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Samsung's Upcoming Galaxy S8 Smartphone Could Run a PC - Report (cnbc.com) 127

Samsung's upcoming flagship Galaxy S8 smartphone could give users the ability to plug it into a screen and turn it into a desktop personal computer, according to a media report. From the article: The All About Windows Phone blog posted a leaked slide from a presentation showing a Samsung smartphone being connected to a screen with a keyboard and mouse. The slide is titled "Samsung Desktop Experience" and shows a phone powering a screen to create a multi-tasking interface, presumably running on Google's Android mobile operating system. There is not much more information on the slide than a visual representation, but if this is true, it'd be an interesting feature that Samsung will tout as it launches its next flagship phone, one that is crucial to make up the fire-prone Galaxy Note 7 which was subsequently recalled.
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Samsung's Upcoming Galaxy S8 Smartphone Could Run a PC - Report

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  • by Hydrian ( 183536 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2017 @11:47AM (#53598167) Homepage

    And have no battery life..

    • And have no battery life..

      Don't worry - they'll work out some really hot deals in that department, same as always.

      Still better to just buy a laptop and plug a keyboard, mouse, screen, and printer into it and get two screens that are actually USABLE!

      • Re:Needs a UPS... (Score:4, Informative)

        by Hydrian ( 183536 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2017 @11:59AM (#53598289) Homepage

        Not for me.. If it's too much for a one handed phone, just give me a full laptop. Having to carry these multiple layers of devices, just seems silly. A mid sized smartphone that you can put in your pocket for easy access and a laptop for doing real work on the go. If it is too big for a laptop, it goes on a server.

        • I don't know. Personally, I'm going to maintain my skepticism, but I've noticed that my smartphone has slowly been replacing a lot of things that I didn't think I'd give up.

          I never thought I'd really use the camera on a phone nevermind how common they were. I have a nice DSLR at home afterall. But then it got to where whenever I want to take pictures my phone is in my pocket and my DSLR is . . . at home.

          Like most people it's replaced my watch and alarm clock, and actually as a person who does a decent am

        • by antdude ( 79039 )

          Also, smartphones don't come with internal clicky keyboards and mice. :(

    • by Anonymous Coward

      No worries. The battery will catch on fire before it tuns out of juice.

    • Phones come with chargers...
  • with my Pixel - it has USB C, that's all that's really required. I've put mice and keyboards on my phones all the way back to my HTC EVO, which had an HDMI port BTW making this sort of thing much easier.

    I think I probably could have done it with my HTC One M8 with USB OTG.

    • I could do that with my first smartphone years ago. It has a HDMI port built right in and bluetooth for peripherals. My next smartphone needed an MHL to HDMI adapter and my current smartphone needs a SlimPort to HDMI adapter, but can still operate in the same fashion.

      • I don't think my first smart phone could have. I had a Motorola Q - I had a very bad battery heat up incident of its own and lacked any way that I knew of to get video out of it.

    • by jimbob6 ( 3996847 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2017 @02:29PM (#53599507)
      Yea I'm not sure what this article is talking about. Samsung has supported HDMI out over the OTG cable since all the way back to the S3.
      The only draw back is you couldn't use the HDMI and the USB host at the same time but you could always hook a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse to it.
      There are no details in the article that specify weather they're talking about over coming the OTG obstacle or what.
      The OP reads more like there's some kind of slick software interface that make the experience more like your current desktop computer.
      Of course stock Android already has a desktop mode so this looks mostly like marketing wank.
      • Big drawback to not have USB at the same time, where can you put 100BaseT, hard drive, keyb/mouse and such? Yes that reads like a late 90s laundry list but doing everything through wifi and bluetooth brings more cost and less performance/more lag/wireless spectrum issues. Hard drive is cheaper than a NAS, one cable is cheaper than a 5GHz router, and so on.

        But : I suppose they use USB-C, and this makes things somewhat easy. USB-C, like old ipod cables are something of a mash up cable, to keep things dumb it

    • I've been using OTGs for year and love them. Mouse, Keyboard, DSLRs
      I don't understand why they aren't more widely used.

      • Probably because we have our phones over here and our computers over there and face it - as nice as our phones are they aren't full fledged desktops that run Steam.....

  • ...in the known universe wants to reinvent itself as a desktop.

    I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

    Bah, what am I saying, it's not like consumers give a flying fuck about security or privacy anyway...

    • Don't worry, you will get security updates for almost a year, after which you can simply buy a new Samsung Galaxy phone to keep your new desktop machine up-to-date and A-Okay.
  • "Could run a PC" - what is that supposed to mean? If it just means that you can use an HDMI cable or wireless connection to hook it up to a larger screen like a TV or monitor, then phones and tablets have been doing that for years. If it means that hooking it up to a screen allows the use of a 'full' desktop OS, then that is just what Ubuntu tried and failed to deliver several years ago. Either way, not news, just an ad.

    • USB OTG (if you don't want bluetooth mouse/keyboard) + HDMI, most likely. "Could run [as] a PC" in the same way that any Android phone supporting those features have always been able to do. Doesn't sound like news at all.

    • I want a phone where I can plug in a big old Xeon to the back. And have it run my own OS and software.

      • I want a phone where I can plug in a big old Xeon to the back. And have it run my own OS and software.

        I see Hardware Design is not your strong suit...

        • It isn't that far off from the x device haters where who are asking for feature X, Y, and Z. without sacrificing features J, V, and L.

          I mean my old Palm Pilot 3 had a serial port where I can connect to a Modem and do a PPP connection to the internet. Why can't I do that with my iPhone 7?
           

          • It isn't that far off from the x device haters where who are asking for feature X, Y, and Z. without sacrificing features J, V, and L.

            I mean my old Palm Pilot 3 had a serial port where I can connect to a Modem and do a PPP connection to the internet. Why can't I do that with my iPhone 7?

            Um, because your iPhone already HAS a MODEM (actually several) in it. They just connect to the internet in a slightly different fashion...

  • In the documentary Iron Sky, an Apple iPhone powered an entire space craft.

    • not surprising, since in Independence Day it was proved that aliens used Apple tech when Jeff Goldblum infected a mothership with a Mac virus: https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

      • Unrealistic (Score:5, Funny)

        by Comboman ( 895500 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2017 @12:06PM (#53598351)

        in Independence Day it was proved that aliens used Apple tech when Jeff Goldblum infected a mothership with a Mac virus

        Typical unrealistic Hollywood. Everyone knows Macs can't get viruses.

        • The only problem is that Hollywood knows of know other type of computer than ones with half eaten fruit logos.

          So... if a computer gets a virus, it must be one of those...

      • not surprising, since in Independence Day it was proved that aliens used Apple tech when Jeff Goldblum infected a mothership with a Mac virus: https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

        He DEVELOPED and DEPLOYED the Virus on the Mac PowerBook; it was NOT a "Mac Virus" per se. Instead, it was obviously written to target the AlienOS, which of course Jeff Goldblum was fluent in...

        • Yet, he could not speak their language... Source code must be universal.
          • Yet, he could not speak their language... Source code must be universal.

            Everyone knows the universally-accepted language for coding is English, sheesh! ;-)

            • Having watched a lot of sci fi in my youth, I can confirm, most aliens in the galaxy speak English.

              The only exception is the ones that control giant dinosaur like creatures, those aliens speak Japanese.

              • Having watched a lot of sci fi in my youth, I can confirm, most aliens in the galaxy speak English.

                The only exception is the ones that control giant dinosaur like creatures, those aliens speak Japanese.

                Thank you for putting an actual smile on my face today!

    • The computers that powered Apollo (a real spacecraft) had significantly less power, memory and I/O than your (non smart) watch. IIRC, NASA was running around at one time looking for 80386 chips to run the Shuttle computers.

      You've not set an exactly high bar here.

  • by mykepredko ( 40154 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2017 @11:58AM (#53598279) Homepage

    Hey guys, it seems like the New Year cheer ran well into the new year at /. central as the work on summaries has been terrible.

    I presume the subject title should be "Samsung's Upcoming Galaxy S8 Smartphone Could Run AS a PC - Report" - I know TFA's title is poor, but you shouldn't be copying it along without some wordsmithing.

    • ... as the work on summaries has been terrible.

      Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

    • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

      Well my ~6 year old smart phone could run as a PC too. Not a very powerful PC, but still all the same. The entire premise of the article is that their phone is supposed to be some uber-powerful pile of shit, but it likely won't even reach the bar of a PC from 5 years ago. It's just the same marketing bullshit that console makers like to try with PC's, when current market PC's could beat the "next gen" consoles right out of the gate and for $300-400 -- the same price that those consoles were selling for.

      • Likewise. My three-year old smartphone supports bluetooth mice and keyboards, USB mice and keyboards (including wireless ones), and multiple wired / wireless display standards (Google Cast, MHL, Miracast) right out of the box, and even includes the USB OTG adapter. There is absolutely *nothing* new here.
      • when current market PC's could beat the "next gen" consoles right out of the gate and for $300-400 -- the same price that those consoles were selling for

        Links? Make sure it's off the shelf and can support 60FPS 1080p gaming on current AAA titles like a console.

      • by mikael ( 484 )

        For me. it was freaking amazing for me to see a Samsung S2 run 3D texture mapping using an micro-USB to HDMI cable to connect to a 40" widescreen. 20 years ago, you needed a $120K SGI workstation. Now one GPU core will fit into the die space of a single logic gate of a 6502.

  • by Scarred Intellect ( 1648867 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2017 @12:05PM (#53598347) Homepage Journal

    ...connected to a screen with a keyboard and mouse

    Interesting. I've never seen a keyboard and mouse used to connect a device to a screen. This truly is newsworthy!

  • TFA makes it sound like this has never been done before. I presume that the "productivity" being discussed here is basically Microsoft Office or, more likely, Google productivity apps.

    Big whoop. These apps have been available on smart phones for years and (micro) HDMI ports have been on Android phones (as well as Blackberry's) for quite a while as well. I guess Apple's behind on this but...

    As I went through this at RIM, I was underwhelmed by the utility of a smartphone being plugged into a monitor withou

    • And at least some Android phones have also supported USB wired / wireless or bluetooth mice / keyboards right out of the box for years, too.
    • Windows apps using the latest APIs can be designed to work seamlessly between desktop and mobile, so when you plug your phone into a monitor you get an almost full-featured Windows desktop with actual desktop apps.

      The first time I did it, it was pretty neat. As a "power user" I haven't used it since, though my mother only uses a PC for email and web and I've had her doing it with 100% success.

      Definitely not the first time someone has tried it -- I think I remember Motorola being first to market with it 5-10

  • Great! Now when my phone is dropped, lost, stolen or explodes (we are talking about Samsung), I don't just lose my phone but also my PC.
    • by GuB-42 ( 2483988 )

      Look at the bright side.
      If your phone is your PC, you won't lose one because you are distracted by the other. Like forgetting your laptop bag because you are looking at your phone.

    • Great! Now when my phone is dropped, lost, stolen or explodes (we are talking about Samsung), I don't just lose my phone but also my PC.

      I guess you are anti-laptop as well, because those can be lost or stolen just as easily.

  • The free market gives us a gift every once in a while.

    • The free market gives us a gift every once in a while.

      Apple has supported Bluetooth keyboards (and I think even mice) on iOS for like, ever. And you can do Lightning to HDMI, or use AirPlay for the video out, if you have an AirPlay compatible Monitor/TV or an AppleTV box handy.

      And the Lightning to HDMI Adapter [bhphotovideo.com] doesn't even "hog" your Lightning Port...

      And with VNC/RDP Apps like "Jump", etc., you can use your iPhone/iPad as a Remote Terminal for a "real" computer, which is where it actually becomes somewhat practical.

      • The free market gives us a gift every once in a while.

        Apple has supported Bluetooth keyboards (and I think even mice) on iOS for like, ever. And you can do Lightning to HDMI, or use AirPlay for the video out, if you have an AirPlay compatible Monitor/TV or an AppleTV box handy.

        Yes, iPhones have supported Bluetooth input devices forever. Lightning to VGA or DVI have also been possible forever. iPhone 6 certainly. If I had the adapter ($10-15), I'd try it with my iPhone 4 or GF's 5.

      • I'm thinking ubuntu-phone esque convergence of macOS and iOS, if I understand this Galaxy S8 correctly.

        Probably delusional. I'd love to have been a fly on the wall when the touch screen macbook pro meeting turned into the touch bar macbook pro meeting for fear of self-cannibalizing.

        • I'm thinking ubuntu-phone esque convergence of macOS and iOS, if I understand this Galaxy S8 correctly.

          Probably delusional. I'd love to have been a fly on the wall when the touch screen macbook pro meeting turned into the touch bar macbook pro meeting for fear of self-cannibalizing.

          I'm relatively sure that that hypothetical meeting occurred not in 2016; but rather around the time that Apple filed the Touchscreen iMac Patent [patentlyapple.com] (that MS blatantly ripped-off) in 2010. Look familiar? BTW, that's why I have to chuckle when people say of the MS Surface Studio "That's what Apple should have invented". Well, guess what?...

          And it was actually TWO meetings: One in 2010, where they demo'ed their Touchscreen MacBook and Prototype Touch-OS X (and decided they didn't like it), and another in 2015,

  • Windows 10 has it. With upcoming update it will be able to run x86 apps on ARM platform. So platform with 1% market share will be more usable.
    • Windows 10 claimed to have this back in Win 8 and Win RT. Those were lies that helped get them to 2%, until people realized it was just lies.

    • Windows 10 has it. With upcoming update it will be able to run x86 apps on ARM platform. So platform with 1% market share will be more usable.

      Mmmm. Sounds like as much "fun" as "VirtualPC" was, back in the Mac PowerPC days...

  • Boring, the Motorola Atrix did this first. Good concept poor execution. Phones will need 4-16GB of RAM to be useful. The Atrix had 1GB of ram and ran a Linux desktop. The experience was pitiful. They had the best concept by far for running phone apps in a window next to your desktop apps but the phone just didn't have the RAM to keep up. Firefox could open 1-3 tabs before it'd run out of ram and close. A full X11 stack running on Android is a good idea but only if the environment is unlocked in exactly the
    • A full X11 stack running on Android is a good idea but only if the environment is unlocked in exactly the opposite way to how Android currently locks down the environment. You need to be able to add/remove desktop software to your phone for the concept to work.

      Why? Like, if I install the Google Docs app from the Google Play store, that's not good enough?

  • What about fast updates and no carrier delay / let people flash a non carrier build with out knox getting in the way

  • Intel tried to do that a few years ago through the OEM channel when they were pushing aggressively in to the tablet market. Being able to run Windows and Android is a natural advantage for x86. Both Google AND Microsoft [arstechnica.com] killed it by refusal to certify the resulting device. Even if Microsoft is cool with it now it is highly unlikely Google's stance has changed.
  • To pull a number out of my ass, 90% of people could get by just fine with that. I've been saying it for years. I think this is a pretty good idea, as long as it's executed properly. Of course a huge chunk of /.ers wouldn't be able to get by on just their phones.
  • I thought the new model could blow up a PC.
  • Woohoo.. and never get an update after 24 months.

  • Now, they just need to start making docking stations, and business travelers and telecommueters can have a do-it-all phone+camera+computer.

    Honestly, I thought the phase-out of laptops for powerful "smart phones" that could do their work, would have been here sooner.

  • The only way I'd ever use a smartphone, regardless of how powerful it's processor was, how much RAM it had, and how much storage it had, as a general-purpose computer, is if I could install any OS and software I wanted to on it. Otherwise your 'computer' has essentially zero security -- because it's a smartphone. I'm sure I'm far from being alone in thinking this. So-called 'smartphones' are pretty dumb when it comes to security; you'd be dumb to put your entire life onto one and use it like a general-purpo
    • You used bolds and italics, but you don't really know what you're talking about. There's nothing inherently insecure about smartphones when compares to a general purpose computer.

      Looking at your post history, you write like you're deranged and making flyers about 12 galaxies [wikipedia.org]. For 2017 you might resolve to work on your writing skills.

      • There's nothing inherently insecure about smartphones, and there's nothing inherently secure about mainframes, but you don't see smartphones with 30 years of support nor mainframes with 1 years of support.
        Car analogy : there's nothing insecure about a compact car, but if you can only buy ones made out of cardboard there's a problem.

    • Otherwise your 'computer' has essentially zero security -- because it's a smartphone.

      We aren't fooled by the bold and italics. People are going to expect some facts that back up your claim.

      • I'm not your personal research monkey. If you want 'proof' then I suggest you go through the Slashdot archives and read all the news stories about exploits and weaknesses in smartphones, and how easily they can be compromised by apps, even those that come from sources you should be able to trust (and how some phones even have malware installed on them from the factory). Add to this how you have zero control over the OS your phone is running, and how there are parts of the firmware you can't change or even a
        • you can scoff at me and ridicule me all you want

          I'd be happy to.

          If you want 'proof'

          If you want people to take you seriously, it's fairly common practice to provide facts to back up your claims. Not only did you fail to do that, you didn't even make any arguments to back up your logic. I think you'll find that when interacting with the Humans, it is common to do so.

          how easily they can be compromised by apps

          They can't be compromised by "apps" any easier than an app running on any computer. In fact, less so since mobile apps run in a sandbox (iOS and Android) and the OS doesn't allow root access (or the equivalent th

          • You seem to think Slashdot is a debate forum or a research organization. It is neither; it is a place where pseudo-news stories are posted, and where people comment in whatever ways they see fit, usually their opinions. I have neither the time nor the desire to engage in pointless debate with people I've never met and never will meet, nor do I have the time or desire to do metric tonnes of research just to back up and 'justify' my opinions to people I have never and will never meet. In short you're taking t
  • I do NOT want my browsing habits on my phone, where the carrier spies on all of it and records it forever. Nooope!

  • Didn't Motorola (at least in one incarnation or another) already try this a few years ago?

    It was a flop then, and likely would be a flop now.
  • Motorola already did this, the Motorola Atrix: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org] did not sell that well, however. M
  • iPhone 6 can already do that. Just plug in a lightning-to-VGA adapter, and you are on the monitor. Add a Bluetooth keyboard. For mousing, just use the iPhone (or a Bluetooth track-pad). Most work can be done eyes-up, even without a mouse-and-pointer. AirPrint or other can be used for printing.

    You would be running iOS, but that runs Pages, Keynote, Numbers, and loads of others. Microsoft Office is available for the iPhone, but you must "subscribe" to the software. Skip that and use Apple's Pages, etc

    • For mousing, just use the iPhone (or a Bluetooth track-pad).

      I've tried Apple trackpads w/ iOS and it doesn't (didn't) work. Maybe I did something wrong.

    • iPhone 6 can already do that.

      iPhone 4 can do it, too. It came out in mid-2010 – a long time ago for a cell phone.

      I just ordered a 30-pin to VGA (Apple-branded) adapter from Other World Computing for $3.50 plus shipping, for a grand total under $8.

  • Android is horrible, it cripples the system, and adds huge unnecessary complexity to the development. Some people only need a main() entry point, and to go into a loop where they sleep and poll the OS and draw the screen, why put them in the position where they're forced to jump through all the hoops of a Java VM? That can be built on top of the basic system for the people who need it. This would be horrible for a desktop. There has to be a normal mobile OS out there

  • Chances are though that it would make it explode, as it behooves Samsung, the company on fire that knows how to keep the flame alive. I am already burning with anticipation for this product. When it comes to making things explode, you can't beat a Samsung handset.
  • by XSportSeeker ( 4641865 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2017 @04:55PM (#53600525)

    I know many people don't realize this, but high end smartphones have been able to do just that for quite a while now. Mouse and keyboard can be connected by either Bluetooth or USB OtG, and screen could be done either by MHL wired or wireless mirroring.

    The problem is the OS and a lack of good standardized accessories. Much like gamepads, it doesn't really matter if tou have the hardware to do it if apps are not gonna support it.

    Android alao gives a shit support for most of those things... I had a smartphone with a smashed touchscreen for a while, you can't use the phone without it (some functions are doable, but it's a pretty crappy experience). I had to use apps like Vysor to get by while waiting for replacement parts.

    The iPhone is even worse as it doesn't suppory most accessories.

  • It sounds like Samsung is trying to copy what Motorola did with the Atrix back in 2011. Wonderful smart phone with a keyboard/screen containing external battery that allowed it to be used as a laptop computer.

Murphy's Law, that brash proletarian restatement of Godel's Theorem. -- Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow"

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