Skip to main content

Samsung’s SideSync software brings your Android smartphone to the Ativ PC

Samsung SideSync
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The line between Android and Windows just got even more blurry with the introduction of the latest Samsung Ativ computers last month – and we’re not just talking about the dual-OS-running Samsung Ativ Q convertible laptop. As promised back in April, new Ativ PCs will be preloaded with SideSync, a little-known software from Samsung that lets you manage your Android smartphone on your computer.

We finally got a chance to see this feature in action, and here’s what we found out…

How it works

When the Ativ device and a compatible Android smartphone are connected with a USB cable, you’ll see a virtual version of your phone appear on your computer screen (you can turn this option off if you want). Basically, everything that happens on your phone is now accessible from your PC, which means you can control your phone with your mouse and keyboard without interrupting your workflow.

Typically, when you want to send your friend a text message with your phone in the middle of the work day, you have to take your hands off your keyboard and poke at your phone that’s sitting on another part of your desk. With the SideSync feature enabled, you’ll be able to switch from whatever window you have opened to your on-screen phone, open your phone’s messaging app, and type a SMS using your computer keyboard.

Other features include the ability to draw lines on mobile maps using your computer mouse, drag and drop files between your computer and smartphone, and easily copy and paste text on your mobile device. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to check out these more advanced features during our brief demo.

Samsung SideSync_texting
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Samsung PC required

Eager to find out where and how you can get SideSync onto your computer and phone? If you have a smartphone running at least Ice Cream Sandwich (doesn’t have to be a Sammy phone) with plans to get one of newest Ativ devices like the Ativ One 5 all-in-one, Ativ Tab 3, or Ativ Q, the SideSync software is already included. You just need to download the mobile app onto your compatible smartphone, connect your phone to your computer with a USB cable, and you’ll be able to enjoy your Android on a much bigger screen than any phablet. 

For those of you with a slightly older Samsung laptop in the “Series” family, you will soon be able to download the SideSync software, but Samsung will be charging you a fee, according to a Facebook comment posted on June 17. The company has yet to reveal how much this app will cost non-Ativ PC owners.

Samsung SideSync_start screen
Image used with permission by copyright holder

What if you have a Samsung smartphone like the Galaxy S4 but your Windows-based computer is made by a different manufacturer? You’re out of luck. Samsung is clearly positioning this SideSync feature as a reason to buy a Samsung-made PC to complement your Samsung smartphone, so the company is not budging by offering this software to non-Samsung PC users – at least not yet.

We definitely like the convenience of being able to manage our Android smartphone with our Windows-based computer, but we can’t really justify changing computers (or smartphones) for a bit of software, no matter how useful it seems. We hope Samsung will have a change of heart and at least offer the computer software to its ever-growing empire of smartphone users.

Editors' Recommendations

Gloria Sin
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Gloria’s tech journey really began when she was studying user centered design in university, and developed a love for…
Windows 12 could repeat Windows 11’s big mistake
surface laptop studio 2 review 07

The first details about Windows 12 are starting to take shape, and the rumored OS could repeat the biggest mistake of Windows 11. As we've heard previously, the new OS will likely have a big focus on AI features. Now, we're hearing that many of those features will require a dedicated Neural Processing Unit (NPU), as reported by Windows Central.

It's hard to forget the fumble Microsoft made with Windows 11 and its requirement of a Trusted Platform Module (TPM). This security chip isn't included, at least in hardware, on the majority of off-the-shelf PC components, leading many to believe their PC wasn't compatible with Windows 11 when it really was.

Read more
All the ways to lower your CPU temperatures, from easy to expert
Intel's 14900K CPU socketed in a motherboard.

If you're overclocking your processor, want to bring down noise levels, or just want to increase the longevity of your CPU, then lowering it's temperature is a great plan. There are a lot of ways you can do it, too, from the easy and cheap to the complicated and costly, and everything in-between.

Whatever your reasoning, here's how to lower your CPU temperatures in a few different ways.

Read more
HP OMEN gaming laptops, PCs and monitors all have huge price cuts
HP Omen 40L Gaming PC on a table connected to a monitor.

HP has a huge sale on all things HP Omen and gaming related, which means it’s the place to check out for gaming laptop deals, along with the best monitor deals and gaming PC deals too. If you’re looking to upgrade to a sweet new rig, you need to check out this sale. We’ve highlighted the pick of the bunch below.
HP Omen 31.5-inch QHD Curved Gaming Monitor -- $250, was $380

HP may not feature on our look at the best gaming monitors, but this HP Omen 31.5-inch QHD Curved Gaming Monitor sounds great on paper. It has a great QHD resolution of 2560 x 1440 along with 400 nits of brightness, 1ms response time, and a 3,000:1 contrast ratio. A 1500R curvature means you can enjoy a more immersive experience than the average gaming monitor. It also has HDR support, AMD FreeSync Premium, and two HDMI 2 ports for hooking up all your devices. 99% sRGB and 90% DCI-P3 color gamut all further help matters to ensure you get a vibrant experience throughout.

Read more