation.