Samsung Hosts First Dev Event, Pushing Its Reach, Connectedness

Samsung, the world's top-selling smartphone maker, shared SDKs and bonded with developers interested in the Internet of everything.

Samsung hosted its first-ever global developer conference this week in San Francisco, where it provided developers with a host of tools for developing new applications for its growing categories of devices.

Attendees were offered "insights" into Samsung and were the first to be provided with in-depth information about Samsung developer tools and software development kits (SDKs), including the SDKs for mobile, multiscreen gaming, KNOX—a container-based enterprise security offering—and smart TVs.

The 1,300 developers in attendance were also given a clear message: Stick with us.

"There are two great reasons that you should be developing for Samsung," said Gregory Lee, CEO and president of Samsung Telecommunications America, during the welcome keynote Oct. 28.

"First, we have tremendous reach around the world. ... In most cases we're No. 1 in smartphones [in the markets we're in] and we have products in every segment and at every price point, so that your applications, your work, can be reached all over the world, across all of those products, especially mobile applications," Lee said.

Second, he said, "The apps you'll develop will be reached across all of our devices, not just smartphones. Tablets, PCs, TVs, enterprise solutions, even in hotel rooms—there are so many opportunities for convergence that are happening now. ... Your work can have tremendous exposure."

It's a compelling argument, in a crowded application market (a new argument being made is for developers to focus on the connected car market where, given the dearth of apps, they're sure to get attention). Helping Samsung drive home its argument were a strong lineup of guest speakers and demonstrators. These included representatives from Pandora and a variety of ways to put Samsung's S Pen to use—such as drawing on photos before posting them to Twitter.

In another demonstration, for the game developers in the audience, a feature was showed off that enabled two people to connect their tablets—for a two-screen-wide game of air hockey—by simply placing the tablets side by side and making a single pinching gesture.

Apple's and Google's developer conferences are hard-to-get tickets that attract thousands of developers and sell out near instantly. While a smaller, relatively more modest affair, Samsung's event is likely to gain the device maker new traction going forward.

Some developers didn't know that Samsung offers SDKs, so the event was useful in making that known, the Wall Street Journal reported Oct. 29.

It added that Samsung's "convergence" pitch was also appealing.

Samsung "may also become more important as the world embraces the so-called 'Internet of things,' where objects beyond traditional tech gear, like door locks and thermostats, get wired," said the report.

Samsung, unlike Google or Apple (for now) also offers televisions and has had an app store for its TVs for years. In addition to tablets in every size and with and without a stylus, it now offers the Galaxy Gear watch—still another device to connect to the Internet of everything else.

"We're here to listen to you," Samsung's Lee told the developers, "and learn how we can collaborate with you."

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