Qualcomm previewed a new feature at its Snapdragon Summit in Maui that promises a less fractured multiple-device lifestyle—as long as those devices run Android or Windows.
The company’s announcement for “Snapdragon Seamless” touts such cross-device experiences as switching a mouse and keyboard from a PC to a phone to a tablet, dragging and dropping files and windows among those gadgets, having earbuds intelligently switch sources based on which device is playing, and projecting graphics from a phone to augmented-reality eyewear.
Those scenarios remain problematic to impossible between Android phones and PCs today. Samsung’s Dex allows its higher-end smartphones to use a PC’s display and input devices, Google’s Nearby Share app can transfer files wirelessly from phones to PCs (except those running Qualcomm’s ARM-based Snapdragon processors, which that Intel-specific app doesn’t support), and that’s about it if you don’t want to get into tinkering with third-party apps.
Qualcomm says Snapdragon Seamless comes with its just-announced Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 mobile platform and Snapdragon X Elite PC platform, plus “our wearable and hearable platforms.” Its announcement touts support from Google and Microsoft as well as four hardware vendors: Honor, Lenovo, Oppo, and Xiaomi.
Qualcomm’s release says these firms will start enabling Seamless in their products “as early as this year,” with this technology expanding to the automotive and Internet-of-Things sectors later.
Having Android and Windows support Seamless should help with that rollout, but phone-hardware support is less clear for American shoppers. Lenovo’s Motorola brand holds a distant third place in the North American market, while Honor, Oppo and Xiaomi remain trivia-question answers in the US.
The absence of Samsung from that list may or not mean anything. The company behind most Android phones has been quick to adopt Qualcomm’s processors. Samsung unveiled its Galaxy S23 series, built around versions of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, only two and a half months after Qualcomm introduced that platform at last year’s Snapdragon Summit. But Samsung also sometimes sits out Qualcomm’s new features, such as the Gen 2’s “always-ready” camera proximity-sensing option.
Recommended by Our Editors
Apple is also notably absent from the list of supporters, but Qualcomm might as well have credited that firm as an influencer. The Snapdragon Seamless feature set evokes how Apple’s Continuity suite of Mac/iPhone/iPad features lets you do things like answer incoming calls on an iPad or Mac, start an email or text message on one device and finish it on another, share clipboard items between your Apple devices, turn an iPad into an external display for a Mac, and use a Mac’s keyboard and mouse with an iPad.
With a platform-incompatibility wall remaining Apple and Qualcomm’s cross-device platforms, people who split their time between a Mac and an Android phone or between an iPhone and a Windows PC can expect those experiences to remain outright seamful.
(Note: PCMag is attending Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Summit by invitation, but in keeping with our ethics policy, we have assumed all costs for travel and lodging for the conference.)
Like What You’re Reading?
Sign up for Fully Mobilized newsletter to get our top mobile tech stories delivered right to your inbox.
The post Qualcomm Unveils ‘Snapdragon Seamless’ Device-to-Device Connectivity first appeared on www.pcmag.com