I’ve been using Galaxy devices since 2010, when Samsung launched the first Galaxy S. Android, and many Android apps, were an unoptimized mess in 2010, but the Samsung Internet browser stood out as one of the most polished apps back then. Samsung’s browser app ran amazingly smooth thanks to its use of hardware acceleration (i.e.: it offloaded graphical tasks to the GPU for better performance) at a time when the Android OS didn’t officially support hardware acceleration, and that meant Samsung Internet ran better than every other browser app that was available at the time.
But, just a couple of years later, Google launched Chrome for Android devices, and with the popularity the internet giant’s browser had been gaining on desktop computers, it wasn’t long before many shifted to Chrome on their Android smartphone as well. I was one of them, and I’ve stuck with Google Chrome on both my desktop PC and my phones for more than half a decade. Samsung Internet has continued to be awesome all these years, and it also offers some unique features, like support for extensions and a built-in ad blocker, but it has lacked a key feature that keeps me sticking to Google Chrome.
Cross-device sync is the name of the game
It’s a feature that no doubt keeps a lot of other users on Chrome as well, and it’s the fact that you can sync everything from bookmarks and saved passwords between Chrome on Android and Chrome on a desktop PC (whether it’s running Windows or Mac). Samsung has a Chrome extension that lets you copy your Chrome bookmarks to the Samsung Internet app on your phone, but for me (and many like me), only having bookmarks synced isn’t enough.
I need my passwords saved in Chrome as well (yeah, I know this isn’t a very secure thing to do), and I like how quickly everything — bookmarks, history, passwords — syncs between my phone and PC every time I set up a new Galaxy phone (which I do often for reviewing Galaxy devices) and fire up Chrome. With Samsung Internet, that’s not possible, as there is no Samsung Internet browser for desktop PCs. And Samsung probably won’t ever make one, as it’s a mobile-first company that makes most of its profits from selling mobile devices and making the parts that go into smartphones, both from Samsung and other manufacturers.
Samsung could make a Chrome extension that copies more than just bookmarks across Chrome and Samsung Internet, but there probably isn’t a way for extensions to access saved passwords and send them to other apps. Well, you can export passwords from Chrome (and mostly any app/software that saves passwords) as a text file and import it into other browsers/apps, but that’s not an automatic process and doesn’t serve the purpose of syncing that I require.
However, considering Microsoft’s Edge browser is now based on Chromium, maybe Samsung can use its partnership with Microsoft to cook something up that solves the syncing problem for me and others like me? Maybe it can, maybe it can’t – I’m not really sure. But until something like that comes out, I don’t think I will ever be able to use Samsung Internet on my Galaxy smartphones (or any other third-party browser for that matter), despite some of its excellent features and functionality.
Do you use Samsung Internet, or do you stick with Chrome because of the lack of cross-platform syncing on the former? Do you have other reasons for sticking to Samsung Internet or Chrome? Let me know in the comments below!