With Samsung's Quick Share functionality coming soon to Windows 10, business processes that rely on fast-paced file transfers between devices should be lot easier for Windows 10 users with Samsung devices.
Apple's AirDrop file-sharing function has long stood out as a benefit of using Apple devices. The Quick Share app isn't as universal as AirDrop due to the diversity of Android and Windows endpoints, but it's a significant step for Windows 10's mobile connectivity. Neither Microsoft nor Samsung has announced an official release date for this new feature.
At face value this new functionality may not seem revolutionary; after all, enterprise file sync-and-share (EFSS) services are commonplace in the enterprise and email has been able to send data and files from one device to another for decades.
There are plenty of use cases where the traditional file-sharing methods will still be preferable. In some cases, however, the process of instant document sharing can take seconds rather than minutes, which simplifies workflows.
Before examining the effect this feature could have on businesses, it's important to learn what exactly this feature is and how it works.
How does Samsung Quick Share work?
Samsung has had the Quick Share functionality on its devices since 2020 for use between Samsung devices. The only other prerequisite was that the devices must be running Android 10.0 or later. Samsung Quick Share's approach to sharing files isn't based on Bluetooth or near field communication (NFC).
With Quick Share, a Samsung device uploads the selected files to Samsung Cloud. Once the file uploads to Samsung's cloud storage, Quick Share streams the file to the receiving device and then initiates a download. Once the download is complete, Samsung Cloud deletes the file, ensuring it doesn't store unnecessary files.
Quick Share currently supports up to 1 GB for a single file transfer and a maximum of 2 GB of sharing per day. Samsung offers several modes with different amounts of privacy regarding who can or can't initiate a Quick Share transfer including "everyone" and "contacts only." Users that don't want to use the feature at all can simply turn off Phone visibility or Tablet visibility, depending on the device type.
There isn't a lot of public information about how this process will work when extending Samsung's service to Windows 10 desktops, but it is clear that Windows 10 users will need to download the Quick Share application from the Microsoft Store. IT professionals could also deploy the application to the users' desktops.
What does Quick Share mean for Windows 10 business users?
The use cases for a simple file-sharing service that can connect desktops and mobile devices are clear and well-established, thanks to Apple's AirDrop. Organizations can use AirDrop and other quick file-sharing services for years to aid with various tasks that require collaboration between multiple users and devices, and other use cases such as sharing digital business cards.
It's certainly a positive for Samsung users and organizations that deploy and manage Samsung devices because more options for file sharing can't be a bad thing; organizations that don't want to use this feature simply don't have to adopt it. However, there are some reasons that organizations may be wary of fully adopting this feature.
One potential reason is the diversity of mobile endpoints in organizations. While Windows 10 can support this feature on devices from numerous OEMs such as Dell, Lenovo and HP, the users will need a Samsung mobile device to use Quick Share. The desktop integration is based on the OS, but the mobile feature isn't.
Mobile endpoint standardization is certainly present in some organizations, but not all organizations have users with the same mobile endpoints. Even if an organization has committed to exclusively Android, users with LG, Acer, Huawei or Motorola devices, for example, won't have access to Quick Share. There are also organizations that deploy exclusively iOS devices or a mix of iOS and Android devices. Further, some organizations offer BYOD programs, which often give the organization far less control over what mobile devices users can work from.
To standardize use of Quick Share across an organization would require exclusively Samsung endpoints. Organizations with a variety of devices can still use Quick Share, but the feature loses some of its efficacy if only a fraction of users can benefit from it.
There are also some security and privacy concerns that come with using a file transfer service such as Quick Share. While co-workers can use the service to share business-related files, Quick Share presents another vector for cybersecurity threats. Users could be tricked by a social engineering attempt and download a file designed to escalate privilege until it has access to critical business data, or even accidentally click on a public file share that could download ransomware.
IT can counter most of the security issues that file transfer services present by requiring users to turn the sharing preferences to the contacts only setting, which doesn't allow hackers to share malicious files via transfer. Like any phishing vector, user training can also go a long way in preventing these attacks.