Galaxy users have long enjoyed integration for Google’s app ecosystem, and now that optimization is coming to YouTube and the Galaxy Z Flip. Samsung and Google reached a new level in their collaborative efforts to bring a fresh user experience design that fits the innovative form factor of the Galaxy Z Flip. It’s the latest development to come out of a long and fruitful relationship between the two companies.
"For the past 10 years, the Samsung-Google partnership has been the driving force behind so many of this industry’s most important innovations,” said Dr. TM Roh, President and Head of Mobile Communications Business, Samsung Electronics at Galaxy Unpacked 2020. “Now, as we start a new decade, our partnership is more important than ever, as we work together to pioneer a new generation of breakthrough mobile experiences.”
The recent updates for YouTube are just one milestone in the developments the two companies have brought to Samsung’s flagship and foldable devices. Thanks to the partnership, Galaxy users get an optimized experience for the most popular Google apps, such as Google Maps and Google Play Store, and enjoy greater reliability, app continuity, and security. Last year, Samsung and Google ushered in a new mobile era by creating a seamless foldable experience for the Galaxy Fold. Here is a closer look at some of the latest ways Samsung and Google are delivering a more valuable Android experience on Galaxy devices.
A New Experience for YouTube with Flex Mode
With Galaxy Z Flip’s unique folding system, you can set your Galaxy Z Flip on the table and watch your favorite YouTube channel hands-free. And now, this hands-free experience is taken up to the next level with Flex mode compatibility. When you enjoy YouTube with your Galaxy Z Flip hands-free, the display evenly splits into two 4-inch screens. While watching a video on the top half of the display, you can use the bottom half to search for other videos, read descriptions and write comments with no distractions.
The Flex mode-optimized YouTube app also ensures that no matter what the aspect ratio of the video you are watching, you can view in comfort by adjusting the way the video fits in the top half of the screen. Square and vertical videos will nearly fill the entire space, while 16:9 videos will adjust to the center. But Flex mode compatibility with YouTube was more than just a simple user experience upgrade.
Working together, Samsung and Google’s engineers redesigned the app from the operating system level. This included integration of the Android Support Library, making it easier to bring Flex mode to more third-party services. Through the collaboration, Samsung has worked closely with the Android developer community to drive innovation for foldable devices. Galaxy Z Flip users can download the Flex mode-optimized YouTube app from the Google Play Store starting from April 22 and enjoy the enhanced features that come with the latest update.
Galaxy users can also get up to 4 months of free YouTube Premium and enjoy benefits such as ad-free viewing, offline play, and background play.1
Beyond the latest YouTube updates, Samsung and Google have been working on several other innovations for Galaxy devices.
The Best Features Coming to Galaxy Devices
To start, Samsung is bringing support for Google’s Rich Communication Services (RCS) to Galaxy smartphones to make your conversations more seamless2. The two companies have been working since 2018 to bring the features to Samsung devices3.
The Samsung Messages app with RCS allows users to do more, including chat over both Wi-Fi and mobile data, send and receive high-resolution photos and videos, receive read receipts, and create feature-rich group chats. The Messages app is also available on desktop, making it easy to transition seamlessly from mobile to PC.
In addition to the RCS integration, Samsung kicked off 2020 by offering out-of-the-box integration for Google Duo on both the Galaxy S20 and the Galaxy Z Flip. Not only does Google Duo offer high-quality, high-speed video calling, it also allows up to 12 people to join a single video conference. On the Galaxy Z Flip, users can enjoy the app in Flex mode, where video chats appear on the top half, while call controls appear on the bottom half. Collaborations with Google are also bringing more interesting features to Galaxy devices.
With the ability to transcribe and caption media in real-time with incredible accuracy, Live Caption is one of the most exciting features on the Galaxy S20. Leveraging Google’s AI, Live Caption can produce captions for any audio or visual content, including YouTube videos, podcasts, and videos you and your friends have recorded. Developed in collaboration with the deaf and hard-of-hearing community, Live Caption is particularly helpful if you have hearing loss or are in an environment in which you don't want to increase the volume. Users can toggle the feature on under either the Accessibility or Sound options in the device’s Settings menu.
As a result of the ongoing partnership with Google, Samsung is bringing monthly and quarterly security updates to Galaxy devices to further enhance user confidence and ensure the safety and security of their data. These include Google’s patches for Android, and Samsung’s patches for vulnerabilities and exposures.
"It’s been amazing to see Samsung continuously push the limits of what’s possible in mobile on the Android platform,” said Hiroshi Lockheimer at Galaxy Unpacked 2020, SVP of Platforms and Ecosystems at Google. “Looking ahead, we’re excited to continue to work together to build the next wave of helpful, mobile innovation.”
In the year ahead, Samsung will continue to work closely with Google to pioneer the next wave of mobile innovations that will change the way we communicate with the world.
* User interface shown in images is only a mock rendering. Actual user interface is subject to change.
1 Availability dependent upon market. Galaxy S20 5G series, the Galaxy Z Flip and the Galaxy Fold are eligible for up to 4 months and all other mobile devices, including the A series, are eligible for up to 2 months.
2 Availability of Samsung Message app with RCS capabilities vary by market, device and carrier.
3 Samsung and Google Collaborate on RCS Messaging for Android.