Season 1, Episode 12

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This is a transcript of one episode of the Samsung Developers Podcast, hosted by and produced by Tony Morelan. A listing of all podcast transcripts can be found here.


Tony Morelan
Product Manager, Samsung Developers

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Prasad Rayala
Product Manager, Samsung Electronics

In this episode of POW, I interview Prasad Rayala, Product Manager for DeX, the Samsung technology that allows users to extend their Galaxy mobile device into a desktop computing experience. Not only do we talk about the advantages for developers optimizing their apps for DeX, but how easy it is to get started.


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Topics Covered

  • What is DeX
  • Devices that run DeX
  • Compatible operating systems
  • Optimizing apps for DeX
  • DeX resources
  • DeX sample code
  • Security
  • DeX features
  • Getting started with DeX

More about Samsung DeX

Samsung DeX is a new user experience that extends the functionality of your Android device to a PC-like environment. Connect your Galaxy to your monitor or TV to bring it to life on the big screen. An extension of Android N's Multi-Window mode, there are no proprietary Samsung APIs needed to launch apps in Samsung DeX. With just a USB cable, unlock your phone's possibilities on PC and Mac through Samsung DeX. And now with the Note20, you can connect wirelessly to your Smart TV using Miracast.


NOTE: Transcripts are provided by an automated service and reviewed by the Samsung Developers web team. Inaccuracies from the transcription process do occur, so please refer to the audio if you are in doubt about the transcript.


Tony Morelan 00:02

Hey, I'm Tony Morelan. And this is POW! Podcasted Wisdom from the Samsung Developer Program, where we talk about the latest tech new trends and give insight into all the opportunities available for developers looking to create for Samsung. On today's show, I interview Prasad Rayala product manager for DeX, the Samsung technology that allows users to extend their Galaxy mobile device into a desktop computing experience. Not only do we talk about the advantages for developers optimizing their apps for DeX but how he traveled to Australia just before COVID-19 hit, and with the borders closed he can't come back. Enjoy.

So I am super excited to have with me Prasad Rayala on the podcast. I need to first ask who is Prasad?

Prasad Rayala 00:48

Hey, thanks Tony for having me. I'm a product manager at Samsung Electronics America. I cover Knox mobile enrollment and Knox managed products And recently I picked up DeX as well. And in my role I work with our internal teams to enable them with what's new with these products, how they can be offered to customers, and what challenges customers are facing in implementing these solutions. On the other side, I work with our r&d teams to enhance these solutions based on feedback we receive from our customers and partners.

Tony Morelan 01:28

So how long have you been at Samsung for?

Prasad Rayala 01:31

A total of six years. Three years with Samsung America and three years Samsung Dubai.

Tony Morelan 01:38

I didn't realize that she worked in Dubai.

Prasad Rayala 01:40

Yeah, but three years and then I moved to Samsung US.

Tony Morelan 01:44

Did you study tech when you were in college?

Prasad Rayala 01:48

I am an engineer, but I studied civil engineering, how to construct buildings and bridges. But I moved to it. I started my career. With as a programmer on the midrange systems is foreign during the y2k era, I then moved to Java programming language and I've been working outsourcing company in India for over a decade. While I was with them, I was posted to Dubai, to manage the customer relationships there. While I was in Dubai, I came across an opportunity to join Samsung to manage a large scale smart learning project where about 400 classrooms across the country need to be digitized with large displays in the classrooms and also provide devices for students to consume the content. That was in 2013. And after completing the project, I moved to the mobility side. And the Knox was just launched at that time, and I was cast to spread the awareness of narcs work with partners The ecosystem, just take it to the market. And I continued in that role for about three years. And in 2016, I moved to the US and joined a global knock solution engineering team. And since then I've done different roles like solution engineering, partner management, project management, and now product management.

Tony Morelan 03:21

You know, I recently did a podcast interview with the Knox Partner Program.

Prasad Rayala 03:25

Yes, those are excellent. Yeah. I mean, it's a great initiative, how to help partners, build their solutions, get support, and actually work with Samsung in promoting those solutions. It's a nice platform.

Tony Morelan 03:39

See, it mentioned that you eventually made it to the US Tell me where are you based out of right now.

Prasad Rayala 03:44

I work out of our Mountain View office in the Bay Area. We also have the North America or us r&d team also operates from majority of the Knox r&d teams, engineering, product managers work out of that office as well.

Tony Morelan 04:00

Is that where you're at right at this moment,

Prasad Rayala 04:02

as of this moment, I'm in Melbourne, Australia. My family lives here and I came to visit them, middle of March. And since then, I'm stuck here because of the border closures on both sides. So I continue to work remotely leveraging all the technical capabilities my company provided, including decks,

Tony Morelan 04:24

like I can imagine what that must be like, you know, glad to know that you and your family are safe and that you're able to continue working. Hopefully soon, the borders will open and you'll be able to come home but I'm just not sure when that's gonna be. Let's talk a bit more about dex. Now, what exactly is dex?

Prasad Rayala 04:41

So Samsung dex is a software platform that extends your smartphone or tablet into a desktop computing experience. It is built into many of the latest Samsung smartphones and tablets. It's free. You don't have to buy anything. Lily to get started using decks is just a monitor, HDMI adapter and peripherals like keyboard and mouse. And with our latest Galaxy Note 20, you can use decks wirelessly on most of your TVs that support mirror cast. The best part is while you are running decks on the monitor, you can continue to use your device at the same time. So you're attending a video conference on the biggest screen, but you can also take notes or browse through your emails on your device at the same time.

Tony Morelan 05:33

So I know my first experience with decks was a little over a year ago. And back then I actually had to stick it into a cradle. So you're saying now it's

Prasad Rayala 05:43

it's Miracast? Yes, you connect your larger display to mirror cast wirelessly when dex was launched with Galaxy S eight. Yes, there were a couple of hardware accessories like cradle was required to plug it in. We Graduated from their two wireless connectivity now there are certain limitations like how many number of apps you can run while you're connected wirelessly. But you have the option of just going into a meeting room connecting to a display wirelessly and running your presentations off your phone.

Tony Morelan 06:18

So can you tell me where did the name dex come from? What does that mean?

Prasad Rayala 06:22

Yeah, anything ending with x is very catchy, right? But dex is a short version of desktop experience. So when you activate it by connecting your phone or tablet or monitor you get the familiar look and feel of a desktop environment. With features and functions. You're used to like multiple and resizeable, windows, keyboard shortcuts, and drag and drop etc.

Tony Morelan 06:51

Do users need to install any special apps or using these special API's to enable Samsung dex on their devices?

Prasad Rayala 06:58

No, no special application required, it's pre built on the device firmware. You don't have to install anything. We just need to connect device to a monitor with the cable and dex will launch automatically an IT administrator on the other side can control the text experience like allowing or disallowing enabling decks and choosing which applications can run index mode. Okay, this can be done using their preferred e&m solution.

Tony Morelan 07:27

Definitely for security. That's an important aspect. Is dex only compatible with Android? Or is it compatible beyond Android OS.

Prasad Rayala 07:36

So dex can be used in three different variations to meet various needs. First, you can use it by connecting your Samsung Android device to a monitor or you can run it in standalone mode on the tablet screen without connecting to a monitor or you can use your pc or mac by installing an application on the Mac or PC and connect your device through USB cable and run DAX on your existing laptop or Mac. But the experience itself is powered by the software in both on Samsung smartphones and tablets,

Tony Morelan 08:15

so what applications can I use index mode?

Prasad Rayala 08:18

Pretty much any Android application that's running on your device can be run in dex mode, all your favorite business applications like Microsoft Office, mobile suite, Adobe apps for creative professionals, video conferencing apps like Microsoft Teams, WebEx, zoom BlueJeans, etc. Wow, okay. Yeah, and if you are relying on legacy Windows applications that do not have mobile or web versions, you can use virtual desktop applications like VMware or Citrix within dex to access a full Windows desktop from your phone and it's not Just all work, you can have some fun too. You can play your favorite games on a biggest screen and use your keyboard mouse gaming keyboard and mouse to play to control the game experience on a bigger screen.

Tony Morelan 09:14

Wow, I didn't know that. That's, definitely a great advantage. Yeah. So let's talk a bit about developing for deck. So if I'm a developer, why should I optimize my app for decks?

Prasad Rayala 09:24

Yeah, based on some market research, we found the majority of it workers use two or more devices for work, phone, laptop, tablet, laptop, desktop, etc. At least two. When multitasking between these devices, productivity is lost due to compatibility between the operating systems and applications. Samsung dex minimizes this fragmentation by bringing PC like experience to your mobile devices. Applications optimized for dex can take advantage of Android's Multi Window features where users can open multiple apps in the same session to work, connect, and interact seamlessly together. Because these applications will be running on a larger screen index mode, you can use additional features like drag and drop files between windows copy paste between multiple applications and navigate between apps with your familiar keyboard shortcuts.

Tony Morelan 10:29

You know, we talked a little bit about COVID how you're in Australia at the moment because of the borders. You know, pretty much the country is working from home. So can you talk a bit about the benefits of developers optimizing their apps considering that people are now working at home more?

Prasad Rayala 10:45

Yeah, I mean, the the obscene shift in many things that we are usually doing say working from home for an hour is different from working from home for six months teaching Kids for a couple of hours from home is different from remote learning toward the day. So enabling the secure and productive work from home setup is one of the core use cases of Tech's. Imagine you're about to jump onto a video conferencing call with your team on your laptop, and it decides to go through a noise.

Tony Morelan 11:21

Yes, yes,

Prasad Rayala 11:22

right at that moment, or you get a blue screen. You don't have to reschedule your call, you can just connect your phone to the monitor and fire up your decks and join the call. You can continue checking your emails, take notes or even collaborate with your team by sharing your screen while you are on the video conferencing kind of launch through decks. If you need access to Windows native applications, yes, you can fire up video solution like Citrix or VMware and if you have an application running in education space to say students will be able to utilize a large screen to access your solution and use the S Pen on the tablets to take notes while attending a session.

Tony Morelan 12:08

That's great with this whole distance learning, any sort of tools that we can offer to our students to Yeah, to help is

Prasad Rayala 12:14

definitely a huge benefit. So my son school is using Google classroom and they share a lot of material for kids to work on some math worksheets, etc. He's been printing them and writing on them and scanning and sharing with their teachers. I told him, why don't you use your S Pen. So now he's converting it into a PDF? He's editing writing on the tablet itself, just saving it locally and sharing with his teachers. We're reducing a lot of printing at home and saving some Yes,

Tony Morelan 12:52

definitely. Definitely. That's great. So what has Samsung decks done to drive awareness for developers

Prasad Rayala 13:00

Yeah. Since the launch of deck Samson has worked closely with the developer community in enabling business applications to take advantage of the benefits offered by decks. Every year at Samsung developer conference. There are dedicated talk tracks and hands on labs were offered a lot of articles and videos around how dex is enabling certain use cases in verticals like public safety, health care, and education. These are published on Samsung insights portal. And there is a dedicated section on the developer website for Samsung to help developers start the journey and optimizing their apps for tax.

Tony Morelan 13:43

That's excellent. Any chance that there's some sample code out there for developers who want to take a look at it and understand a little bit more?

Prasad Rayala 13:49

Absolutely. There are hands on videos on the how to optimize the applications and there is some sample code Explaining each optimization they can do. These videos are great. Like, you can just pause them and make changes to our app. And there are instructions on how to test your application, how it's running on dex, etc. There are a lot of resources on

Tony Morelan 14:18

That's, that's great. So we talked a little bit about your experience with Knox. So let's talk about what has dex done related to security.

Prasad Rayala 14:27

So dex doesn't really interfere with security. It fully complies with the policies set by administrator through the Mmm. Say you want to attach a picture you took on your phone to your email. And if your administrator has blocked access to the USB ports on your laptop, for security reasons. How will you send your picture to your email you will either email it to yourself or to a third party cloud store is both are not productive enough. not secure enough. So with decks, you'll have that seamless access of your local files on your device, which you can just drag and drop these files onto your email client running on your device itself. So no more emailing it yourself or uploading to a third party file sharing system. You can also leverage your biometrics to set up Samsung pass on on your device to access your online accounts without having to type in your password every time. On the personal side. If you are using the secure folder where you might have installed sensitive applications, like banking or you store sensitive information, you can continue to use it dex won't interfere with secure folder.

Tony Morelan 15:49

So I had mentioned earlier that the version of dex that I had was where I put my device into a cradle so I know that dex has evolved So talk a little bit about where dex originated from and But it's become

Prasad Rayala 16:00

Yeah. Then so the mobile devices is not designed to run multiple applications at the same time right. So yes, there can be background applications running but user typically interacts with to one application at a time. There is no multi window. But as dex enables this multi windows feature, the device can heat up pretty quickly. So the first version of dex when it was introduced on Galaxy S eight, there was a docking accessory called the deck station or a dex pad was required to start the desktop experience and connect to peripherals. So these accessory had a little fan inside to keep the device cool and ports to connect your keyboard and mouse and HDMI back your monitor. With node nine, the need for these docking accessories really was eliminated by introducing the next HDMI adapter Simple cable or a multi port adapter if you need to connect your peripherals in 2019 with the launch of node 10 decks for PC was introduced. I talked before where you can install an application on your PC or a Mac and access decks right from your computer with no today don't need any wires, any cables, you can just connect your phone to your miracles supported this TVs wirelessly.

Tony Morelan 17:29

So you had mentioned a little bit about multi window. Are there any other specific types of optimizations? That can be done?

Prasad Rayala 17:36

Yeah, I think minimum decks optimized application should support multiwindow keyboard mouse inputs and handle runtime configuration changes. Generally, if an app follows best practices of Android programming, it will successfully run index mode without any code changes. Okay? There are no Samsung specific SDK to integrate our API's to call Multi Window support enables minimizing, maximizing and resizing the application window. Only the manifest file needs to be updated to support this feature. To enable keyboard and mouse support, you just do not explicitly declare touch screen support in your manifest. And keep in mind that when an application switches between mobile and dex mode, runtime configurations change, this is similar to an orientation change from portrait to landscape. These runtime configuration changes may result in forcing the application to restart when switching between mobile and x mode. You don't want a WebEx session that you joined from phone to restart when you launch decks mode. To avoid this, just follow androids guideline on handling configuration changes and best practices for building a responsive design. That seems

Tony Morelan 18:51

pretty straightforward. What about some new decks features like finger gestures are drag and drop?

Prasad Rayala 18:57

Yeah, so drag and drop, copy paste. These features have been there, right from the beginning. The finger gestures you're mentioning is how you use your device screen as a touchpad. When you are in dex mode by connecting your device to the monitor. If you do not have a mouse, you can convert your device screen as a touchpad to interact with decks and run. Just like a traditional touchpad on a laptop. A single tap on your phone screen is same as your mouse left click, a double tap is like a right click, you can pinch your fingers to zoom etc.

Tony Morelan 19:35

So what types of apps then are developers optimizing for decks?

Prasad Rayala 19:39

So any application used in a workplace setting right? productivity suites, your VDI applications video conferencing, or specific vertical focused applications like say healthcare or education. These are all applications that can be optimized. Any application that can benefit from a desk Stop experience running on a larger screen is a candidate for optimization. It's not just limited to, again, work apps, you can optimize some of your games as well, if you will, that games can be educational. My daughter is learning how to count by twos, threes, fours, she just started her multiplication. And there are a lot of lessons out there router gamified. And instead of watching those on a seven inch screen or a 10 inch laptop, I'm letting her watch those things on my Samsung TV on a larger screen, and she's happy with it.

Tony Morelan 20:41

Oh, that's that's excellent. So let's talk about some of the challenges is a dex had to face any challenges that you can share?

Prasad Rayala 20:48

Yeah, so with DAX, our goal is to close the gap between desktop and mobile computing experiences. It won't happen overnight. We need to build an ecosystem around Next to support different use cases, we are pretty confident about meeting their mobile workers needs. But we know we have some work to do in other verticals. We are investing heavily in enhancing the core capabilities of the device itself to support different vertical use cases, along with live raising capabilities of our partners. There are some exciting things on the roadmap. So watch this space through this year and early next year.

Tony Morelan 21:30

Excellent. So let's talk about some of the areas of success then what can you share that that you're proud of the dex has accomplished.

Prasad Rayala 21:37

So we've seen dex adopted in almost all industries, saying healthcare of patient experiences improved to seamless continuity from doctors workstation to patient rooms and back again. in retail. The associate can use a single device to say browse through inventory, check prizes, or ask assist customers with checkouts all with a single device. Say in public safety officer can use his mobile phone. While in the field or inside the vehicle or at the station, say in a insurance or construction space, you can consolidate your hardware so you have access to everything you need while in the field without having to go back and forth between devices. So we we continue to work with our partners and customers now to identify different use cases in retail bank branches. There's a nice use case where the bank associate can interact with the customer to a dual screen kind of mode where associate will be accessing, say presenting different loan options or critical options to the customer and the customer will be using a tablet or filling His or her personal information, both sharing the same device. So they're nice use cases we are discovering our customers are help improving the product with the use cases they have in the specific vertical businesses.

Tony Morelan 23:15

Yeah, and I, you know, I can totally see where you know, we're in the middle of this pandemic with COVID. It's pretty obvious that even when we get beyond this pandemic, I think our society is going to be making a shift towards how we're conducting a lot of our, you know, day to day business. So just your example there of how working with bank institutions, and being able to share screens, but yet, stay within your device, I think is very, very advantageous, right. So what advice do you have for developers looking to get started modifying their apps for decks,

Prasad Rayala 23:49

so if you have never experienced vertex, you don't know how your application looks and feels on a larger screen. Just start simple enabled. Multi Window keyboard shortcuts and just connect your device, launch your application and just see the magic. These changes do not require any change in your core and just the manifest file, you can just make some changes and run it. Once you see how it runs on a larger device with resizable, Windows and drag and drop, etc, then it'll force you to think outside that seven inch screen your application is designed to run on. Or you can then go on and explore more and provide unique features like the contextual menu, or using their mouse wheel to zoom in, say you have a map solution in your application. You can use your mouse wheel to zoom in and out of the map, etc. That's great.

Tony Morelan 24:45

So for a developer that wants to get started, what's the best way for them to learn more? Is there a website that they can go to?

Prasad Rayala 24:53

Yeah, I mean, to understand what specific solutions are best optimized for dex checkouts Samsung it gives an overview of the solution itself, how it runs, how to enable it, what device is it run on, etc. And while you're there, just go to text for business section to understand how it's used in different verticals. You may be operating in a specific industry, it will help understand how dex is enabling use cases in that industry. And there are a lot of videos on YouTube on just decks both from Samsung team and independent analysts users out there who tried decks for different use cases. And finally, when you ready to start optimizing your application, go to and go to the deck section and follow the instruction. Start simple and just start optimizing your app.

Tony Morelan 25:49

That's That's great. That sounds actually pretty darn pretty darn easy. Yeah. So are there any news or any events coming up that we can get excited about from decks?

Prasad Rayala 25:58

So as much as We wanted to be in front of our customers and partners. But we couldn't do so with COVID. So we are going as much detail as possible. Have we had a two day virtually experience event in July where industry experts advised how businesses can adjust to the new normal. We have also launched a series of online events called Samson together, where we host one hour session with our partners to introduce new solutions. We are bringing together to help our customers navigate these difficult situations. We covered decks in detail in the last episode, very hands on demonstrations and use cases discussed etc. So check out Samson together this a series of one hour sessions and the last session covered decks in detail.

Tony Morelan 26:52

That's great. That's great. Thank you for that and I will be linking to all of this in the show notes for this episode. So make it easy for for our listeners to find those pages. If people want to contact you or the decks team, what is the best way for them to do that?

Prasad Rayala 27:06

So the instructions are pretty self explanatory, a lot of videos and sample code, etc. But if you still need help or send in a request with your question inside that portal, there is a dedicated team around the clock to help you with your classifications. Wherever you are in the world, there is a team in your timezone of answering your questions, make use of that contact form on the

Tony Morelan 27:36

Excellent. So a couple of last questions for you. So the first thing I want to ask is, when you're not working, what do you do for fun?

Prasad Rayala 27:44

So can you really say when you're not working now that you are at home and you're always hooked on to work? There is no there is no distinction between you're at work at home, you're always

Tony Morelan 27:58

Okay, so when you're outside and you're under plugged.

Prasad Rayala 28:00

So yeah, mostly I spend my time with my family. Also my work my toolkits keep me busy helping them with these remote learning or just keeping them busy when when they're not learning. But if I can still sneak out some time, while mostly be exploring my neighborhood by walking, I love to go on slow, long walks and probably some hikes.

Tony Morelan 28:28

So the last question you had mentioned that you were studying as a civil engineer, and then you actually got to spend time in Dubai. What was that like with the I'm sure you were amazed with all the buildings that you saw there.

Prasad Rayala 28:40

To divide goes to the cycles of real estate boom and bust right when it's booming you you could see thousands of these cranes set up. They do go vertical, because they need to make use of the limited the space they have. They can't Spread out so they go vertical in minimum you'll see like 3050 floors and all that. So Samsung office was on 51st 52nd floor and we could from there the Palm Jumeirah, clearly it there are a lot of Engineering Marvels a lot of great architecture. There is a twisting and rotating tower. So builders are competing to meet new and unique designs of their most challenging work environment, right, the temperatures constantly about 130 140 sometimes, it's very challenging sometimes. It's just fun.

Tony Morelan 29:40

Well, hey, Prasad I absolutely appreciate you taking the time to join me on the podcast. Thank you very much.

Prasad Rayala 29:44

Thanks, Tony. Thanks for having me.

Outro 29:47
Looking to start creating for Samsung, download the latest tools to code your next app, or get software for designing apps without coding it all. Sell your apps to the world on the Samsung Galaxy store, check out Today and start your journey with Samsung.

The POW! podcast is brought to you by the Samsung Developer Program and produced by Tony Morelan.