Samsung’s DeX software lets you use supported phones or tablets as if they were desktop computers thanks by connecting a mouse, keyboard, and display. A few years ago the company also rolled out Windows and Mac apps that also let you just plug your phone into a computer to get the DeX experience.
Now the company has announced that it’s pulling the plug on DeX for macOS and Windows 7 in January, which means starting in 2022 you’ll only be able to use the software with Windows 8 or later.
The idea behind DeX is that the apps you run on a phone or tablet can also be useful on a big screen with keyboard and mouse input… but you might want a more desktop-like experience for that.
So when you connect an external display or use the DeX Mac or Windows apps you get a support for viewing multiple apps at once in resizable windows, app launcher keys on the bottom right side of the screen and status indicators and notifications on the bottom right.
Users can also use DeX for a multi-screen experience, with different apps visible on the phone and the connected PC or display. For example, you could watch videos on one device while viewing a chat app on the other, or use your PC or external display for presentations while taking a call on your phone.
Samsung hasn’t said why it’s ending DeX support for macOS and Windows 7, but it’s probably a safe bet that supporting an aging version of Windows with diminishing market share doesn’t make a lot of sense for the company.
As for the Mac version? Perhaps it never had as much of a user base in the first place, although that’s just speculation – there are certainly some Mac users with Android phones rather than iPhones, it’s just not clear that there’s enough of them using DeX for Samsung to bother maintaining its app.
The company has started showing a pop-up message to DeX for Mac users alerting them that support will officially end in January, 2022. Users who have already install the Mac app will be able to continue using it, but Samsung will no longer offer updates or customer support. And if you remove the app you may not be able to easily install it again in the future, as Samsung will no longer make Dex for Mac available for download.
With the macOS version, I think it has a lot to with the new M1 lineup of Macs. I don’t think the current DeX works on them, which means it won’t work on this years or the following year’s macs either.
Which is a shame, as they usually have the best physical hardware out there (battery, display, keyboard, trackpad, speakers). But I understand why Samsung is doing this.
With Windows 7, that also makes sense, since many owners of older laptops/desktops would have updated or upgraded by now. So Samsung only has to maintain one version of DeX: Windows 10. I believe Samsung hoped that people would choose their devices over others like Huawei, Oppo, Pixel with their software features. That hasn’t materialised now or the past decade. Features like DeX are great but only adopted by the niche, which doesn’t make good financial sense for them.
….so the real message here is that Samsung is slowly rolling away support from DeX, so it absolutely should not be any news to anyone, when they eventually announce killing that feature completely in the coming months/year.
Windows 7 is not just ageing, it has been formally EOSed for nearly 2 years now – if MS is not supporting it, no reason for Samsung to do so. Even enterprises which bought the extended service from Microsoft for $200 per device for the 3rd year will lose support in 1 year, 2 months (Jan 2023).
Ending the Mac support is definitely telling, means the Apple Mac + Samsung Galaxy / Android market is likely not significant. That aligns with the expectation that Mac users mainly would invest in the Apple ecosystem (so would be iPhone users).
I do wonder, where is the built-in Android Desktop mode? Hasn’t Google been working on this for a while?
Oh I didn’t know there was a Mac OS version. That would be kinda nice to keep personal stuff off my work macbook but still accessible with a keyboard and mouse.
It would be nice to have a 3rd party dock that simply reformats the video and allows input from a keyboard and mouse. Don’t need all of the other bells and whistles of DeX.
Any USB-C Dock should do the trick. I connected my previous phone to a Lenovo Pro Dock and it worked fine. I also used a UGREEN USB-C hub which has an HDMI port and it also worked.
My previous phone was an S10, BTW.
I haven’t found one that REFORMATS the video. I was going to try the BeeLink Expand X but it still is not available yet.
You don’t need a Dock for that. Just connect your phone to a Windows device which has dex software installed with a USB 3 cable
Well, there are lots of places I’d like to avoid the cost of a Windows computer and just use a monitor. I suppose alternatively the mobile device could have software and a mode where it reformats the video for a larger screen, but I haven’t found that and thought I would find it first in a dock, like the Expand X I mentioned. But no dock does that.
video out has been available since forever and you can always use bluetooth keyboards and mice.
I didn’t say video out, I said reformat the video. Apps for the small screen don’t work well on the large screen.
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