Samsung has announced Samsung DeX, a new Android UI that has been optimised for use with a keyboard and mouse, allowing users to operate their device in a desktop-like mode with a larger screen.
DeX, which is currently supported only by the company's flagship new Samsung Galaxy S8, works by a user docking their smartphone into a DeX Station, a docking hub with a HDMI port, two USB 2.0 ports, Ethernet port, USB type-C power-in and a cooling fan. Once docked, the device can be used in desktop mode, with the new desktop-like Android UI enabled.
The DeX UI offers resizable windows, contextual menus and a desktop version web browser, alongside support for virtual desktops and core non-Android applications including Microsoft Office and Adobe's suite of apps such as Adobe Acrobat Reader and Lightroom mobile.
DeX is also supported by Samsung's Knox security platform, and no user's mobile data is transferred when a device is docked in a DeX Station from device to desktop.
Speaking on the launch of Samsung DeX, CTO of the Mobile Communications Business at Samsung Electronics Injong Rhee said that:
“The smartphone has become the central point for the modern mobile professional, and when giving a presentation or editing documents remotely, it means they can work effectively using just their smartphone. We developed Samsung DeX with the highly mobile worker in mind, giving them a convenient and flexible desktop experience."
This isn't the first attempt to turn a phone into the processor for a 'proper computer'. Motorola's Atrix, way back in 2011, tried a very similar trick. The subsequent massive global success of that is reflected in the brand's current status as a subdivision of Lenovo.