Samsung Developers Top 10 Moments of 2021
Another year will soon be past and, like many of you, we’re looking forward to next year. We’ll be taking some time the next few weeks to be with our families, and will be back in 2022 with more blogs, podcasts, product announcements, and ways for you to succeed with Galaxy Store and Samsung platforms.
With the end-of-year holidays upon us, we’re stopping to reflect on what we did in 2021. Even with COVID making a disruption in everyone’s lives, we’re still here to help developers find answers and hopefully, also find success. Here are some of our most memorable moments.
10. Developer Portal Refresh Brought a Modern Look and Support for Mobile
We’ve been working for several years to bring Samsung’s Developer Portal into a single web infrastructure. We moved content from multiple servers and cloud services into a CMS that uses open standards and a responsive design for mobile devices. We pored through a decade of content to make sure it was still timely and accurate for your needs today. We integrated the developer forums to use the same Samsung Account login for both the Developer Portal and Seller Portal to give you a more seamless experience.
In October of this year, we made a UX refresh to the site and the most amazing thing is how easy that process went. There were no late nights in the weeks prior to launch. We were able to test the new UX in a sandbox rigorously. Then the deployment to Production happened almost instantaneously. We spent less time worrying about our website and more time creating the content you need to do your work.
We understand how important the Samsung Developer Portal is to you and your work. That’s why we took the time to ensure a smooth transition as we made major infrastructure changes.
9. Monthly Updates Keep Developers Up-to-Date on New Galaxy Store Features
The Galaxy Store Product Management team began publishing monthly newsletters to enlighten developers of the latest features and improvements to Seller Portal. These updates also usually appear as blog posts in the first week or two of the month.
Some of the major announcements include:
- Staged app rollouts (October)
- Local currencies in settlement and financial reports (September)
- Private beta testing (July)
- Galaxy Store Developer API (April)
Look for more exciting improvements in 2022 as Galaxy Store continues to innovate.
8. Unpacked Events Bring Exciting New Product Announcements
Galaxy Unpacked in January 2021 brought announcements of the Galaxy Buds Pro, Galaxy S21, and the new Galaxy SmartTag. The event highlighted Samsung’s design concepts with One UI 3 and integrated experiences from partners like Microsoft and Google.
The August Galaxy Unpacked event brought announcements of Galaxy Z Fold3 and Galaxy Z Flip3 phones. These devices have many new hardware and software features for developers to build upon. This blog post highlighted many of the ways that developers can implement features supporting Flex Mode and S Pen Remote, while ensuring that users have a seamless experience with App Continuity.
The most anticipated announcement of the August Galaxy Unpacked event was the unveiling of Galaxy Watch4, featuring Wear OS, powered by Samsung. As with the Tizen-powered Galaxy Watch devices, Samsung released a new tool, Galaxy Watch Studio Converter, to help existing designers bring their watch faces to Wear OS. Designers could also start a new watch face project from scratch with the newly-released Watch Face Studio tool.
7. Remote Test Lab Updates Allow Developers to Experience the Latest Hardware
As new devices are announced, developers can use the Remote Test Lab (RTL) to ensure that their apps work properly on the new version of One UI as well as different screen resolutions and pixel densities.
In 2021, the RTL development team added support for foldables and Galaxy S21 devices, allowing developers to ensure their apps work correctly before the devices are available to consumers. The RTL team also added support for Android Studio.
In September, thousands of devices were added in data centers around the world to ensure that a compatible device is always available. As part of this release, RTL was re-engineered to work exclusively in the Chrome browser, so that no external software is needed to test apps on all the latest devices.
6. Samsung Developer Forums Activity
The Samsung Developer Forums, based on the popular open-source Discourse project, were introduced in January 2020, replacing an aging forum infrastructure that didn’t work well on mobile devices. By using the same Samsung Account authentication method as the Samsung Developers site, we’re able to provide a nearly-seamless experience across different hosts and platforms.
Since their introduction, we’ve seen large numbers of visitors stop by the forums with questions. Community Manager Ron Liechty has more than 25 years of experience in managing healthy communities—his knowledge and guidance keeps the forums a useful resource for developers. Some of these visitors have become our best community members, providing valuable feedback to their peers as well as helping to moderate spam and malicious content.
5. Supporting Game Developers in 2021
Games are a noticeable part of the Galaxy Store experience and we work with many partners and internal teams to ensure that gamers have a great experience on Galaxy devices.
The Galaxy GameDev team works closely with some of the top publishers and developers to improve performance of top titles on mobile. This team creates tools that provide great detail on the performance of the CPU and GPU during intense moments of gameplay. The GameDev team then documents their efforts in a series of best practices and blog posts to help developers everywhere.
In addition to our internal team work, we frequently work with our partners at Arm to deliver relevant content for game developers. This summer, we published and promoted a number of educational articles, webinars, and training series in cooperation with the Arm Developer team.
- Best Practices for Mobile Game Developers and Artists
- New Vulkan Extensions for Mobile: Maintenance Extensions
- New Vulkan Extensions for Mobile: Legacy Support Extensions
- New Game Changing Vulkan Extensions for Mobile: Descriptor Indexing
- New Game Changing Vulkan Extensions for Mobile: Buffer Device Address
- New Game Changing Vulkan Extensions for Mobile: Timeline Semaphores
Mike Barnes from the GameDev team, together with Eric Cloninger from the Samsung Developers team, presented at the virtual GDC2021 event in July. GDC is an important event for all of us at Samsung and we hope to see you all there at the live event in March 2022.
4. New Voices Appeared on Samsung Developers Podcast, Season 2
Shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic changed our lives, Tony Morelan from Samsung Developers attended a podcasting event and came back to the office inspired to start a podcast. He lined up guests from internal teams and important partners. Everyone had a great time participating and it gave us a way to continue delivering quality content to developers.
As 2020 turned to 2021, we continued bringing interesting guests from across the mobile design and development ecosystem. We used the podcast to talk about the upcoming virtual Samsung Developer Conference and chat with the people that made the event a success.
Here are some of the highlights from season 2 of the Samsung Developers Podcast:
- Drazen Stojcic, Urarity – Watch faces, design
- Tan Nguyen, butterfly-effected GmbH – Galaxy Themes, marketing, licensing
- The Samsung Internet Advocacy Team – Web standards, privacy, foldable devices
We’re still hoping for a return to days where we can travel and meet in person, but until that time comes, please join us in listening to these industry veterans and top developers on the Samsung Developers Podcast. Season 3 begins in early 2022.
3. Blog Series Instructs Readers on Design and Successful Marketing
Without live events the past two years, we have searched for new ways to continue delivering timely and helpful advice to mobile app designers and developers. As mentioned previously, we worked with Arm this year to bring great technical content front and center. We also worked with our network of top designers, developers, and thought leaders on concepts that will help you succeed on Galaxy Store and in creating better experiences for your users:
Better for All – In this blog series, we talked with leading designers and experts to help understand the increasingly important concepts behind the Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion movement. This series discussed aspects of language used in apps, themes, and watch designs. It also highlights important guidelines to ensure apps and web sites are accessible to users with sight, mobility, and hearing impairments.
- Better for All: Mobile Accessibility
- Better for All: Inclusive Policies with Daniel Appelquist
- Better for All: Equal Accessibility
- Better for All: Bringing Diversity to Design with Eglantina Hasaj and Manpreet Kaur
- Better for All: Diversity in Design
- Better for All: Developing and Designing for Diversity
Refresh for Success – It’s not enough to simply submit a title to a digital marketplace and assume success will follow and continue without extra effort. In this series, top Galaxy Store designers and developers talk about how they maintain their product lines to ensure a steady flow of revenue and new customers.
- Refresh for Success: Maintain Quality Themes Design with Olga Gabay from Zeru Studio
- Refresh for Success: Improve Your Process to Keep Designs Fresh with Tan Nguyen from butterfly-effected, GmbH
- Refresh for Success: Improve Your Process and De-Clutter Your Galaxy Store with Drazen Stojcic from Urarity
Prime Time Design – Finding success in designing new products is an intensely unique and personal process. The Prime Time Design series includes interviews with some of the most unique people creating for Galaxy Store. Read how these talented people inspire themselves and how they convert that inspiration into action.
Strategies for Success – Tony Morelan was a successful watch face designer before coming to work with the Samsung Developers team. We’re grateful for his knowledge of design as well as how to turn designs into revenue. In this four-part series, Tony points out steps to creating successful Galaxy Store product submissions.
2. Best of Galaxy Store Awards Highlight Successful Developers
The Galaxy Store app on your mobile device is more than just an app. Behind the scenes, there is a team of developers, product managers, business leaders, and security experts devoted to ensuring the best possible online experience for consumers in 180 countries. Because of their dedication, developers and designers have a great platform for monetizing their work.
Each year, the Samsung Developers team works with the Galaxy Store operations and business development teams to determine the best games, apps, and themes based on revenue, downloads, and impact to consumers. The result is the Best of Galaxy Store Awards.
In 2018 and 2019, the Best of Galaxy Store Awards were presented live, on stage, at the Samsung Developer Conference (SDC). Without a live event in 2020 or 2021, the Samsung Developers team decided to continue the tradition of highlighting and awarding our top Galaxy Store products. Even without an in-person event, we used a live premiere on YouTube to have a single moment in time to celebrate with the winners. Tony Morelan emceed the event, but he had a lot of help from Ron Liechty, Jeanne Hsu, Susie Perez, and Shelly Wu. We thank them for their hard work.
We hope you’ll enjoy watching!
Look for the “Best of Galaxy Store” sash on apps, games, themes, and watch faces in Galaxy Store to know that you’re getting a truly unique experience.
1. Discovering New Opportunities at SDC21
Each year, the Samsung Developer Conference is the culmination of an incredible amount of planning and work by hundreds of people. Even though the event was virtual in 2021, there was still a huge volume of work. Instead of preparing for a live audience, our teams practiced in front of a Galaxy phone on a tripod (really). Instead of building booths and planning meals, we built a website and social media campaigns to reach a larger audience.
Eric Cloninger and Tony Morelan kicked off the promotion for SDC21 with a podcast featuring a previous SDC speaker, Chris Shomo. Before the conference, visitors were invited to create whimsical caricatures of themselves using the mySDCStack mini-site and submit their designs to social media. By participating in the event website, watching sessions, and trying the Code Labs, visitors would earn points toward a prize drawing after SDC.
Relive the experience of SDC21 by watching the Keynote or any of the Highlight Sessions and Technical Talks by viewing this playlist
When SDC is finished, our team takes a collective deep breath, happy to be done. It is a satisfying experience to pull off a big industry event. We don’t know yet how we’ll handle live events, but we remain optimistic that some will occur. We are making plans and we hope we’ll be able to see you, somewhere, in 2022. 🤞
Take care. Stay warm (or cool). Best wishes to you all and Happy New Year!