Jan 28th, 2015

Samsung Galaxy S5 hand DSC05788

No major smartphone manufacturer has yet to create a solution for copying home screen setups from one device to another. It’s a feature we’ve been hoping to see in Android from Google’s own ingenuity for quite some time, but someone seems to have beaten them to the punch.

samsung home screen patent

Samsung’s latest patent details a software solution that would allow a user to configure a home-screen and copy it to another remote device. The details in the patent are very specific about the process, but an abstract look at the thing reveals a few different possible scenarios:

  • Upgrading from one Samsung phone to another? The software could ask you if you want all your same apps downloaded and the same home-screen to be setup upon logging in with your Google or Samsung account.
  • Have a different phone in your possession and simply want the same setup? You could do that, too.
  • Need more fine-tune control than a simple copy/paste job? You could set the home-screen up differently than what’s on your current device and push it over to the new device.

Even better is that such a feature is perfect for consumers and businesses alike. Consumers have an easier time moving their preferred home-screen from device to device, while businesses can set their employees up with the most optimal home-screen to help them perform their jobs easier. It’d be a nice edge for Samsung to command in a sector where they want badly to be top dog.

samsung home screen patent flow chart

It’s important we take a step back and recognize that this has been done by independent developers to some degree. Many of the best home-screen replacement apps in Google Play — such as Nova launcher, Apex launcher and more — offer some form of home-screen backup / restore or cloud syncing to appease the crowd that might go through frequent changes (such as those who flash custom ROMs or just like to switch between different home-screen setups on the fly). We’re not sure what it would mean for the future of those apps now that Samsung owns a cold, hard patent.

Even more uncertain is how this might affect the possibility of Google implementing such a feature at the core of Android in the future. Samsung and Google have a wide-ranged patent licensing agreement that lasts 10 years, but it’s possible that this particular patent could be left out of the deal — all the better to give Samsung the competitive edge they need in today’s aggressive mobile battlegrounds.

All that aside, it’s just a really cool idea and we’d love to see how well Samsung could implement it should they look to add this as a standard feature of TouchWiz in one of their future Galaxy smartphones.

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