Is there actually a real Samsung DEVELOPER program?

Let’s say I’m an app developer and I would need information about an upcoming Android release from Samsung like OneUI 4.0 (Android 12)…where do I get those information?

With information I mean something like this:

I already found multiple behavior changes in the beta version of OneUI 4.0, that are NOT part of the official Android 12 release, but for the love of god I cannot find any documentation or information about any OneUI release and therefore no information about those behavior changes.

So, as a normal end user I’m able to test new OneUI releases, but as a DEVELOPER I’m unable to make my apps compatible with this new release, because there is no developer documentation available.

I hope I’m just very bad at searching but at the moment there is no real Samsung DEVELOPER program, IMHO.

Please guide me to the real DEVELOPER information/documentation! :neutral_face:

1 Like

I believe Android 12 Beta will only be available to Galaxy S21 users and you apply for it through the Samsung Members App.

If it is available it should be in the Members app notifications. If not check with your service provider. They are responsible for Android Beta programs and I know that Android 11 was only available by one provider in the US. I don’t know about global.

Ron
Samsung Developer Relations

My English might be really bad, but I’m not talking about any end user beta program.
I’m talking about a real developer program provided by Samsung.
(And yes, I already installed the Samsung Beta of OneUI 4.0 on our Galaxy S21 test device.)

Just look at the Android Developer program and you know what I mean: https://developer.android.com/
Here I’m able to test new Android releases and read documentations about changes made to Android and how to make my apps compatible with this new release.

Currently I don’t see any of this at the so called “Samsung Developer Program”.
I noticed changes in OneUI 4.0 that changes the behavior of Android itself, which are not part of the official Android 12 release (e.g. a new Notification Permission Dialog).
So those changes are exclusive to OneUI 4.0 and therefore exclusive to Samsung devices, but there is no documentation available on those changes and I’m unable to make my app compatible with the new OneUI 4.0.

I’m asking myself:
Am I missing anything?
And what is the point in doing a beta test, if developers aren’t able to change their apps to be compatible, because there is no information available on what has been changed by Samsung?

That’s why I’m asking, if there is actually a real Samsung Developer program like https://developer.android.com/
:man_shrugging:

1 Like

Android is Open Source.
One UI is beta tested via the Service Providers at their options. All other tools and SDKs are generally Free Beta version but some require approval as a partner. If you click on Build tab you can see the general Developer Categories.

Ron
Samsung Developer Relations

:man_shrugging: I still don’t know how this would help me.
Let me try again with a simple example:

  • I take my Galaxy S21 5G (no brand) and install the OneUI 4.0 beta
  • I install the “Amazon Shopping” app via the Google Play Store
  • I do NOT start the app but I check the apps settings and notice, that after app install all Notification are “Blocked”

This is NOT the default behavior if it comes to app installs on the default Android 12 OpenSource project. Try the same on a Pixel 5 device with the current Android 12 beta version and Notifications are NOT blocked but allowed after app install.

So this is the first change made exclusively in OneUI 4.0 beta and I can’t find any information or documentation about this on any Samsung page or forum.

Going forward:

  • I start the app and a new dialog pops up, asking for permission to send me notifications from the “Amazon Shopping” app

Same thing. This is not part of the Android OpenSource project and is not documented in the official Android 12 releases from the OpenSource project. Try the same on a Pixel 5 with the current Android 12 beta and this dialog won’t appear.
So this is another change made exclusively in OneUI 4.0 beta and I can’t find any information or documentation about this on any Samsung page or forum.

It is clear to see, that for OneUI 4.0, Samsung introduced (some sort of) a new Notification permission for Apps, which the user may grant or not.
As this is a change made to the operating system (Android 12) itself, which might break app functionality, I would expect any documentation about this to exist on any Samsung page, but I cannot find anything.

Please let me know, where such things are documented / where to find real information for app developers.

1 Like

I think you probably already worked out the answer to this MaWie, but it’s nice that you remain optimistic anyway. I’m doing Tizen beta testing for large corporations around the world and it’s just astonishing to me that you can’t get ANY information out of Samsung. Everything on the consumer side has to fit into perfect little boxes. If you bought your TV in Mexico, well, that model only exists on the Samsung Mexico site, which you have to speak Spanish to use. Nevermind that you may be required to test the client’s app on a german language setup with EU firmware. Of course, there IS an EU firmware for my TV… .but it doesn’t exist on any Samsung website for you to download. You’ve gotta connect the TV to a VPN and do a factory reset and then walk through the whole procedure of setting it up… only to find out "Oh, for SOME reason, many of the core features of the TV like WiFi Direct are just missing from that region’s firmware for absolutely no good reason. Of course there’s no changelogs, because the firmware isn’t available for download on the web.

"When they ‘Oh but Android is open source’, it comes across as a pretty weak excuse don’t you think ? Because TIZEN IS OPEN SOURCE TOO ! But can you get firmware, or even changelogs from the end user perspective, let alone the developers side ? Nope. Stonewalled. Fed some some company doublespeak line about “We don’t provide that access like Google does because it’s open source… although… so is our OS … I guess we just don’t want you to develop apps for our platform”.

I’m not trying to be cynical or critical, but it says a lot about the Samsung Developer program that when you browse these forums, the posts are the most straight-up basic things like “Why can’t I get my TV into developer mode so that I can test my app ?” … I couldn’t either because my model isn’t mentioned anywhere on this site. I had to find out how to enable that from some shady website that was just trying to help end users get around the never ending, non-disclosed limitations that are put on their devices and the lack of transparency.

When I saw this post, I just sighed and thought "Yeah, wouldn’t that be great ? Because it’s pretty clear that 90% of the people on this forum are either not really developers to begin with, or else they are just being prevented from actively being able to develop because Samsung won’t even publish the instructions for how to enable developer mode … on a developer forum ! Firmware ? LOL. You’d better get out Wireshark and capture the traffic to find out where the firmwares really come from, because they sure aren’t provided to us. The end user literally gets more information than we do.

I’ve developed for a lot of platforms, and I used to be heavily into Android development but I wanted to try Tizen because it’s fresher and faster. It just has no apps, and now I finally understand why. Everything is geofenced, even access to firmware, but then you have the extra complexity of limited data on the website. I’m almost afraid to say that the word “vpn” in case I get banned, but what else am I supposed to do if I’m an Australian in Mexico trying to do product UI testing for a German bank (for example only… because NDA’s) on a European firmware ? Just put the TV under my arm and fly over to Berlin with it to download the firmware and then fly back ?

I would LOVE for Samsung developer support to say “Oh, yeah there’s another site that has all that stuff. Let me give you the link and you can download developer betas, foreign firmware, detailed changelogs and more. You’ll need those things to… you know… develop for our platform”. But so far I can’t even get past the end user level of just needing a firmware that Samsung won’t provide on their website in the country I’m in. So I can’t even test my client’s apps, much less write and roll out any.

I don’t know if you have anything helpful to add Ron, but you surely get what MaWie is saying, right ? How do we develop apps with consistent, functional UI’s when we can’t even get a dev beta of Samsung’s phone firmware to test it on. Android and Tizen are both open source, and while OneUI isn’t, but he wasn’t ASKING for source code. He was asking for a prerelease of the firmware so he could test his app.

I’m not here to criticize any person though. This attitude of “We don’t publish that” or “It’s not open source” isn’t even true. It’s how Samsung responds.

MaWie, you’ll get further googling. I am not sure if we can post links to source repositories, but a quick look at Google shows me that there’s a SamsungInternet (that’s the username) account on Github that has a CSS mockup of the OneUI interface that should give you some idea of their UX guidelines. Obviously you can’t run an app on that, but there’s a whole project called OneUI-Web which is located at oneuiweb.dev that takes this further.

You may have to step off the official Samsung web to actually find the list of links that you’re looking for, even when the repositories themselves are official and public. There’s a site called awesomeopensource that has links to 180 third party open source projects for Samsung’s platforms, but some of them are definitely not authorised or proper, so that’s just a suggestion of where you might find some support from developers. Definitely be sure to not breach your developer agreement terms by going there or posting.

You’re obviously already in the OneUI beta program, which is how you got the beta on your S21, and I know you just want UX documentation and API specs and such. I don’t know what that isn’t obvious to Samsung Dev Rel, but the impression I get is that they don’t really hang around on these forums because the’s no real documentation or information here anyway, which is why everyone’s walking around going “Uhh how do I put my device into developer mode ? Why aren’t there docs ?”.

I just got off chat with end user support because the firmwares shouldn’t be a develooper issue anyway since it says all over the samsung site “you can download them and install them from USB” so I just wanted to know “Ok, where ? Not the one for the country I’m in… the other ones. The EU, AU, US and Asia ones… I need those” and the best I could get was “Oh, that’s most unusual. I will forward an email along to the complaints department to let them know about your problem and you can call them on Monday to talk to them. I assure you they will clear up everything” … Sigh… the contents of changelogs and the link to the firmware downloads are not the sort of thing you can retreive over the telephone, nor are they something handled by the complaints department. I just thought… well, since Samsung always says over and over on the customer facing support site “You can install them from USB !” and there’s definitely not a document over on this side that provides links and changelogs for them, I thought maybe it was just because they’re an end user thing.

The only response I got was a vague sort of “Oh sir, we can’t give out details about the contents of a firmware update or just put them up there for everyone to do what they want with. It’s a matter of security and conpany policy”.

Umm… except that every single products’s support page literally tells you that you can download them … and you can, for the country you’re in. No “details” though. In the rest of the known universe those things are called “changelogs” and they let users and developers know whether a particular problem may have been caused by or elimated by a particular software version. And developers… really need them, to reproduce and document the bugs in our client’s apps.

Any end user can use a VPN, and any developer can just switch their region in the OSm but somehow it’s gotta remail a secret . Applies Head to Desk repeatedly

I already gave up on the beta testing job. The first day the dev house gave me a project it came with links to “things”, hosted on “places” that they shouldn’t be. It wasn’t worth the money to be a beta tester if I had to breach the developer agreement on the first day, so I would have declined even if I couldn’t get around all the problems caused by Samsung’s lack of transparency. All I can say is … I agree with you 100%, man. This doesn’t feel like a developer forum or developer site at all.

What i’ve worked out is that everything is on Github somewhere. Whether it’s official or not and also whether it’s supposed to be there or not. The user “awesome-smarttv” has a nicely curated list of links on that subject, and it’s helpfully divided into official and non official so you can work out you’re allowed to look at. Smart phones, I’m sure you know the best non-Samsung forums for those discussions. Firmware ? I found three enormous archives, totaling well over half a million files. I can finally get a firmware for Bagladesh if I need to test an app for that country. Some web solutions company called Etnosoft provide the “world’s biggest archive of Samsung firmware” and docs. I won’t drop the site name because their TOS is a real eyebrow raiser because they essentially say that if not otherwise specified then all trademarks on the site belong to them which they definitely do not.

Still hasn’t got me firmware for my obscure Mexican Smart TV though. All I really wanted to do tonight was cast DEX from my phone to the TV, but couldn’t because they just took that out of the firmware from the region I signed up in. And somehow in my fruitless search for official firmware links … I ended up stumbling across a project that modifies and distributes their own aftermarket OS’s for Samsung TV’s which is absolutely not what I was looking for. It’s just frustrating that you can find things like that so easily. My goal this month was to make a progressive web app to enhance my home automation goals, or find a way to use Smart Things to cast DEX to my TV. Obviously all very much possible and official things. I’m just completely hampered by a lack of official information resources and all my enquiries result in people (figuratively) looking down their nose at me going “I’m not sure you’re supposed to be doing that” when all I’m doing is having the audacity to live outside the country I was born in, and get stuck there due to COVID, and all my family are scattered over the world in the same way, like it’s suspicious or something ? That’s what gets me… They say “Oh, Policy this” and “Licensing agreements that” to convince me that I’m doing something illegal or wrong.

Nah bro. Nothing shady going on. I just travel. I’m an expat. I just wanted to code something that would make it easy for my daughter who’s in India and my son who’s in Vietnam and me in Mexico to all install a little webapp on our Samsung TV’s that I was going to write this month to show what we’re all watching so we could stay up to date, and maybe click a button to get a link to what each other are watching since we all obviously share the same family Netflix and Disney account and this plague means we can’t all be togehter at Christmas. But apparently even THAT is shady and got a very disapproving reaction from Samsung support like I was breaking a law or trying to enable piracy or something. That’s Netflix and Disney’s business anyway and they are perfectly fine with it. I just wanted to write a cool app, since Watch Parties seem to be the next big thing now that Microsoft is rolling it out on the Kinect in it’s new “TV box” form factor. But … I guess Samsung don’t want us doing things like that. We’re all just supposed to stay home exactly where we were born and respect their geofences.

Turns out that someone basically already laid the framework for it over a decade ago in the form of a modified firmware that has a telnet server and a python interpreter, so I could actually knock the whole thing up with a Raspberry Pi in a night, but then it WOULD be illegal, so I think I’m just going to post all my family generic Android TV boxes from China and do it on those instead because even if it wasn’t against Samsungs TOS, I certainly don’t want to explain to my 70 year mother how to install a potentially shady custom firmware over the phone. SMH. The weird thing is… the thing I was told was “impossible” - using an app that wasn’t available in the Samsung Store in my region … so we can all use it … Samsung have an app for that. Tizen App Share… for Android (?!) … based on the Samsung Accessory SDK, but that’s only really documented by Samsung for the purpose of sending data to a Galaxy Gear… but Tizen themselves have some excellent documentation on how you can use it to do cool things like sending apps between two Tizen TV’s using Android phones as an intermediary.

Now… my only problem is, Tizen App Share only operates over WiFi Direct… which means it’s only usable within the space of your own home, and it’s only for specific “compatible” devices, despite it being an open SDK. And why would you even use that if both devices were in the same physical location, because you just put in a USB stick or use a cloud service to transfer it, so it’s one of those “also cool but actually useless” things. And I couldn’t use it anyway because my developer mode Tizen firmware is based off the US one, and WiFi direct is completely left out of that version… so I’d have to factory reset my TV to install the Mexican firmware to get that working, so somehow I’ve managed to be prevented from doing simple things like switch to an Indian firmware to see if my daughter has the feature on her Smart TV, because there’s no changelogs and Samsung don’t want to tell anyone what features are or aren’t in their firmwares, and I couldn’t do it if we were in the same house under the same artificial geofenced region because we’d still have TV’s from different regions anyway, even if they’re the same flipping model of TV. Arrrghhh… thanks for creating this whole problem for no reason whatsoever, Samsung. And no, it’s not a “policy” of the app developers that you have no control over, like Support tried to tell me tonight. They’re completely hamstrung just like I am by not having the access to test and deploy things.

I’m surrounded by invisible fences, had to give up my beta testing job, still can’t watch Disney with my kids over the Christmas holidays, and the one thing that would have made it better… being able to write and deploy an app for us to all use to bring us together is impossible because Samsung just want to criticize and judge people in their own developers program for doing things they think amount to circumventing the geographic restrictions that they put in place and pretend are someone else’s fault.

I just wanted to make an app, guys. I opened my developer account in February hoping to get it done quickly and I’ve been 100% compliant with all your terms. But it’s just been roadblocks and disinformation every step of the way. And now. doesn’t matter… .Microsoft have re-birthed the Kinekt as a set top box with a camera that lets families and friends across the world “be together”, laugh, eat popcorn and watch synchronised movies at the same time.

I could have made that for Tizen instead, so it would have actually had ONE cool app on the platform, but throw up his hands Apparently that wasn’t in line with what Samsung wants. I guess I’ll just buy them all xbox’s for Christmas instead.

Do you get it now ? We’re not stealing your source code to sell it to the competition or hacking your devices. SOMEONE is definitely out there doing that, but not us. We’re in HERE looking for documentation, UX betas, and SDK’s so we can make cool things like Microsoft just beat us all to. Stonewalling and being evasive and refusing to publish things doesn’t stop any of those other people doing what they’re going to do. The only people that it stops is US … the developers… who are just trying to make this platform better. I think I’m done with Tizen. It’s a great IoT system but…even when the documentation is all there, Samsung still wanna keep it on a high shelf behind glass because they don’t trust us to touch it, and that’s really sad… and it’s also why I bought my TV thinking “I’d rather use Tizen. It’s much faster than Android. I think it’s the better Smart TV OS” … and then after two months I just plugged in a slow, clunky Google TV because … Tizen’s useless if there’s no apps. And Samsung IS the reason there’s no apps on Tizen because this is how they treat developers !

Sorry Samsung, but this is why we can’t have nice things and why another company will do everything better and easier. You know why I know ? Because man, Xiaomi’s developer forum is so… so different to this. They’re in there helping us, asking us what we need, sending us files, even letting us post other people’s (non infringing) firmwares if it helps us make better products. That’s why the last Samsung phone I owned was the Note 3 and I switched to Xiaomi. Your Smart TV’s are still bomb… but they’re also useless because of all the restrictions.

I’ll probably get banned for this so it’ll be my first and last post in one go. Adios. And to the friendly but not very helpful or sympathetic gentleman who I dealt with on the support chat tonight whose name was “Eric”, no… I’m not CALLING the foreign language complaints department of Samsung’s Mexican call center about the feature differences in the developer firmware. That’s a problem you guys created, on purpose. I’m not spending my money to waste my Monday on the phone to someone who only speaks in corporate-ese.

THIS IS WHY… Samsung… This gestures vaguely … this is all WHY.

2 Likes

it’s pretty clear that 90% of the people on this forum are either not really developers :slight_smile::slight_smile:

No you won’t be banned and I read the entire message. :grin:

I’ve been monitoring developer’s forums since the 90s and always the majority of questions are not from Developers. And yes people want to know how to enter developer mode on their TV because they want to install some hack that someone wrote.

Have a good day and I hope Eric understands.

Ron
Samsung Developer Relations