Samsung reportedly prepping 'Context' service that could share usage data with developers

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from Omaha, NE
Published: February 10, 2014

Samsung Galaxy S 4, Galaxy Note II

Samsung is known for loading its Android phones up with custom software such as ChatON, S Health and Air View. Tonight a new rumor has suggested that the company is cooking up another piece of custom software for its handsets, but rather than enable consumers to chat with others or track their fitness, this purpose of this new service would reportedly be to serve up information to other apps.

Sources speaking to The Information say that Samsung is prepping a new service dubbed "Context" that would gather information related to what a user types, the apps he or she uses and the data that the device collects through its various sensors. This data could then be accessed by developers to make their apps more personal. For example, a video app could be given information related to clips that the user has searched for and watched in the past and then automatically serve up similar videos.

It's not yet known when or even if Samsung will actually launch Context to the public, though, as company employees are reportedly divided on whether it would actually help to move more phones. The service sounds like it could be useful in that it would present users with content that they'd be interested in rather than forcing them to hunt that stuff down themselves. However, the thought of Context collecting data on a user's app usage and what he or she types would probably make quite a few people uneasy, which is likely part of the arguments that are said to be going on inside of Samsung.

Today's leak also touched a bit on Samsung's rumored meeting with Google about the former's custom Android software. According to The Information's sources, Google and Samsung executives recently met to discuss limiting the extent to which device makers would be able to tweak the base version of Android.

Not much else is known about the meeting, but it is said that the two companies got together just a day before Google announced that it would be selling Motorola to Lenovo. A previous report suggested that Samsung agreed to look into tweaking its new Magazine UX or dropping it altogether and also to highlight Google's content services rather than its own.

Via The Verge, The Information