Samsung’s product ecosystem is the closest you’ll get from Apple in the Android world

One of the reasons why so many people deal with Apple products is the way they communicate seamlessly. It’s hard to let go of this level of interoperability once you try it out. For a long time, users have been crying for this kind of ecosystem in the Android space. Well, as far as I’m concerned, it’s already in Samsung’s lineup, and it’s more open than Apple. So, what benefits do you get from immersing yourself in the Samsung ecosystem, and is it worth it?

seamless connection

Seamless connectivity allows Galaxy Buds to automatically switch between devices when you need them. In the example above, I connected my Galaxy Buds Pro to my S22 Ultra and it’s playing Spotify. When I started watching a YouTube video on my Fold3, the S22 paused the music, and my earbuds seamlessly switched to the fold so I could hear my video. The buds will come back on if you get a phone call or press power on the S22.

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Switching is incredibly fast, takes less than two seconds, and works on more phones and tablets. Last week I left my phone at home while mowing the lawn and connected my buds to Watch4 for Spotify. About ten minutes later, I got a phone call, and answering my watch put the speakers back in my phone so I could talk to the caller. Once I hung up, the watch resumed playing Spotify, and I could continue—all without navigating the Bluetooth menus, let alone going back inside to grab my phone.

While many of the features we’re talking about today are limited to Samsung laptops, this works with any PC running Windows 10 or later. All you have to do is download the Galaxy Buds app from the Windows Store, and you’re all set.

The Apple AirPods ecosystem is very similar. They automatically switch between devices based on what you’re doing, just like Galaxy Buds. Other wireless earbuds and headphones also have similar features, such as Bluetooth Multipoint or Google Fast Pair. Both are great, as the Google system works on all recent Android phones and tablets, but not all earbuds support them. With Multipoint, there’s an extra step to making sure your chosen buds support all of the features included in the standard.

Seamless connectivity to phones and tablets is compatible with Galaxy Buds+, Buds Live, Buds Pro, and Buds 2, while the Windows app works only with Buds Live, Buds Pro, and Buds2.


Galaxy Book integration


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If you have a Samsung tablet and a Galaxy Book laptop, you can use the tablet as a secondary screen. Press Windows Key + K to open the cast menu, and your tablet should appear in the list. Once connected, it works like any other type of connected monitor, with the added bonus of S Pen compatibility. If you need to sign a document but have a traditional Galaxy Book without the S Pen, all you have to do is quickly connect to your tablet and use its stylus.


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If you don’t have a Galaxy Book, but want to integrate your phone with another Windows device, you can. Microsoft Phone Link (née Your Phone) and Link to Windows are available on all Android and Windows devices. The integration works best with Samsung phones, thanks to the company’s special relationship with Microsoft. View notifications, reply to SMS and RCS messages, receive phone calls, and quickly transfer photos between your PC and phone. You can also view the apps installed on your phone and run on your PC via screen mirroring.


Quick share


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Introduced at the beginning of 2020 with the Galaxy S20, Quick Share does the same thing as Google Nearby Share, letting you quickly share photos, contacts, and other files between phones and tablets. But Quick Share is limited to Galaxy devices, while Nearby Share works with most Android devices and Chromebooks. So why use the quick share feature? Because it’s better.

With Google Nearby Sharing, you have to approve every file transfer on both devices for security reasons. But with Quick Share, you only need to do it if the receiving device is signed in to a different Samsung account.

So, if I want to share a file from Fold3 to my S22, I just need to touch the Fold, provided the S22 is unlocked. My S22 immediately appears in the share sheet, and as soon as I click on it, it will send the file. (In contrast, if I’m sending something to my wife’s phone, she’ll need to agree to it.)


If I’m going to use Google Nearby Sharing, I’ll need to choose Nearby share on my folder 3, then choose S22, wait for a notification telling me that a device is nearby is sharing something, tap that notification, go back to folder 3 and choose S22 from the list of devices , then tap Accept on S22. This is quite complicated compared to a quick post, and it shows that Google has a lot of room for improvement.

If you have a Samsung laptop, you’ll see it pop up on your phone as a target when you use Quick Share, and best of all, you can use it to drag and drop files from your computer to your phone or tablet.

Apple’s Airdrop has offered similar functionality since 2011, so Android has taken a long time to catch up. At least it was worth the wait.

Sync Samsung Notes and Internet

Samsung Notes and the Internet are among the company’s most powerful applications, Samsung Internet offers a similar experience to Google Chrome and Notes consisting of a wide range of features for taking notes, drawing, and editing PDF files.

All your notes and browser history are synced between devices via your Samsung account, but what if you want to switch to another device where you left off? As shown in the screenshot above, swiping to the overview screen on one device while the other has a Samsung Note or Samsung Internet tab open will bring up the Continue on Your Phone popup on your screen. Clicking on this popup will open the related note or webpage right from where you left off on your other device.

Now, you can share web pages between devices using Google Chrome as well, but it’s not reliable anywhere in my experience. Sometimes the page I sent to my computer will appear within seconds, sometimes I think it failed, and then it will appear randomly over an hour later. If this is something you use often, you should probably consider switching away from Chrome.

This works between Samsung phones, tablets, and even laptops, although the workflow is slightly different from the latter. If your laptop is off, opening the lid and logging in while a webpage or note is open on your phone or tablet will bring up a prompt on the Galaxy Book. Unfortunately, there is no prompt if you are already using the PC, in which case you will need to open the Samsung Notes app and find the correct note yourself.

Apple has a similar feature called Continuity, which is significantly more advanced than what Samsung has been able to do so far. Instead of just opening a note that’s already open on one device, you can open an Apple Note on your iPad and Mac at the same time, using your Apple Pencil to add artwork and seeing it appear on your Mac in real time. I can only hope that Samsung will continue to develop its services in the future to accommodate this capability.


Galaxy Watch Health Features


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The Galaxy Watch4 is one of the best smartwatches out there, and one of the reasons for that is the array of sensors it uses to monitor your vitals. Watch4 can measure your body composition, blood oxygen, blood pressure, stress levels, ECG, and heart rate, as well as your usual steps and activity tracking.

There aren’t many devices that can rival this, but there is a caveat. While the Watch4 can be used with Android phones from other manufacturers, you will not be able to use all the fitness features. ECG levels and blood pressure can only be measured if your watch is connected to your Samsung smartphone. You may not like this, but it shows that Samsung is doing its best to match Apple’s approach to securing the ecosystem.


Samsung’s ecosystem is doing well, and I’m going to miss it if I were to switch to another brand. However, it is still not found at the level of Apple’s walled garden. Tech giant Cupertino has been working on features like this for a lot longer than Samsung has, and it shows. Equivalent features work better, there are more Apple devices that can do together and we have no alternative in the Android world.


Samsung works to give you a similarly seamless connection across its devices, all while still unlocking them enough to work well with other Android devices and accessories. Basically, you get the best of both worlds – an ecosystem of devices that work together in synergy, without completely closing the door to tight integrations with products from other manufacturers.

If you’re like me and don’t want an iPhone, Samsung’s offerings do a great job of bridging the gap, and things should only get better in the future.


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