At the Snapdragon Summit in Hawaii in late October, Qualcomm unveiled a brand new approach for telephones, PCs, tablets, headphones and equipment to routinely join, simulating Apple’s seamless interactivity outdoors its ecosystem. All machine makers must do is combine Qualcomm’s system into all their merchandise.

Making this dream a actuality is so simple as integrating software program protocols on gadgets, and due to minimal {hardware} necessities, it may be performed on new and previous merchandise. Whether device-makers observe via on integrating Snapdragon Seamless  – and in the event that they do, whether or not it really works as Qualcomm hopes – stays to be seen. 

But it exhibits the enchantment of Apple’s signature interoperability between its first-party gadgets. From AirPods and Apple Watches immediately connecting to iPhones, to utilizing iMessage throughout gadgets, to sharing recordsdata from iPhone to MacGuide to Mac to iPad, the benefit with which Apple’s gadgets work harmoniously collectively has stored many individuals from straying outdoors the corporate’s lineup. If that may be achieved with gadgets from different manufacturers, Qualcomm might construct a brand new period of non-public gadgets.

“The purpose for us is across-the-board interoperability to defragment throughout all of those completely different platforms, throughout producers, throughout completely different working techniques,” stated Kabir Kasargod, senior director of product administration accountable for Seamless at Qualcomm.

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Watch this: Everything Announced at Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Summit

On the Summit stage, Qualcomm stored the highlight on PC and cell chips with on-device AI, however almost each presentation talked about how Seamless may gain advantage it. The firm arrange an indication for attendees to strive the product out, and after watching the pitch, I needed to search for myself.

In a demo room stuffed with Snapdragon-powered gadgets, Qualcomm arrange a photograph sales space within the nook to showcase the Seamless workflow. I sat down on a chair in entrance of an Honor cellphone set as much as {photograph} me in varied poses – as if I used to be getting my yearbook photograph taken. After my photograph shoot, I watched as an attendant on a laptop computer used a separate keyboard and mouse to tug pictures from the cellphone to the laptop computer and start engaged on them in photograph enhancing software program. Four gadgets, all linked via Seamless.

It was a promising begin, and regardless that all of the gadgets have been operating Snapdragon silicon, they do not want Qualcomm’s chips to work with the system. They’ll simply work a bit higher in the event that they do, as they will faucet into the sensor-packed Sensing Hub included in Snapdragon chips so as to add richer experiences, like speaking even when gadgets are locked with their screens off or if they’re asleep. 

Not simply linking gadgets, however sharing continuity

There’s extra to the potential of Snapdragon Seamless than dragging and dropping recordsdata between gadgets. Another profit to having a number of gadgets speak to one another is continuity. Imagine writing up a doc or taking part in a sport and having progress carry over to a different machine proper subsequent to you. 

Of course, we have already got continuity over the cloud with providers like Google Drive and video games with cloud-based save recordsdata, however Qualcomm imagines Seamless might do it quietly within the background between adjoining gadgets. As it really works now, Seamless makes use of a number of connectivity layers – Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, ultrawideband and even cell sign – for gadgets to maintain involved with one another. 

Seamless’ responsive and fast hyperlink might allow you to remotely activate the digital camera on one other machine. Within Apple’s ecosystem, you are able to do this through the use of your Apple Watch to remotely set off the shutter on a paired iPhone; think about the enchantment of doing the identical with Android and Windows gadgets. In my photograph shoot demo, the attendant clicked the shutter button on the Honor cellphone from a close-by laptop computer.

Another Seamless demo on the Summit confirmed how the tech permits earbuds to routinely transition audio relying on which machine you are utilizing, very like how Apple shifts AirPods pairing between iPads, iPhone and Macs. And if a name is available in, the audio will intuitively change to it in what Kasargod calls “an clever handshake the place the contextual data is driving the place the consumer’s consideration is, and by extension, the earbuds are following.”

Qualcomm is not the one one making an attempt to mimic Apple’s ecosystem interoperability. Google introduced at CES 2022 its goals to make Android play higher with different gadgets operating its Wear OS software program, Chrome OS laptop software program, Windows and Matter sensible dwelling gadgets. Intel additionally unveiled its Unison software program in September 2022 to ship messages and get notifications from Android and iOS telephones. 

A laptop with a messaging app open on its display shown side-by-side with a phone display showing the same messaging app. A laptop with a messaging app open on its display shown side-by-side with a phone display showing the same messaging app.

Intel’s Unison software program, pictured, brings cellphone notifications and messages to your PC.


Snapdragon Seamless has interoperability between Windows and Android gadgets via a software program library, and Qualcomm is engaged on one for Linux. For gentle interactions, Seamless will be uploaded through Windows or Android apps, whereas extra concerned interactions require putting in the Seamless software program library on the working system layer. 

Device makers might want to make selections about implementing Snapdragon Seamless, like deciding what data is shared from one gadget to a different. Some information is routinely discoverable by different gadgets when seeking to make these connective digital handshakes, however something personal will want encryption or authentication to entry. 

A tool’s {hardware} – particularly, its connectivity choices – limits what it’s going to be capable of do with the protocol. If producers need their gadgets to make use of Seamless to unlock automobile doorways, the machine will want ultrawideband performance. For use circumstances that require extra fixed connections with out draining the battery, gadgets want Bluetooth low vitality.

There’s a whole lot of potential for a way gadgets speak to one another. During a Q&A session on the Snapdragon Summit, Dino Bekis, vice chairman and basic supervisor of wearables and combined sign options at Qualcomm gave an instance of how gadgets might use Seamless to share information about how good the connectivity is the place they’re positioned.

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“Maybe right here [where I’m standing] I do not sense [signal] congestion off my earbuds and my laptop computer on the opposite facet of the room is saying hey, there’s a whole lot of congestion over right here,” Bekis stated, so possibly the earbuds would prioritize stronger connectivity if the consumer walked right into a extra congested space. The actual query for producers, Bekis stated, is “now that I’ve all this further data, how do I wish to use it to ship a greater end-user expertise?”

There are even potentialities with prolonged actuality. Yet one other demo on the Summit centered on one other potential situation for Seamless: carrying a smartwatch and XR headset and doing workout routines whereas a cellphone data video of them understanding. Each machine would talk through Seamless and stream your data-rich exercise to the coach in actual time. 

Another instance got here throughout a technical deep-dive with a brand new situation of an individual taking part in a sport on their cellphone whereas carrying an XR headset. As each gadgets communicated, the headset introduced up a topographical map of the cellphone sport displaying location and enemy information – all taking place routinely with out the participant choosing something.

A laptop sits open with the Snapdragon X Elite logo centered on its screen. A laptop sits open with the Snapdragon X Elite logo centered on its screen.

At Snapdragon Summit, Qualcomm revealed the Snapdragon X Elite chipset with its Oryon CPU.


Yes, there’s an AI tie-in

Most of Snapdragon Summit’s bulletins round synthetic intelligence have been centered on integrating generative AI on the {hardware} stage. The Snapdragon X Elite for PC laptops and Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for telephones each have on-device generative AI. Alone, they’ll run queries and use AI tips to increase pictures past their unique boundaries with out ever utilizing the cloud.

Seamless is a chance to mix AI capabilities from a number of gadgets, in line with Kedar Kondap, senior vice chairman and basic supervisor of compute and gaming at Qualcomm. The sooner that on-device AI proliferates throughout telephones, PC or anyplace else, the extra use circumstances develop.

“The extra pervasive [Seamless] turns into, the higher it’s throughout the board to have the ability to use AI and seamlessly leverage the NPU and AI engine capabilities throughout a number of gadgets,” stated Kondap. 

The lengthy street of getting Seamless carried out

As Qualcomm pitched Snapdragon Seamless on stage, the enchantment was apparent. The venture aspirationally addresses a serious challenge of connectivity between Android and Windows gadgets that Apple has achieved harmoniously in its personal ecosystem, stated Anshel Sag, principal analyst at Moor Insights and Strategy. 

“People deserve a extra coherent cross-device expertise and Seamless is certainly step one in making that potential,” Sag stated. Yet the corporate has its work lower out for them: “Qualcomm has made some strides, however there’s nonetheless a protracted technique to go and many OEMs who want convincing.”

Qualcomm is not unaware of the trouble wanted to get producers onboard. It’s straightforward for an organization to focus its vitality by itself merchandise and a bit tougher to consider its gadgets as belonging to an ecosystem past manufacturers. 

“Looking at it from an end-user standpoint, if in a family you may have completely different producers’ gadgets, why not have them speaking in a approach that may finally create some new experiences?” Kasargod stated. “Our purpose is actually to allow our companions so that every one of them start to, in a standardized approach, unify their ecosystems.”

Editors’ observe: CNET is utilizing an AI engine to assist create some tales. For extra, see this put up.

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