In the world of gadgets, there have been many attempts to bridge the gap between computers and smartphones. Samsung DeX is one such solution. It’s a clever experience, and you may already have the tools to use it.
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The name “DeX” comes from “Desktop Experience”, which perfectly describes what it does. DeX turns the user interface of your Samsung phone or tablet into something similar to a Windows PC or Mac desktop.
The DeX software is integrated into many high-end smartphones and tablets from Samsung Galaxy. The idea is that you plug your device into a bigger display, keyboard and mouse and then it goes into DeX mode. The user interface changes to better meet your needs.
The DeX mode user interface is familiar to anyone who has ever used a desktop operating system. There’s a “desktop” for folders and apps, a taskbar at the bottom, and windows that float and can be resized. All of this goes through your connected Galaxy device. It’s Android with a special layer on top of it.
In the beginning, DeX needed Samsung’s proprietary ones Docking station. The keyboard, mouse, and monitor were attached to the dock, and then the phone was used to bring the system to life. (In DeX mode, the phone can also be used as a trackpad.)
Samsung later introduced cables that made the docking station obsolete. Now DeX can be started by connecting the phone or tablet directly to a computer with the charging cable, and some Galaxy tablets can run DeX mode directly on the tablet without connecting anything.
To a lesser extent, smartphones and tablets are not as good at multitasking as desktops. The keyboard and mouse are hard to beat on a generously dimensioned monitor. But what you gain in productivity you lose in portability.
We tend to store much of our private lives on our phones and tablets. The idea behind DeX is that you always have instant access to these things, whether you are on your “computer” or on your mobile device. The software adapts to your environment.
If you don’t need a full-fledged desktop PC, you can use a Samsung phone with DeX mode to consolidate devices. You could have a docking station at home to do homework and take the phone out when you go. All of your things will always be with you.
Tablets that can use DeX mode on the device itself are just an alternate user interface. The typical Android UI may be better suited for media consumption, but DeX mode makes it feel more like a convertible PC.
DeX is available on most modern Samsung Galaxy smartphones, as well as some Galaxy Tab tablets. Samsung introduced DeX for the Galaxy S8 series for phones and the Galaxy Tab S4 for tablets. Every newer high-end Samsung Galaxy device has DeX.
Samsung DeX may not have universal appeal, but for those who want more from their smartphone or tablet, it is a game changer. You don’t have to choose between using a computer or a mobile device. People envisioned a future of devices that could adapt to many different needs, and DeX is part of that future.