Look! An Apple-Like Device From Samsung With Its Own Style And Design!
Well, would you look at this? Fresh from this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, it’s yet another Samsung product meant to compete directly with an Apple product. The rivalry between these two companies is very well documented with Samsung mimicking Apple behavior and Apple taking them to court over nearly every instance of said mimicry.
Now, Samsung is showing off their latest attempt to be like Apple, the HomeSync. This Android 4.2 device closely resembles your basic external hard drive and bears all the markings of a television-friendly box: HDMI port, USB 3.0 inputs, and optical and Ethernet connections.
(To give credit where it’s due, The HomeSync looks nothing like any existing Apple device. Maybe Sammy’s growing up, after all.)
Like most other Android devices, the HomeSync will connect to Google’s Play store and will stream Android movies and television shows. It’s also able to support up to 8 accounts, sharing and serving up content to these accounts. In addition, it also has a 1 Terabyte hard drive built in to give you ample room for your entire Galaxy-lovin’ family’s favorite pictures, movies and music.
You’ll want to have a Galaxy device to be able to take advantage of most of these features, of course. With a Galaxy device in hand, Sammy fans will be able to stream content in full 1080p resolution straight to their televisions. Like Apple’s Apple TV, the HomeSync isn’t so much a separate device as it is a companion to your existing Samsung hardware, be it the freakish Note II or the palm-straining S III.
These Galaxy devices can be used as a remote for HomeSync, transferring your swipes and taps on the handheld screen to real-live actions on the television. HomeSync even does one better (and worse) than Apple by using the device’s built-in accelerometer to act as a sort of Wiimote. As in, you move your Galaxy Device to the left, the on screen cursor moves to the left.
Sure, it sounds handy. Having used both the remote feature for Apple TV and a Nintendo Wiimote, I’d much rather let my thumb do the walking than have to go waving my arm to navigate through the interface.
But I’m just a weird guy I guess.
Also like the Apple TV, the HomeSync allows mirroring between the screens. In one of the more painful product demos ever committed to zeroes and ones, Engadget’s Zach Honig clumsily showed off mirroring between a Galaxy Note II and the new HomeSync. (Apparently Engadget no longer has the budget to send along two bloggers to cover each new product, leaving ol’ Zach to both play Angry Birds and hold his own camera.) Like any task performed over Wi-Fi, even the mirroring done on the Apple TV, there is a bit of lag, but nothing too terrible. Judging from this one video, the lag doesn’t seem to be any worse than the early Android devices of yesteryear.
HomeSync seems ideal for the Android user who looks to Apple’s seamless and beautiful ecosystem with a healthy amount of jealousy. There seems to be no word on if HomeSync will allow mirroring from a Samsung laptop, (another win for Apple TV) but users will be able to access content from the usual host of suspects such as Amazon, Netflix, Spotify and YouTube.
There’s also no word on pricing yet, which could be a potential deal breaker, but Samsung says they’ll be releasing this thing in April.
Image Credit: Samsung