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Samsung and Google: the big break-up

• Are Samsung and Google going their separate ways? • Android platform struggling • Essential guides to get more from your Galaxy

Amid reports that Samsung has sold over 10 million S4s since launching its new flagship device at the end of April, many industry experts are now wondering whether the giant is heading for a split with Google, and even the Android operating system. Editor of Android Magazine, Andy Betts, said that “with the first Tizen phones on the horizon for 2013, it’s looking increasingly likely that Samsung could be moving towards relocating their ecosystem from the Android OS to one entirely under their control”.

The move would be a bold one, but not an entirely unexpected one. Over the last couple of years, and especially since last year’s game-changing S III, Samsung has been producing more and more of its S-branded apps and services, like S Voice and the recent S Health. There’s a veritable pantheon of them now, and their success has been due to Samsung carefully learning lessons in ecosystem construction from Apple, who have been treading this path for a very long time now. With an ever-increasing focus on the unique features and functions that Samsung brings to its devices, which already ship out with the hugely customised version of the Android user interface known as TouchWiz, we can clearly see that Samsung is emulating the more established Apple and Google.

Yet many are now closely watching to see what Samsung does with Tizen. Jon Gordon, Editor of iCreate magazine, believes that “should this new player in the mobile OS arena perform as well as – perhaps better than – the likes of iOS and Android, there will be very few reasons indeed for Samsung to remain in partnership with Google”. With a strong brand and a huge market that has come to love the innovative tweaks and functions that Samsung Galaxy brings to stock Android tablets and smartphones – a market that’s already familiar with the TouchWiz user interface – it would be relatively easy for Samsung to swap out Android for Tizen and thus become a true walled garden of beautiful products.

With so many recent updates and announcements from Samsung, and a somewhat disorganised approach to communicating this information to its market, there’s one thing that new Galaxy device owners can agree on – a comprehensive manual that clearly explains how to use every smartphone and tablet in the range, including the apps and services, is something that’s been missing from the box for a while now.

In order to address this, Imagine Publishing has produced Samsung Galaxy The Complete Manual. It’s a thorough guidebook that takes users from the out-of-the-box setup process, through an orientation on the interface, gestures and buttons, and then each of the core native apps that come preloaded on Galaxy devices. Clean, direct and useful, it’s the manual that should ship out with every new device.

Samsung Galaxy The Complete Manual is available now for £7.99 from the ImagineShop and all good retailers.

Samsung Galaxy Manual cover

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