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Everything you need to know

Browsing assist on Samsung Internet

Apart from the highly customizable One UI Android skin, Samsung bundles its own set of apps that go head-to-head with Google’s offerings on Samsung Galaxy phones and tablets. These apps include Messages, Phone, Gallery, My Files, Clock, Health, Internet, and more. The built-in browser is worth checking out for several reasons. Here’s everything you need to know about Samsung Internet.

Samsung Internet is preloaded on Galaxy devices and cannot be uninstalled. While it had a rough start, the South Korean giant frequently pushed updates to bundle more features and customization options. This article takes a closer look at Samsung Internet, its history, and notable features. We also show you how it compares with the market leader, Google Chrome.

A brief history of Samsung Internet

Samsung Internet debuted on Galaxy devices in 2012, with the company’s main goal to bring the web to its products, including tablets, Gear Watch, smart TVs, Gear VR, and home appliances. While the browser was not created solely for mobiles or just for the sake of having a browser, it became a vital component of the Samsung ecosystem.

In its early days, Samsung Internet was not based on Chrome. The company toyed with other options like WebKit, Gecko, and Blink but chose Chromium because of its open source nature, speed, and compatibility with web standards. The first iteration of the browser shipped with a version of the Galaxy S4 later that year.

As Samsung Internet gained popularity, the company made the browser available for download on the Google Play Store in 2015, opening it to a wider audience. Additionally, Samsung brought the browser to Tizen smartwatches via the Samsung Galaxy Store. Samsung estimated that the browser had approximately 400 million active monthly users by 2016, making it one of the most widely used browsers in the world.

Recent studies indicate that Samsung Internet holds 4.38% of the mobile and tablet browser market, showing that the browser has come a long way since its inception. But what notable features does it have, and how do they compare to Chrome? Keep reading to find out.

The browser’s noteworthy features

While Samsung Internet may be considered an unnecessary addition to the company’s proprietary Android skin, it has several noteworthy features that make it one of the best and most complete mobile browsers. Here are our top favorites.

Browsing assist

Samsung debuted several advanced intelligence (AI) features with the Galaxy S24 series. These features are integrated into the default apps, including Notes, Phone, Internet, Voice Recorder, Gallery, and more. As for Samsung Internet, you receive a browsing assist feature that makes content on web pages easy to understand.

You can use the AI tool to summarize and translate web pages within a matter of seconds. If you have a Samsung Galaxy S24 phone, use the steps below to check it in action.

  1. Launch Samsung Internet and open a web page you want to summarize.
  2. Tap the AI button in the bottom menu bar (it looks like three stars) and select Summarize.
  3. Check the web page summary in simplified bullet points. You can copy it or translate it into your language.

A password-protected Secret mode

Incognito Mode is a staple of most browsers, allowing you to surf the web without worrying about saved search history, cookies, and data collection (to an extent). These features aren’t helpful to the average user. Samsung Internet takes things up a notch with Secret Mode.

In addition to the previously mentioned features, the browser blocks access to Secret Mode with a password or biometric methods like fingerprint or face recognition so that your private tabs are only accessible to you. You can also hide files downloaded using Secret Mode from the gallery so that they can only be viewed in Secret Mode.

To password-protect Secret mode:

  1. Launch the browser.
  2. Tap the hamburger menu button in the lower-right corner of the screen.
  3. Select Settings from the options.
  4. Go to Personal browsing data under the Privacy tab.
  5. Select Secret mode settings from the bottom of the list.
  6. Toggle the button next to Use password.

Privacy Dashboard

Most websites offer anti-tracking and pop-up blocking features. Samsung Internet provides an information dashboard of your web browsing sessions for the week. You’ll see which websites tracked you and which websites, pop-ups, and automatic downloads were blocked.

There’s also a Smart Anti-tracking feature that you can set to always block sites from following you on the web or only do so when Secret Mode is turned on.

To configure Smart Anti-tracking:

  1. Navigate to Settings (check the steps above).
  2. Select Browsing privacy dashboard.
  3. Tap Smart anti-tracking.
  4. Choose an option.

Background play

It is another neat feature that separates Samsung Internet from its rivals. It lets you keep playing video sound after leaving a tab or Samsung Internet. We activated the feature and tried it with YouTube. It worked like a charm. Here’s what you’ll do.

  1. Head to Samsung Internet Settings (refer to the steps above).
  2. Scroll to Useful features.
  3. Tap Background play. Turn on the option from the following menu.
  4. Head to any video streaming website and play a clip.
  5. Switch to another tab or app, and the audio clip continues in the background.

Some websites don’t support background play.

Video assistant

Many sites host their videos on platforms other than YouTube. As a result, the playback controls could be different and sometimes unintuitive. Video assistant is Samsung’s way of simplifying the experience by offering a single layout for online videos. This gives you a set of floating playback buttons that are the same regardless of the website you’re on.

The tool includes common controls like auto-rotate, video resizing, and locking to restrict changes. You can swipe up and down on the left and right sides of the screen to increase or decrease brightness and media volume, respectively, or swipe left or right from the center to rewind or fast-forward the video. Double tapping to rewind and fast-forward 10 seconds is also supported. The only thing missing is the ability to change the video quality.

To activate Video assistant:

  1. Launch the browser.
  2. Open the Settings menu.
  3. Go to Useful Features.
  4. Flip the Video assistant toggle.

Lots of customization options

Browsers don’t immediately come to mind when you think of customizability, unless you’re using Samsung Internet. Its customizations transcend beyond add-ons by giving you options to make the browsing experience your own.

For starters, you can tweak the browser’s main menu by adding or removing icons, just like you would Android’s quick settings menu. Tap the hamburger icon in the lower-right corner of the screen and long press any of the options to get started.

You can show or hide the status bar, tab bar, or bookmark bar or change the position of the address bar from top to bottom for better reachability. The options can be found under Layout and menus on the settings page. But there’s more.

Go to Webpage view and scrolling to change the position of or hide the scroll bar, tweak text size on web pages, turn zoom on or off, activate or deactivate zooming on pages, customize the font size on websites, or always use desktop layout. You can also activate buttons to jump to the top or bottom of a page.

Apart from these, Samsung offers a dedicated Labs menu to try new features before the general release, Samsung Pass integration to save your passwords and sign in to your preferred websites seamlessly, content blocker, dark mode, add-on support, and more. Dig into the Samsung Internet app’s settings menu to make these tweaks.

Samsung Internet on the desktop

Samsung has shown early signs of Internet’s arrival on desktop platforms. Samsung Internet appeared on the Microsoft Store on Windows in November 2023. The company later pulled down the listing.

The tech giant offers a solution to access your Samsung Internet bookmarks on Windows and Mac. The company’s extension is available on the Chrome Web Store. You can install it on your Chromium browser like Brave, Chrome, Microsoft Edge, or Vivaldi and sign in with your Samsung account details. You can easily access and sync your bookmarks on Samsung Internet for Android to your PC.

Even though Samsung launched the Internet browser on the desktop, don’t expect it to be as feature-rich as its mobile counterpart from day one.

Samsung Internet vs. Google Chrome

You can’t talk about mobile browsers without mentioning Google Chrome, the most popular option with over 10 billion downloads. So, how does Samsung Internet stack up against Google’s solution?

Both software solutions are similar as far as browsing speed is concerned. The differences come by way of customization, cross-platform synchronization, and so on. Samsung Internet is the more customizable option. Its Secret mode is also more robust than Chrome’s Incognito. And there’s no denying the appeal and usefulness of Video assistant and the privacy dashboard.

The one thing Chrome has going for it is that Samsung Internet would struggle to match in multi-platform support and synchronization. If you like to surf the web on your phone and continue on your Windows laptop, MacBook, or Chromebook and vice versa, there’s no better option than Chrome. Since you’re signed in with your Google account, logging in to supported websites is a breeze.

Samsung Internet deserves more credit than it gets

Samsung Internet is far from bloatware on Galaxy devices. While it has shortcomings, Samsung Internet surpasses rivals like Chrome and Edge in many areas. It’s the better option for those who don’t care about cross-platform syncing. The features mentioned above are just the tip of the iceberg. Check the top Samsung tips and tricks to browse the web like a pro.

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