Samsung is reportedly working on a new software feature for its upcoming smartphones that would collect information related to what the smartphone users type, the apps used by them and even data collected by the phone’s different sensors.
According to The Report, the Korean smartphone giant is working on a feature called Context, which would provide app developers with data gleaned from a user’s smartphone – words they type, apps they open and information from sensors – so they could provide a customized experience to users. This information would allow apps to create customised content for users, such as personalised ads. One such example could be the display of a sports video to a user that uses sports apps and regularly types words related to sports.
Samsung is questioning its usefulness, but not in the same way that we might as consumers and users of smart devices. Although the service is supposedly being worked on and in development, Samsung has allegedly delayed the release of the service because they’re not sure whether or not “Context” would assist them in selling more handsets and mobile devices to consumers. Coming from a users perspective, this isn’t a service I would personally use or care to have embedded in the phone I use, but there could be plenty of people who would be willing to take advantage of it.
While Android allows apps to talk to each other and share information, Context could face a lot of scrutiny from privacy advocates and the mere mention of a keystroke logger could intensify security related debate for Android. It’s also being reported that Samsung will limit customization and may even abandon a new user interface it has been working on to focus on Google services. Interestingly, Google announced the sale of Motorola to Lenovo, during the same time period.
Meanwhile, Samsung and Google set up a meeting recently to discuss putting limits on the extent to which Samsung and other device manufacturers would customize Android, however, the outcome of the meeting remains unknown.
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