SAN FRANCISCO -- Samsung kicked off its first global developer conference on Monday to a crowd of 1,300 developers. In a broad-reaching keynote, Samsung officials focused on smart TV, gaming, multiscreen innovations as well as developer tools for a recently introduced mobile software developer kit.
The mobile SDK includes hundreds of features, such as ways to use a stylus for more precise touch interactions and handwriting within apps and Web pages.
There was also an introduction of Samsung Wallet 2.0 for users with smartphones running Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and higher. Mobile Wallet can be used by a developer to create a way for users to buy digital content online and eventually for in-store purchases with NFC-ready phones.The wallet will give developers the ability to reach as many as 100 million Samsung account users for free.
"You don't have to implement your own complex payment system," said Curtis Sasaki, vice president of the Samsung Media Solution Center in the U.S.
While the keynote was intentionally broad, it was meant, partly to entice developers to build apps for Samsung's own application store, which is separate from Google Play, the principle Android application store. Overall, the new mobile SDK has more than 800 application programming interfaces that developers may use for building their own applications.
Many of the tools in the mobile SDK as well as SDKs for smart TV and multi-screen innovations will be explained in 50 sessions over the next two days.
Injong Rhee, senior vice president of Samsung's mobile communications business, said applications for business users will grow three times faster in coming years than applications for consumers.
When Rhee described some features of the Samsung Knox management software first introduced in early 2013, he also admitted that "a lot of people say that Android is not secure."
But he quickly added, "I proclaim here that Knox will transform enterprise management."
The crowd at the event included many young developers, some working on apps on their own, but many working at larger companies that are building a variety of apps.
Two developers working for a Canadian company that builds customer support software for third parties said they were glad to come to the Samsung event, partly because they haven't been able to get tickets to attend Google I/O for Android developers.
"I don't want Google to take over everything in Android development, and I don't think Google should be controlling Samsung," said one of the two developers, who requested their names and companies not be identified.
Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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