Perhaps in an attempt to compete with Apple’s tightly connected ecosystem, Samsung is beefing up the inter-connectivity of its devices thanks to a stronger partnership with Microsoft.
The company says that it has been working on ways to improve the connected experiences of its devices and is expanding on that thanks to a collaboration with Microsoft.
The most notable fruit from this arrangement is the new ability to turn a Galaxy smartphone into a webcam when using a Samsung Book4 series laptop. While there have been third-party apps that have allowed this feature for some time, Samsung is now building that compatibility into its devices to dramatically improve the quality of video calls made through its first-party laptops.
Samsung notes that it has built in “easy camera switching” to allow users to adjust the frame of view depending on need. While not positioned as quite the same as the Center Stage — Apple’s software that mimics a tracking camera — Samsung does say that it allows users to easily include others who might be in the room, allows them to get up and walk around and stay in frame, or show other elements of the room when needed.
“You can also apply a variety of features from your phone to your call — including Background Blur and Auto-framing — that help focus your image in any environment, whether working in a busy coffee shop or communicating from a company boardroom,” Samsung says.
Samsung is also adding multi-device connectivity thanks to the integration of Microsoft Copilot. Galaxy smartphones can be paired with Galaxy Book4 laptops to read or summarize text messages from the phone or create and send message from the PC. The integration joins the ability to use a Tab S9 tablet as a monitor for a PC, again mirroring experiences that are currently available with Apple’s suite of devices, somewhat leveling the playing field with feature parity.
In all cases, users must link their phone to Galaxy Book4 through “Link to Windows” on mobile and the Microsoft Phone Link App on PC. A user’s Galaxy smartphone must also be on OneUI 1.0 or above.
The Book4 series laptops were announced in December 2023 and are expected to come to Korea and “select markets” this month.
Samsung says that it’s “tight” relationship with Microsoft means that additional innovations and “intelligent capabilities” are planned for the future of the Book4 series of laptops.
Image credits: Samsung