|By Pat Meier-Johnson||
|September 28, 2012 05:00 AM EDT||
How many times have you simply become fatigued, written a shorter email rather than the longer one you really wanted to write simply because it was too cumbersome on a small mobile phone screen? How often have you simply given up on browsing because of the small screen?
A new app and SDK from Spring Design called ScreenShare is enabling the sharing of user interface and content from Android phones to the larger real estate of tablets, even if the tablet has no 3G connection. This not only provides the user with the larger tablet screen, but it also allows the user to access the flexible SD storage on the phone and features such as the camera. But how is this done without high battery life consumption?
Spring Design, which specializes in innovative dual screen products and tools has been pioneering apps to control dual displays since it first filed its patents in 2006. You might remember them from the dual screen Alex eReader that was introduced 2010 (an exciting entry into the nascent tablet market but eclipsed by the iPad). Spring Design's dual-screen technology went on to be licensed for the Barnes and Noble Nook. Spring just launched the beta of ScreenShare and two accompanying apps, SpringMail and Spring Net. The former designed to share email from phone to tablet (the virtual keyboard and screen movements are totally functional on the tablet) and the latter is for internet browsing.
During a session, phone and tablet are connected via Bluetooth and the phone is only accessed when the user clicks on a URL or makes a new demand. Otherwise, with the email app, the entire email interface and messages move to the tablet and even attachments to email messages may be opened on the tablet. This all means very little load on the phone, in fact the phone can be put away in a pocket while work is done on the tablet. The only time that WiFi would be a better alternative is for accessing video or when faster file downloads are necessary. App data returns to the phone when the paired session is over.
This video shows the beta apps in action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SuMuHs3jfVw
While Spring Design just announced the apps, they expect to have an SDK with API, libraries and programming examples by the end of 2012 to help developers adapt their apps to share UI and content stored on the phone to any supported tablet. They expect that developers will want to create map, GPS, interactive training, phone dialer, texting, photo viewing, eBook and yellow page-like services. Most Android phones and tablets with WiFi and Bluetooth and running 2.3+ OS will run ScreenShare, SpringMail and SpringNet. ScreenShare and SpringNet betas are free and can be downloaded from Google Play. SpringMail is also free during the beta and will cost .99 afterwards.