After 11 years, can Galaxy Store finally start ripping off Apple App Store?


Last updated: November 10th, 2020 at 16:30 UTC+01:00

It’s been over a decade since we first laid eyes on the Galaxy Store, formerly known as Samsung Apps and Galaxy Apps. The eleventh anniversary of the digital storefront’s release was back in September, to be exact. And no one can blame you for not realizing, seeing how Samsung itself did nothing to commemorate it. Which is pretty telling in and of itself, really.

Because we’re talking about a company that celebrates everything from country-specific app releases and Fortnite events to arbitrary product recall completion percentage figures and every holiday with any global name recognition. And with such a high level of dedication that can quite literally terrify people at times.

Overall, Samsung’s marketing department is all about finding reasons for celebrations, commemorations, and other excuses to spread brand-friendly positivity. As is to be expected from a team in charge of promoting a multinational conglomerate. So, when an actual anniversary of an app that’s arguably one of the most unique features of its entire mobile portfolio comes and goes with not even a tweet acknowledging its existence, that brief period of silence is at least as telling as an elaborate festive schedule.

Calling the Galaxy Store’s current level of app quality garbage is an insult to garbage

And what it tells us is that Samsung itself is far from pleased with the current state of the Galaxy Store. So much that it doesn’t even want to draw needless attention to it, being fully aware and perhaps even respectful of the fact that its average customer actively avoids the Galaxy Store.

One look at the poor thing and it’s not difficult to guess why that might be the case. After all, the Galaxy Store was always filled to the brim with trash. And time hasn’t really been kind to this absolute lack of any quality standards enforcement on Samsung’s part. Every type of interactive scam, spyware, adware, etc. you can possibly imagine is just a few taps away after you launch the said mobile store. As for the remaining listings, those not made as attempts to automate crime are usually just straight-up junk.

And if you’re unlucky enough not to be part of some of today’s biggest app markets such as the U.S. and India, you’ll be served that dumpster fire with a dash of machine-translated nonsense. You’d think that allowing users to switch the Galaxy Store to their foreign language of choice would be a common-sense decision. And you would be right, assuming your goal isn’t to create the most hostile app storefront imaginable.

The left screenshot combines 3 languages into a masterpiece that reads like someone had an aneurism while reciting the contents of a mailbox flyer. Meanwhile, the totally-not-shady listing to the right is among the top results when you search for an “emulator” on the Galaxy Store.

Santa, please bring Samsung a framed copy of Apple’s App Store review guidelines

But should we just accept that? Is the overall Galaxy Store project beyond salvation? Or salvageability, in this instance? Would it be easier for Samsung to just start from scratch? Perhaps, but even if that was the case, what should that new beginning entail?

The obvious answer would be for Samsung to just swallow its pride and rip off Apple’s App Store. But that’s easier said than done, in no small part due to how expensive manual curation is. And Android devices rarely bring in the kind of money that could sustain a genuine, honest-to-god App Store rip off, no matter how small in scope. And even when they do, Samsung’s after-sales priorities lie elsewhere, at least for the time being – and we can hardly blame it for prioritizing one of its fortes like security.

Samsung’s Galaxy Store app review process circa 2020, black and white.

But none of that can stop us from dreaming about an ideal One UI experience revolving around a Galaxy Store that acts as a portal to the world of every and any mobile tool and entertainment content imaginable instead of this current cesspool of strenuous software. After all, it’s not like Google’s Play Store, itself, isn’t almost entirely made of trash, adware, spyware, and Nigerian royalty’s forays into app development. But the Galaxy Store manages to be on a whole other level of awful due to the fact it isn’t even leveraging Google’s world-class AI curation tech. Instead, its gatekeeping needs are taken care of by something closer to one line of safety tape behind a man with a dowsing rod.

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