I just tried Figma and Gravit Designer on my Samsung Galaxy Note 9 with The Samsung DeX (Docking Station) and the desktop experience is so good and intuitive when the DeX is connected to Large display, Keyboard, and mouse).
Well it could be (and it almost is!) a real productive machine even for Professional UX / UI Designers, and FrontEnd Developers among us!
Bad News First!
Unfortunately, without DeX Station or DeX Pad, on my HDMI cable & DeX mode, I can’t interact with Figma at all, I can pinch-to-zoom in and out, I can use the Galaxy Note 9’s Stylus as a mouse and stylus, but I can’t edit, modify, or use most of the tools (can’t create shapes and even the text tool is not working). I tried it on Chrome and Samsung’s Browser but no luck, Unfortunately FireFox is not supported on DeX yet, so I’ll try it and update you guys once / if it will be supported on DeX.
The Good News!
But with my Original Samsung DeX Station, Figma works just as it works on Mac, Linux and PC! So with mouse and keyboard connected, you can do all your professional UX and UI design on Figma from your Galaxy devices. If you’ve got a BT mouse and keyboard then you don’t need a DeX station, HDMI cable is enough! I’ve got to use my DeX station because I only have a wired mouse and keyboard at my home office…
According to latest rumors and news about Google’s vanilla version for Android Q, looks like they gonna have a Desktop mode built into every Android device, just like Samsung DeX. So hopefully Smartphones will become more productive even for UX / UI design soon. Can’t wait to it, I’m tired of carrying my MacBook Pro!
And as for Figma, I hope that they’ll will fix that weird behavior of Figma on touch-devices without docking stations, or create a native app for Android, because Figma is the best alternative for Sketch which is only for Mac (just like Adobe in the 90s 😂).
More Good News!
At least Gravit Designer works just fine! It has a little bit glitches, but considering the fact that I just opened an heavy file with Google’s Material Design guidelines, it worked just fine after few seconds! And when creating new project, it works great, can’t tell the difference, feels like I’m working on my computer!
I hope there will be a native app for Android, because just before Gravit Designer was acquired by Corel, they had plans for Android app. But looks like they ditched it. 😐
UI/UX Design on a Mobile Phone? Yep!
A Creative Bonus!
And for the creative people out there, you can turn your Galaxy Note 9 into a Wacom like experience. The S-Pen has 4,096 pressure levels and when you use your Note 9 as Wacom Pad, you can enjoy so many creative apps for that pen. Adobe apps, Autodesk apps, and other creative apps for the S-Pen and Apple Pencil in the google play store and Galaxy AppStore. In my case, I enjoy painting and also sketching UX wireframes…
Well, looks like we are close to the vision I’ve been writing about in my article series on Medium, but as for now, I guess that I’ll have to keep carrying my MacBook Pro 15′ with me 😏.
So as for now, it’s not really a replacement for a laptop, or a desktop computer, but we are really close! So it’s good to know that my smartphone can display a computer-like interface on top of an external monitor in order to allow me to get some serious work done. I use Microsoft Office for Android in order to write down documents in word, and I use PowerPoint in order to create presentations, and then I can even use it on Presentation mode when my Note 9 is mirrored to a large display / projector (via HDMI or Wireless/Mircast device) and it’s so fun to use the S-Pen as a remote control in order to switch slides! feels like magic!
Btw, you can even use your macOS and Windows 10 apps, simply connect to your computer via TeamViewer, Microsoft RDP, or VNC, and use Adobe Photoshop, premiere Pro, Sketch, and PC games!
P.S. Some of you already know me, I love innovation and out of the box thinking, and as you know, I’m developing a new HCI tech in order to make modular computing easy and intuitive for everyone, even for blind and visually impaired people. More details in the future…
The Future Is Now, and it’s gonna be even better soon.😉