EVP Chung outlines the origins of the Galaxy Fold, along with the way it is set to change consumers’ lives, at MWC19 in Barcelona.
Samsung Electronics recently unveiled its groundbreaking innovation, the Galaxy Fold, Samsung’s first foldable smartphone ushering in a whole new chapter in mobile history. The pioneering Galaxy Fold is set to transform the way people manage their daily lives with their smart devices thanks to the Fold’s dynamic versatile usability and multitasking possibilities.
To learn more about how the Galaxy Fold came to be and the powerful effect it is set to have on consumers’ lives, Samsung Newsroom sat down with Eui-suk Chung, Executive Vice President and Head of Software and Artificial Intelligence at Samsung’s Mobile Communications Business during the MWC19 in Barcelona.
Q. The potential Galaxy Fold has for the way we use our smartphones is immense. What motivated such a development?
“Our understanding of consumer needs – in particular, demand for a larger device screen that is comfortable to hold – led us to create this revolutionary device. Samsung had already pioneered category-defining innovation with the Galaxy Note series, the ‘phablet’ hybrid, but we had noticed that a demand for even larger screens to keep up with content consumption has still not wavered. We debuted the prototypes of a flexible display technology in 2011, but it took another eight years to develop the technology to deliver this product in a truly meaningful way for users as a direct response to the way people are currently using their phones."
Q. Which is?
“In brief, all the time and for all things. With the Galaxy Fold, we are bringing greater device mobility, an expanded screen and a versatile camera into one device that can slip into your pocket. Galaxy Fold is for those who want it all on a bigger screen, but without the bulk – a ‘phone plus more’.”
Q. So what can users expect from the Galaxy Fold?
“Galaxy Fold provides a completely new way for consumers to use a smartphone and get the best out of both of the worlds it draws upon, smartphone and tablet. It is a compact device that unfolds to reveal Samsung’s largest-ever mobile display, optimized for the Android ecosystem and applications on it.
The Galaxy Fold’s software was designed to provide streamlined usage for various scenarios. When the user folds it, they can take a quick look at smartphone notifications and other essentials. Then, when it is unfolded, the user can use the larger immersive display for higher quality viewing on the apps they require and in-depth multitasking.”
Eui-suk Chung, EVP and Head of Software and AI at Samsung’s Mobile Communications Business
Q. Can you expand on the Galaxy Fold’s multitasking capabilities?
“With the Galaxy Fold’s Multi-Active Window, the multitasking possibilities are virtually endless. For example, a user can open up to three apps simultaneously on the main display to surf, text, share and watch without missing a beat. We developed this main display to allow multitasking with three apps because users can already use two at once, if they wish, on existing smartphones. The Galaxy Fold provides the best possible experience of three apps at once, all in a very comfortable way.
The Fold also makes app usability even easier – the app in use on the cover display with automatically transfer back to the main display when the device is opened, and then transition seamlessly back to the cover display when closed. Users will find that the experience of shifting from the cover to the main display and vice versa is, thanks to the inward fold, as satisfying, as natural and as easy as reading a book.”
Q. Do all apps support App Continuity and Multi-Active Window?
“The Galaxy Fold features UX functionality unlike other devices thanks to the partnerships we have with Google and app developers in the Android developer community. We worked very closely with Google on developing app-compatible software to the end of creating not just a Samsung proprietary solution, but general Android solutions.
We continue to work with the Android developer community to ensure apps are optimized for the Galaxy Fold and that user experience only continues to improve. Support for App Continuity and Multi-Active Window will vary based on the application and the developer’s adherence with Google policies and guidelines.
As more apps are developed to be compatible with foldable-specific features, Samsung will continue to provide the best possible experience for apps not yet optimized for a foldable device thanks to the Galaxy Fold's app compatibility software.”
Q. What has this collaborative development process been like?
“We wanted to ensure that users’ favorite apps and services were optimized for the Galaxy Fold’s unique UX. Working closely with our partners, we set up a test lab so that we could directly engage and work with top companies to bring the best services to our foldable smartphone. In particular, Samsung and Google have a rich history of close collaboration, and our work together on this foldable device is another example of that.”
Q. Finally, could you elaborate more on the experience of developing a foldable mobile device?
“The making of a foldable smartphone was a large undertaking – from creating materials and methods to overcoming mechanical challenges. From the start, we were focused on achieving the best user experience. All the new elements we had to create – hardware, software, app compatibility – are all layers that have come together to form a device with optimum usability at its core.
We also broke barriers to create the Galaxy Fold. It features a UX functionality unlike other devices made possible by our app developer and Google partnerships.
We are proud to have introduced Samsung’s first-ever foldable smartphone, and we are excited about what’s next – from ‘foldable’ to ‘roll-able’ and even to ‘stretch-able’. New device designs that can be folded in multiple ways are no longer beyond the realm of possibility and Samsung is ready to usher in these options and create meaningful experiences for consumers that help them do more of what they love.”
Stay tuned to Samsung Newsroom for the latest on the Galaxy Fold and other Samsung devices.