Season 3, Episode 7
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.
Senior Developer Evangelist, Samsung Developers
Guy Merin, Senior Director of Engineering, Surface Duo Developer Experience, Microsoft
Ade Oshineye, Senior Staff Developer Advocate, Google
Søren Lambæk, Developer Relations Engineer, Samsung
Not only do we chat about the emerging trends in the foldable industry but how companies are working together to help developers create for this new and innovative technology.
- Foldable industry trends
- Growth of foldables
- Target audience
- Making foldables mainstream
- Benefits of the foldable form factor
- Extending a traditional app to a foldable device
- Process for supporting foldables
- Foldable device example apps
- Consumer adoption challenges
- Developer opportunities
- Resources for developers
- Companies working together on foldables
- Large Screen/Foldable Guidance
- Large Screen App Quality
- Jetpack WindowManager
- Jetpack SlidingPaneLayout
- Jetpack WindowManager Foldable/Dual-screens
- Surface Duo Layout Libraries
- Surface Duo Android Emulator
- Figma - Surface Duo Design Kit
- Surface Duo Blog
- Surface Duo Youtube
- Surface Duo Twitch
- Surface Duo Twitter
- Adopting Native Language
- Discover Quality Apps on Large Screens
- Foldables: Design/Development Perspectives
- Learn About Foldables
- Case Studies
- 5 steps to Large Screen Designing
- Understanding Layout
- Code Lab
- Window Size Classes
- Jetnews: Different Screen Sizes
- Migrate to Responsive Layouts
- Compose/Activity Embedding
- Unfolding Gaming Potential
- Samsung Remote Test Lab
- Samsung Developer Program Website
- Samsung Developer Program Newsletter
- Samsung Developer Program Blog
- Samsung Developer Program News
- Samsung Developer Program Facebook
- Samsung Developer Program Instagram
- Samsung Developer Program Twitter
- Samsung Developer Program YouTube
- Samsung Developer Program LinkedIn
- Tony Morelan LinkedIn
- Guy Merin, Microsoft, LinkedIn
- Ade Oshineye, Google, LinkedIn
- Søren Lambæk, Samsung, LinkedIn
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 00:01
Hey, I'm Tony Morelan. And this is the Samsung Developers podcast, where we chat with innovators using Samsung technologies, award winning app developers and designers, as well as insiders working on the latest Samsung tools. Welcome to season three, Episode Seven. Recently I hosted a roundtable discussion on developing for foldable devices. Not only do we chat about the emerging trends in the foldable industry, but how companies are working together to help developers create for this new and innovative technology. Enjoy.
Today's show, we're doing something pretty special. I've got three guests on the podcast all from leading companies in the foldable space. I've got Guy Merin, Senior Director of Engineering on the surface duo developer experience team at Microsoft.
Guy Merin 00:53
Hi Tony, good morning. Great to be here.
Tony Morelan 00:55
Excellent. I've also got Ade Oshineye, senior staff developer advocate at Google.
Ade Oshineye 01:00
Hi. Nice to be here.
Tony Morelan 01:03
And I've also got Søren Lambæk, developer relations engineer at Samsung.
Søren Lambæk 01:09
Hello. Good to be here.
Tony Morelan 01:11
This is amazing. I've got all of you on the podcast at the same time. We actually haven't tried this format before. So let's take him for a ride and see how much fun we can have. Let me start with Guy over at Microsoft. Tell me who is Guy Merin?
Guy Merin 01:25
Hey, yeah, Hey, folks. So I'm Guy. The journey in Microsoft a few years back started that Windows went through the Windows Mobile, because mobile gadgets and devices are really my passion. And then the last five or so years, I've been working full time on Android, building a couple of software products, and recently the surface duo. So this mobile and Android is really my passion. And I'm really at my dream job now working with developers, you know, reaching out really great. On the personal level, I got recently into mountain climbing. So just last weekend, we had a big expedition to Summit, one of the Washington mountains. I live in Seattle in Washington, okay. And that was a very, very fun experience that I found a lot of similarities to, you know, projects we have at work, climbing a mountain and summit thing is really a project on its own with preparation and planning and found a lot of interesting similarities.
Tony Morelan 02:29
It gives you a lot of time to think also, I'm sure that when you're climbing so are you like with ropes and rappelling or Yeah, rope really
Guy Merin 02:38
is, is more snow. So it's ropes and ice axes and stuff. But oh, gosh.
Tony Morelan 02:45
That is great. How many feet would you say? Was the summit?
Guy Merin 02:50
Close to 11,000.
Tony Morelan 02:52
Wow, that is absolutely impressive. What was your journey to get to the state of Washington? Were you born there? Or is this? The accent I'm picking up? I'm not quite sure is from the northwest?
Guy Merin 03:07
No, no. So no, I was born and raised in Israel. Okay. And I moved over to Washington. Eight years ago, I've been working at Microsoft in Israel, actually doing some fun stuff with Windows Phone in Israel. And then pretty much my wife wanted to move over to Seattle. And that that made us take the trip and we love it here.
Tony Morelan 03:32
So now let's move over to Google. Tell me who is Ade Oshineye?
Ade Oshineye 03:38
So I work in Android Developer Relations. I've worked all over the different aspects of Google over the last 15 years before that was in consultancy, when I'm not at a desk in front of cameras and things. I'm out with a camera, taking photos in Zurich, where we have really nice mountains that I like to climb them by sitting in a train that just gently takes you to the top. And then I also play badminton and play Go. So between that I'm pretty busy. I
Tony Morelan 04:05
wonder if I understand you actually were born and raised in England. Is that correct? Yes.
Ade Oshineye 04:09
So I'm an East Londoner. But now I live in Switzerland, which is strange and very different to East London. But I also live in the middle of a whole collection of British shops, so that I can get British food very easily. Really? Okay. Yes.
Tony Morelan 04:27
Tell me how did you get involved with foldables at Google?
Ade Oshineye 04:30
Well, let's see. Well, me specifically, I mean, I started out with the Samsung flip. And then we've got this planet of surface duo. For us as a company, it's more around the whole beat together not the same idea that the point of the entity ecosystem is that all of these OEM can try different things. Users can try different kinds of experiences. developer can try to serve all of them. And we power all of that with the platform.
Tony Morelan 04:57
And from Samsung. Tell me who Is Søren Lambæk?
Søren Lambæk 05:02
Hello, I work at Samsung as a developer relations engineer. And basically, I building relationships between the games industry and Samsung. There are so many mobile games out there. So we were reaching out to them at a technical level and try to help their games to run smooth on certain devices. On a more personal level, I am one of those artists that just got obsessed with programming. Sure. So my background is actually a lot of with art, drawing and music and that kind of thing. But I just could see, the programming hat was so powerful. So I just, I got this obsession is programming.
Tony Morelan 05:48
Excellent. And I know that you Guys can't see on the podcast. But Soren has some beautiful guitars behind him. And before we hit the record button, we were all having a nice conversation about music. Now, I understand you were born in Chile, but raised in England. That correct.
Søren Lambæk 06:04
And so I was born. I was born in Chile. That's correct. And I was raised up in Denmark, hence my name. And my name is Danish. And okay. Because then I guess such a small country. And at the time, I wanted to do get a career. We didn't have any games industry in Denmark. So I decided I wanted to go to England. And when University studying games design, because there was art, but then I realized programming. That's where the future is, for me. And then. So I was one of the only students that went from art to programming is usually the other way around. Yeah,
Tony Morelan 06:47
so yeah, I would definitely think so. So let's talk foldables. Back in 2019, Samsung released the Galaxy fold, which was the first foldable device to really hit the mainstream market. Since then, other companies like Microsoft, Motorola, Huawei, have released foldable devices. And in such a short amount of time, we've seen some really great improvements with this technology. Guy, you've been from Microsoft, what are some of the trends that you've noticed in the foldable industry?
Guy Merin 07:17
Some of the trends one we're seeing, as you said, more, more OEMs picking those up? Are you seeing more and more companies bringing for the world? And it's really starting to become a commodity. But the cool thing about it that each one has their own different angle to it. So you know, for the Microsoft one, it's, you know, mainly around productivity and two screens, for others is mainly around more real estate or something that is a small form that can then go to, to a bigger form. And it's all really about the form factors and the posters that you can really do with it. So how does the phone react when it's folded when it's open when it's tilted 90 degrees? And I think we'll see more of those in the future.
Tony Morelan 08:07
Are they are you seeing different trends for the way developers are designing and building apps?
Ade Oshineye 08:12
So I think we're seeing three main trends. One is the OEMs. Exploring the space of possible designs, does the device folding fold out full vertically filled horizontally full three times, there's so many different things OEMs are doing. Second stylus is becoming more and more mainstream, that's changing the set of available postures. And then the final thing is the way keyboards and trackpads are blurring the distinctions between phones, phablets tablets. So the whole notion of what is an Android app is becoming this flexible, multi-dimensional space. And there's always people exploring that space and trying new things. Yeah,
Tony Morelan 08:55
yeah. Soren, what about the growth in this industry? Is this been something that you think, you know, over the past several years, it's really been, you know, going much higher?
Søren Lambæk 09:04
Yeah. So last year, we had 150% growth, and we are expecting that in the future, more and more people seem to get foldable phones. And when it comes to games, it does have like quite a lot of benefits. Because you can use the second screen if you're put it in like a folder. But sure. You can you can change this from full screen to a two completely different mode where the bottom screen, you can use it for items or mini map and that kind of thing.
Tony Morelan 09:35
Yeah, yeah. You know, this technology is so new that it's at this time, I think we're still trying to figure out what is this this target audience a day? What are your thoughts on who is the target audience for foldables?
Ade Oshineye 09:49
Well, I think a good way of thinking about it would be to look at the flips and the surface drill as capturing the two sets of ordinances we see. There are very often younger people Woohoo, looking for cool new experiences, I tend to see a lot of those people walking around with a Samsung flip. But then you also see a set of people at the high end with a lot more money tend to be more business people, they tend to have the larger the fold or a duel or something like that, that has a stylus that runs multiple apps at the same time, that sort of almost a replacement laptop. And those are the two sets of people I tend to see using foldables.
Tony Morelan 10:25
Guy, do you have any thoughts on them? On the demographic of who is attracted to foldables?
Guy Merin 10:31
I don't see it as a demographic thing. I think I think it will become a commodity that more and more users across the world will? We'll see. I think right now we're still seeing trends, because he's on the higher end, of course, yeah. So we're seeing trend around there. But when this becomes more of a commodity, and I think it will, and more of a mainstream device, I don't think it's going to be a demographic thing, just like we've seen with other form, form factors that are spread across the world.
Tony Morelan 11:00
Yeah, yeah. In certain you'd mentioned about gamers and tell me your thoughts on you know why something like foldable device would be attracted to the gaming community?
Søren Lambæk 11:09
Well, obviously, a big screen will have a big effect, not only can you see like a lot of graphics Do you like and can change and you can have like, a different benefits doing
Tony Morelan 11:20
that. So what would it take for foldables to become more mainstream?
Søren Lambæk 11:24
The price is it's a major one for reforms are quite pricey. Sure, reducing the price wouldn't make it more accessible for a lot of people.
Tony Morelan 11:34
Yeah. And I also think that really trying to teach developers how to build apps, you know, more education on App adoption is also important.
Søren Lambæk 11:43
Yeah, definitely, we see a lot of games developer don't even consider foldable phones yet. So I hope that is something that is going to change, where they could like start maybe changing the UI before they actually building the game.
Guy Merin 11:58
I think it would only if I may add one thing I think it's is a triangle of three things. There is, you know, the users and the users’ need to see the benefit of why they should, you know, try a foldable phone or a large screen. And then what drives that is apps. So the more apps that we see that utilize it, that gives them benefits over using just a single screen, smaller device, the more apps that will use things like side by side or split screen or drag and drop between and just productivity and thinks that users can get more out of these apps when running on these new form factors. I think that's another key factor. And I think the third piece of this triangle is, in order to make the app better on those, you need to support it, that SDK level and the platform. Yeah, that's a lot of work that has been done by everybody here. So mainly by Google, because they of course, own the platform. So the more we will see those things as standard like jetpack compose. So how do you support foldables? There? How do you support all the other SDKs, the more they will come native, the better the apps will get, the better the users will benefit from them? And I think that triangle, doing it correctly, will make it much more mainstream in the future.
Ade Oshineye 13:20
I agree with that. I think one other thing that we've been pushing is getting developers across the chasm of thinking about this. So we have a code lab, we put together with Microsoft shows developers how to build for a world where the devices can be radically different sizes. I mean, on my desk here, I have a Samsung flip and a Samsung Ultra. And they are radically different sizes, one of them can fold to be even smaller. So if you want to build for both of these devices, and all the things in between, you have to think about am I going to be a responsive design app or when adaptive app, I had to think about which layouts I'm going to support which postures are going to support which aspect ratios, which resolutions, and developers for a long time, we've been able to sort of not really think very hard about that. Because most phones for a long time were fairly similar sizes. Now, the same Kindle app that has to fold nicely on a surface duo has to also work on a giant tablet, for example, we have duo and meet and the same APK more or less that runs on your phone also runs on your television. When we think of this as large screens, the screens can be very
Tony Morelan 14:35
large. What about Google's quality guidelines? So the challenge for
Ade Oshineye 14:39
us with quality guidelines is we don't want to stifle innovation. But we do want to make sure that when a user downloads an app from our store, that it works well on the device, and that there are there's a well-lit path for developers in how do I give users the best possible experience. So we have fatal guidelines and implemented Shouldn't advice on what is a high-quality experience. And then we have tiers of quality, so that you don't have to take a big jump, you don't have to eat the elephant in one bite you can, I think it's eat the rhinoceros in one bite, you can do it in, in lots of little bites. So there are steps you can take to improve your quality. And we have an easy-to-understand website that shows you, here's all the things you haven't done yet. And you can decide which ones to invest in. And when
Tony Morelan 15:29
Yeah, and I'll mention here that I know throughout this podcast that you Guys will be referencing lots of resources for developers to really learn more about how to create for foldables, I'll be sure to include links in the show notes so that you Guys can easily find this content. So Guy, tell me who do you think would benefit by developing for the foldable form factor and why
Guy Merin 15:52
I think everybody will benefit from it. The bottom of the funnel is the apps and the user. So the users would benefit the most. But I think you're asking more about the developers, I think every developer should look at is how they said here before my app is not going to run now only on a single screen, small device, it will span across others, every developer should think about their app. What else can I do now that I have more real estate? And again, if it's a game, okay, what do I do with the second screen? How will my game maybe if I run the game, in a split screen with discord on the other side, because I'm using that for gaming as well, to start thinking about all these new scenarios that your app can now do? How can I provide content to the app that sits just beside me with drag and drop functionalities with these kinds of things? And I think every app, every developer, can benefit from those. And you should start thinking about that, because this is preparing for, for the future. And for more and more of these devices showing in market. Yeah,
Tony Morelan 17:02
and I know the other day, a day and I were actually having a conversation about multi app user journeys.
Ade Oshineye 17:08
So we've tried to move away from thinking of use cases or scenarios to what we call CJs critical user journeys. And part of that is because if I'm at home during the pandemic, I tend to have Google Docs open with meeting notes. And then Google meat open that if you move that to a foldable, well, that's one screen each. But then I need to drag and drop things across them. Which means both developers need to think, am I a good citizen? Does my app play well with others? Historically, developers have tended to think about the user journey only within their own app. But if you're a video chat app, you need to think okay, how do I work well, with a game with video content, somebody's watching, if I'm a video app, do I have picture in picture, if I have picture and picture, it unlocks all sorts of interesting new user journeys for the user. If I'm a game, and I support multi window scenarios, it becomes possible somebody to play a game and live, stream it or play a game and have a chat conversation going on at the same time. So trying to think about the user journey that's not just inside your one app, but it's across your app and other apps or even across multiple instances of your app
Tony Morelan 18:17
store and tell me, what should the developer with an existing app do to extend it to foldables?
Søren Lambæk 18:23
So there's quite a lot of SDK is that can be used already. Jetpack? Windows manager is an Android library that can help you with detecting if your app is expanding over multiple screens or not.
Tony Morelan 18:39
What about specifically game developers? Maybe someone who's developing, you know, for unity or for Unreal? Are there resources out there to help them?
Søren Lambæk 18:47
Yeah, so Samsung got like, some tutorials that will help you to set up phone apps for Unity and Unreal, Boston.
Guy Merin 18:56
Tony, if I may. I can add one thing on the first question, what can developers do with an existing app, we put up a three-step guide. And it's not specifically for the Microsoft Surface device for large screen on older foldables. And the really the three steps are crawl, walk, run. So you should start with taking your app and just trying it out on these new form factors. If you have access to one of these devices, just try it there. If you don't, there is emulators for everything for foldables for a duo for a large screen. So just try your app on the emulator. That's step one. Just see that it behaves well on these new form factors using an email lender. Step two is what we call the low hanging fruit. So don't super invest but start small, as they say, maybe think about how can my app behave when it's running within other apps? So maybe support drag and drop either is a source of or is or is a destination cause Doing picture and picture, things like that. These are things that are super easy that you know, there's samples, there's code snippets, and you can just go in and copy paste into your app and just support that these are really small additions you can do and then it will really shine on those new devices. And step three, is where really all the magic can happen. You know, you have more real estate now. So there's many new design patterns, you can think about lease details, you can think about a companion plane and a few others. So what now will you do in your app that, you know, you have more real estate, you can do things differently? This is step three, which is I think, you know, where all the big value will come. But it's a journey towards getting there.
Ade Oshineye 20:43
Definitely, I think one other thing you may want to include is, at the most basic level, you check things like if I rotate my phone, does your device crash? Does the app crash? Or does it handle it? And then use thing? Okay, so you handle rotation, you don't lose state. If I'm halfway through typing a message, and I accidentally rotate my tablet, do you lose my message? That's bad. Yeah. So that continuity is an important thing, all the way up to things like handling hinge occlusion. So if you've got a surface duo, there's a hinge down the middle, you've got to remember that there we have an API for that, handling different postures of the device, and even trying to see if you can use those postures to offer new functionality. But for a lot of developers, it's stepping back thinking about all the different contexts in which people are going to try to use your app. And then making sure that you've handled them.
Tony Morelan 21:31
Yeah, and Guy you had mentioned about them testing, I wanted to also bring up that Samsung has their remote tests lab, where you can online access a real device for testing your app. So another great resource for developers to, to work with.
Guy Merin 21:49
Definitely, it's also that in the emulator, the emulator is also an amazing resource, because you can run it locally, you can run it on the cloud, we have some workflows that connect to a cloud emulator. So every time you know we have a few samples, so every time we do a check in for the sample, it spins off an emulator and test it looks great. So we have all these test steps. And none of that is specific to us. To the to the demo, you can run it with any other devices. Well,
Tony Morelan 22:15
tell me what is the figma design kit
Guy Merin 22:18
figma design kit is a tool for designers to start thinking about foldables and large screens and dual screens. So when we started the journey with developers, we first were thinking about the developers, how do we support you with SDKs. And with samples and with documentation, that's step two, actually, step one is thinking about your designs. And then we started looking at what are the tools that designers use. So figma is one of them. And there are others. So we just created figma design kit for foldables. So it lists out all the layouts that are possible. Again, the list detail, the companion pane and a few others, gives you all the frames and really helps you think about the scenarios you want to cover in your in your app for these new form factors. And then you start working with the developers and the SDK, there's actually a step three that we're trying to do in the future, which is, how do we make it easy? Taking a figma design kit or another slope and making that into code? That's going to be the next step in the future?
Tony Morelan 23:30
Are they tell me about the jetpack window manager and the jet news demo app?
Ade Oshineye 23:36
So like many people, we have quite some quite old demos that were written in a world where you had a phone and you had a tablet. And so we like everybody else had to think about, okay, how do we change this to handle different postures, different aspect ratios. So we have an article where we walked through the process we went through to use jetpack window manager to handle a lot of these configuration changes to handle continuity, rotation, a lot of those things. So we got actually pretty good article about this. I think one of the things we don't touch on in that article that I think is really important, is if I have an existing app that people like, and it's too expensive for me to do a complete rewrite, how do I start adding some of the new things into it. So we have a new thing called Activity embedding, which lets you get a foot in the door of compose, or we're starting to add these new, more complex layouts. So maybe your app was just, oh, I have a bunch of cards that go vertically up and down the screen. But it's actually no longer a phone. It's a device that folds out is not twice the size. So now I need to think, Okay, I need to go to a list detail view. Gmail is a good example of this. You do that unfold or you rotate and now you have so much more screen estate. The challenge is, how do I embed the new more complex layout index? system set of layouts I already have without having to do a rewrite. So there's a lot of that functionality that we're trying to show people. Because we don't want to fall in the trap of the only way you can get to the new world is to burn everything down and start again. We want to give people an incremental path from where they are to where they need to get.
Tony Morelan 25:18
I was at GDC, this past year in Samsung had a great presentation this morning. Did you get a chance to see that that presentation at GDC? Where they talked about developing for foldables?
Søren Lambæk 25:30
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah, it was one of our team members, Mike there was doing a presentation.
Tony Morelan 25:37
Yeah, I'll make sure to include a link to that to that presentation. It was great because they covered foldable optimizations for game engines like Unity and Unreal, talked about Android JetPack APIs, and Window Manager. Showed examples of things like Flex Mode and UI scaling, and even had an engineer from Unity talk about Adaptive Performance 4.0.
Ade tell me what should a developer consider when writing a new app for foldables?
Ade Oshineye 25:46
My immediate reaction to this is, first of all, should I use views? Or should I use compose, but I'm talking to more and more of my colleagues, they all go? Well, obviously, they should compose because composers the future. So the official Google recommendation, if you're starting from scratch, start with compose, it will mature as your app matures. The other things to think about is what makes foldable special, it's the fact they have all these postures, they have all of these different kinds of usage scenarios that they offer. And then you want to avoid littering your code with designs that are attached to a specific screen size, or a specific aspect ratio, or a specific resolution. And instead, you've got to decide am I adaptive or responsive? Will I try to scale the same design? Or will I move the components around when the posture or the orientation or the size changes? It's a difference between an app with a list of cards and the cards just get bigger? And an app that says, Well, when you rotate me, I go to a list detail view?
Tony Morelan 26:52
Guy, what are your thoughts on what a developer should consider when they're writing a new app for foldables.
Guy Merin 26:59
So I think a developer should consider a couple of things. One, there's folding features specifically for duo, we have, we have a hinge in the middle. So if you have like controls, do you want to put them in the middle, or maybe you want to lay them out a little? A little differently. for game developers, we did a lot of work for example, with Xbox. So when you play a game, you can have the controls on one screen and the game on the other screen. So the controls, you know, are now have their own dedicated space. So maybe you can do some stuff with it. So for example, the one thing we did is depending on where you are in the game itself, the controller themes and the way they look change. So if you're now a pirate on a ship, and you're in a sword fight or something, the controller is changed to be a sword, for example, or things like that. And then other considerations are the posters. So what happens when the device is folded? What happens when it's open? What happens when you rotate it? And all these will change the layout of the app and show different controls and options for the use of Yeah,
Tony Morelan 28:12
yeah. Soren, what would you say are some of the common issues that could come up when designing around foldables?
Søren Lambæk 28:22
I think it's important for developers to consider the UI because on the Samsung fold, when the phone is folded, we got like a single display. So the aspect ratio on that one is very different to when you're when you got it unfolded. So the UI, you will have much less space for UI. So that is something that's very important that the transition from going from single display to what's the display, that the UI will change. So it fits, there's no point on like, you can see all the UI on when it's when it's unfolded. And then when you go to the single screen, half of the UI is not a clickable or you can see it so that's very, very important that you test that on your on your phone.
Tony Morelan 29:11
Yeah, and I know it's a GDC presentation. That's one of the things that Mike covered was how to have your game go from the single screen. And then when you open up the device, how it transitions to the to the door screen.
Søren Lambæk 29:25
Ade Oshineye 29:26
Oh, actually, that reminds me one thing I, I keep mentioning continuity. And mostly people think, Oh, I have my device, let's say to tablet like this ultra I have in my hand. And in in the vertical orientation. That's easy. And if I rotate, I don't want to lose my state. That's typically what we've always meant by continuity. But once you have a device that falls, especially if you've got something that has three screens and how to screen them into screens, I may launch something on the outer screen. Then I open it up and then the app has to move on or the activity as we found that out the screen to now maybe spread out across both screens. And then if I fold it the other way, so I'm now on one of the inner screens, the app has to not lose state. Now we have a bunch of guidance on how you define normal apps, where it gets especially tricky is when it's things like camera, where you may not just be moving an activity across screens, but it may actually move it across cameras. Okay, so this is one of those places where, if you have a real device in your hand, you can see it and you can see how for a user, this would be a very comfortable, obvious thing, they would expect holding the device in their hands. But for you sitting behind your keyboard, it might not leap out as you as an obvious thing for a user to do. Yeah, so if you sit with Erica, with us a Samsung flip, you can take a selfie on it, but you might just very easily rotating your hand. And because you want to take a selfie with the other camera for your app. That's a very complicated thing for the user. It's the most natural thing in the world. Sure. So it's important to think about continuity across the different surfaces of the foldable. Yeah,
Guy Merin 31:07
yeah. And let me give, let me give another example with an email app can be Gmail, it can be outlook, it can be whatever it whatever you're using. And I think foldable or dual screen is really a great way to read emails. So if, if until now, I was used to, you know, in the morning to get to my emails on a single screen device. So I just have a list of emails, and then I go into each one of them, read it, go back, go to each one of them, read it, go back reply, what have you, if you don't have a larger screen, you can have the least detail. So I see all the emails in one place, I click them. And then the other side, I see the actual email that I need to address. And now if I have to, is a lengthy email, if I have to read it, I can rotate the device. And then I get into this a form, that I across the whole screen, I just see the whole email as detail. And then when I hit the Reply button, it can go into this laptop mode that you know, the keyboard goes from the bottom. And then I could start replying to it. And when I'm done, I get back to the least detail up to my next email. So it really can serve as a laptop replacement. Yeah, because you have a larger screen, you can do pretty much in a productive manner, which you can do with your regular PC or Mac.
Tony Morelan 32:27
Yeah, for sure. So Guy, do you think it's a misconception that developers need to do a lot of custom work, that's only going to be that's only going to add value to a foldable device.
Guy Merin 32:38
I think it's a misconception, definitely, there's actually not a lot of work you need to do. As I said before, you could start small with just adding drag and drop functionality or picture in picture. And that will work across every place, every form factor around large screen small screen, and you're using native API's and SDK to support a foldable, you don't need to pick up another SDK for it. It's all supported natively. And whatever you do will work across all these devices. And again, in the future, it can work on the TV or other on a watch. So whatever your app will do, consider all these layouts provide layout screens, for each one of those new form factors, a single app will work on all of it.
Ade Oshineye 33:28
Yeah, I think something I did this weekend is I went and dug up all my old Android devices, I have Android devices, going back to the G one. And even the ones before the G one that I'm not sure I'm allowed to talk about in public, all the way to the latest ones from today. And as developer, handling all of these different scenarios, is actually increasing the maintainability of your app. Because if I think about the screen on the G one and the resolution of that, and I think about that, compared to the resolution, the pixel six, it's a huge jump, and the screens are so much bigger. So think about the kinds of devices we'll have five years from now, how much bigger how much higher resolution will those screens be? How often do you want to rewrite your app between now and then? Versus Oh, it's just a bigger screen at all. It's a different posture. And being able to make it a relatively simple migration or maintenance that versus a yet another rewrite.
Tony Morelan 34:31
So tell me, Soren, what are some good examples of existing apps that are taking advantage of the foldable form factor?
Søren Lambæk 34:39
So we have seen a lot of retro games actually, you are utilizing the phone a lot. So because retro games don't really have that much heavy graphics. So they've got like, plenty of space that they can use. So we have seen where people are using a virtual gamepad on one screen and using live small mini maps and that kind of thing. So that's okay. seems but I also think that like when you're watching it like a video and you start like folding it, and you just see the video slide up on just one screen, because it assumes that you want to put it on tape or something. I think that is really clever. And I would like to see more of that thinking
Tony Morelan 35:19
in a day, what are some great examples of existing apps that are taking advantage of the foldable form factor?
Ade Oshineye 35:24
So we see a lot, but actually, my two favorites were shown to me by Guy, one was a battleships game where you basically have the device in a tabletop posture, and you basically rotate it the other way for the other person to play. Oh, I thought that was beautiful. Yes. Love that. And the second thing he showed me was just the Kindle. Yes. So basically be able to have the Kindle open like a book, but also be able to fold it the other way. So like a like a cheap paperback, where you fold it and you hold him in one hand. Exactly. I would never do that for any of my books, but been able to do that. And like surface to that field like that is so nicely that I think was really compelling.
Tony Morelan 36:02
And that was the first thing when I when I pulled out the surface duo showed my wife, the first thing she did was grab it in, folded it around like it was a traditional paperback book that was so easy to hold. She absolutely loved that that aspect of it. Guy tell me, what are some other examples of some great apps that are already taking advantage of a foldable,
Guy Merin 36:25
I think two kinds of app one is apps for consuming. And I think the Kindle is a good example of flipping a page, which is supernatural. I really liked that experience as well, but also apps around creation. So for example, if you need to edit a video, or edit your photos, or edit the blog post, it's very easy with dual screen or with the foldable or our screen to have the actual video or photo on one side, and on the other side, all the controls, and then you hit a control and you see it real time, what happens, how does it change the other, it's really, really helpful to create and edit your memories that way. So it's really a great creation tool, as well, not just for consuming.
Tony Morelan 37:12
Yeah, I could definitely see that also be a great value with a program like Adobe Acrobat. You know, I'm often editing PDFs. And so I could see that would be a great use case for, you know, not only being able to read documents, but then you know, making edits.
Ade Oshineye 37:28
I can also imagine with that sort of notebook, passport, sort of novel types, device, where if it's light enough and thin enough, you can sort of fold it in half with a stylus, and just scribble it like you would have a normal notebook, basically, like a moleskin. But it's a moleskin with an infinite number of pages. There's,
Guy Merin 37:49
there's also psychological sense here, about the folding, and that you can close it. So for example, if I'm writing or scribbling or journaling with a stylus on the device, when it's open, when I'm done, consider if you're doing it on a regular notebook, what are you doing, you're closing it, and it gives you a sense that you're done. You accomplished something. And I think this is where foldables really shine. Because you're doing something you're reading an email, you're journaling, you're even playing a game, once you're done, you close it, even you hear that little click Yes. And it gives you a sense, you know, it's like checking a box in your to do. And I think this is something that you don't see in other form factors. And you see it only on this folding devices that really helps users stay in their flow and then move away to, you know, do something else that is not related to the phone. So leave it off and you know, digital wellbeing and stuff.
Tony Morelan 38:46
Yeah, it's funny that you say that, because that was the one of the first things I noticed when I closed my Duo. Hearing that little click sound. It's sitting on my desk. I was like, Ah, okay, put that away.
Ade Oshineye 38:56
Yeah, yeah, that's actually not the interesting effectiveness is that with the foldables, initially, because of weight, and then eventually, because of new user journeys, they switch from being in your trouser pocket, at least for me to being in a jacket pocket. And that's something changes all the places I use them.
Tony Morelan 39:14
Interesting. Yeah. And I know when I first got my hands on the Z flip, folding it to that such small form factor and putting it in my pocket just felt so much better than some of the bulky devices that I seem to carry around with me.
Søren Lambæk 39:30
I actually heard that people who using the AC flip, use the phone less because they have to open it manually. So for them, it actually helps them a lot to not like spend too much time on the phone. So there, I guess there's some psychological effect.
Ade Oshineye 39:47
I mean, I've had the opposite with my flip in that because it's so small, and because it sorts of made me take more selfies. I don't usually take selfies because well, I usually have a real camera with me, but I have this thing, it's small enough that it's in the back pocket of my jeans. And it's just arms were nice. And I would normally just take a photo of the place. But as thing I can pull it out, then basically without having to unfold it, or unlock it just pointed on my face, click selfie, put it in my pocket again. So for that one particular user journey, I use it more
Tony Morelan 40:20
interesting. Yeah, I could, I could totally see that. But tell me a day, what are some of the challenges that foldable technology needs to overcome to increase consumer adoption?
Ade Oshineye 40:31
I mean, if I look at the variety of devices, I have the flip back pocket of jeans every time when it comes to the fold, I have to sort of look at the jacket I'm wearing and think about, okay, will the material the lining handles the weight, or should it go into my bag, if I'm carrying this surface duo, it's light enough that I can just casually put it in my jacket pocket, it'll be fine. But it's too bulky for me to put in the front pocket of any of my jeans. And it feels dangerous to put in the back pocket. So weight is an issue cost is also an issue. Because the more expensive it is, the more careful you have to be when you put it away to think, will it be safe in this pocket. But as these things get thinner, lighter, cheaper, and we discover more and more user journeys, I think that's going to be really interesting. If I give an example, I have the surface level one, and it's great. But every now and again, I see somebody surface two or two and I go, Oh, they have a pen. Oh, that's interesting. And I find myself thinking, Well, that might be an interesting upgrade. If it were thin enough and light enough, but then I'm thinking, but will it fit in my jacket? Pocket?
Tony Morelan 41:37
Sure. That's interesting. Guy tell me what do you think are some of the challenges that the foldable technology needs to overcome? I
Guy Merin 41:45
think the first obvious one is the price point, they're still more expensive than other form factors. So I think we're going to see the prices, the prices go down? For sure. I think that would be probably my biggest one. I think we did not hit the point of, you know, apps, enough apps are there, we'll see more and more apps, and then everybody will want to join the party. I don't think we are in that stage yet. And I think that will come soon.
Tony Morelan 42:13
And so on, what are your thoughts on what sort of challenges that the foldable technology needs to overcome?
Søren Lambæk 42:19
The foldable phone at the moment is very bulky, and it's very heavy, it will be great that it was if it's lighter, I'd know that people that it actually puts people off some people that it is so bulky and heavy, where they will rather I get the flip phone for that reason. I also think speaking of the flip, I think battery life is an it's very important. I don't know how much bigger battery they can put in them without even giving more bulky and heavier. But when you have like on the Samsung one, there are three displays. And if you use it for game watching films, it's really draining battery. So that is I will say that is the big ones for me.
Tony Morelan 43:03
So Guy, what resources would you recommend for developers interested in creating foldable apps,
Guy Merin 43:09
I think you know; our modal is really meeting the developers where they're at. So continue using whatever you're using. If you're using a Mac or PC, we have emulators for each one of those things. So I would start with just following the recommendations. You know, we have documentation Samsung has Google, start there, download an emulator, try it out. And then just write a sample app, there was a code lab that we built with Google, you could try there to test some of these new capabilities on the emulator on a specific device. And then start your journey from there to commutations samples emulator. We post a weekly blog, a weekly Developer blog every Thursday, that brings new information, for example, how to write again, how to use drag and drop, how to run side by side with another app, how to address the post changes, well, layout changes. So we have a blog every week that covers code. It's a developer blog with specific code and tips and tricks, try those resources. And just reach out if you have a question. And if you're blocked on anything, we are really here to help you out with your journey. Because we're creating the future and we want you to be successful with your app on all these new form factors.
Tony Morelan 44:34
Yeah. Are there any conferences or events the that you know that you'll be attending?
Guy Merin 44:40
Definitely. So Google IO was just completed a few weeks back, a lot of talks around large screens, you can still follow that and see some of the talks. Droidcon is coming up. We just had Droidcon San Francisco a couple of days ago, and the next one is in Berlin, and it's a worldwide conference. Google's probably going to have a few To prevent Samsung has a few events Microsoft build was just a couple of weeks ago. And we also had to talk about
Tony Morelan 45:08
foldables. Excellent. And I know a day you shared with me a large list of links tells me, you know, what are some of these resources the developers can utilize.
Ade Oshineye 45:19
So for us, it's really three buckets. There are introductory materials, such as our quality guidelines that I think are really important to sort of absorb into your bones so you can feel what a good experience will be like, and it will nudge you as you go on. Then we have a large collection of design resources, often at the Material Design website, but also woven through firstname.lastname@example.org. And then the final piece is a set of resources for the developers things like how do I do testing the code library with Microsoft. But those three buckets of resources are the right ones for you to start with. I'd also recommend come to door con Berlin, were given a talk a teammate of mine, Romano, France will be their CO presenting with somebody from Microsoft. And again, you can go grill those people get lots of questions. And of course, there will be future Android events, where we'll have more stuff to share.
Tony Morelan 46:14
wonderful insight on what does Samsung have to offer to help developers.
Søren Lambæk 46:20
So sometimes we got our own a game dev space where we posted blocks and tutorials, articles. And we will have some when this podcast is out, we should have some tutorials available. We also got the GDC presentation that Mike did.
Tony Morelan 46:37
Excellent. So any more thoughts as we close the podcasts on this new technology in foldables.
Ade Oshineye 46:45
From my perspective, looking at my desk, I've got a flip duo, a Samsung tab. And that really captures just the variety of form factors that are happening on the Android platform. And I look forward to seeing more. I think that's one of the things I learned here is that there's so much going on. And there's so much more to come.
Søren Lambæk 47:06
I'm really looking forward to the future to see what new technology and what new devices coming out how the foldable phones will hopefully be more like lighter and more affordable. And yeah, I'm really looking forward to see how developers is going to utilize them for all kinds of different apps.
Guy Merin 47:28
I think I think this is super exciting times, we are really in a pivotal point of, you know, something new, something a new generation of four factors evolving, and it's happening right now. We started seeing the version one of the foldables. And tools, we're now seeing a second version and a third version. And I think we're going to see more of that. And this is just amazing. We are creating the future right now. And I think developers are the most important part of it, because it will succeed based on the apps, and what developers will do with it. And this is a great time now to join this ride and really create the future because I think 10 years from now, we will see things that really start happening right now with apps that take you to the next steps with foldables. Yeah,
Tony Morelan 48:21
my key takeaway with the foldable industry is how many of these big companies in this industry are working together to further the technology. It was great to have you know, someone from Google from Microsoft, and of course, from Samsung, all on the podcast today. Before we close this out, I want to ask a question of each of you. Soren, what is it that you do for fun and when you're not at your desk working for Samsung?
Søren Lambæk 48:46
As I already said that I do like art to play music and draw. And I have an eight-month-old son that's taking up a lot of my time at the moment.
Tony Morelan 49:00
Wonderful. Wonderful. Yeah, congratulations on that. Thank you in a day, what is it the you do for fun when you can step away from your role at
Ade Oshineye 49:09
Google? So I do a lot of things but I think the main thing that occupies my time nowadays has been playing badminton. It's an it's a huge part of the Swiss culture. And there's just a lot of people who play badminton, so it's a great game. You can actually get seriously injured in it. But you can also get very good at it. So I'd recommend it
Tony Morelan 49:32
in Guy. What is it that you do for fun up in the Great Northwest? When you get to put aside your responsibilities at Microsoft. I can see in your background. Now I noticed on your wall, you've got your own indoor rock-climbing gym.
Guy Merin 49:45
Yeah, exactly. So trivia in the last six months I've been training really, really hard to climb and summit some of the mountains around North Washington goal is to get even bigger mountains but We did a couple of summits last weekend and really into climbing and something mountains now wow takes a lot of mental prep, nutrition, fitness level. And I've seen a lot of similarities between the experiences I have with preparing for a climb, to even things I do at work. It's really managing a project, a lot of insights I got from climbing that I apply in other places.
Tony Morelan 50:25
That's great. That's great. Hey, I wanted to thank all of you for being on the podcast today. It was wonderful to hear the different voices and get a chance to chat with you all.
Ade Oshineye 50:34
Thank you very much for having us you
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The Samsung Developers Podcast is hosted by Tony Morelan and produced by Jeanne Hsu.