So there I was on Twitter, having a conversation with Philip Berne, Samsung’s Marketing Manager for Technical Media, about how Apple, Samsung and other companies try to lock users into their own ecosystems. Then, somewhere in between, I received a very interesting titbit: according to Berne, the Samsung Hub app that can be found on most Samsung phones and tablets is going away. That’s certainly huge news, as Samsung Hub allows users to access apps, movies, and other media and sync them across a user’s various Samsung devices, something the company no doubt put a lot of money into.
Berne didn’t say when this would be happening (nor did I ask), though we’ve already seen the wheels put into motion with the Galaxy S5, which came without the Samsung Hub installed. Berne’s words certainly give credence to a rumor that popped up when Samsung announced its new Galaxy NotePRO and Galaxy TabPRO tablets, which introduced the Magazine UX that deviated heavily from the standard Android home screen and made it more similar to what you see on Windows 8. The rumor said that Google had had talks with Samsung and wanted the Korean manufacturer to dial down the changes it makes it to the OS, and also in the number of competing apps and services it puts on its devices.
@addicted2088 Samsung Hub is going away.
— Philip Berne (@philipberne) May 14, 2014
Samsung Hub is one of those competing services, but with Google’s Music, Movies and other services expanding into more regions and becoming more and more visible on Android devices and the ability to sync that content between devices logged into a single Google account, Samsung Hub has become something of a redundant feature (something most people likely never use.) The fact that it is going away indicates that there are certainly some deals being made between the search and smartphone giants behind the scenes – Google is likely taking a stronger stance in its bid to reduce fragmentation on Android, so don’t be surprised if even features like S Voice slowly start to disappear from Samsung phones and tablets.
Update: We’d like to point out that we don’t think Samsung Hub will actually be killed, just that it will not be present as default on phones and tablets. Instead, it will likely be available as a downloadable add-on and on the web.