We've added Samsung Internet to our browser testing recommendations

Note: This post was originally posted on the GDS Technology blog. It can be viewed here.

GOV.UK displayed on Samsung Internet.

We update our browser testing recommendations in the Service Manual every 6 months. Samsung Internet is the latest addition to our list to test your service in.

Why we added Samsung Internet

Samsung Internet is the default browser on Samsung devices and has 2.71% of UK browser market share and over 400 million active monthly users worldwide.

This browser now accounts for a significant share of traffic to GOV.UK. From December to January, 466,012 users visited GOV.UK using Samsung Internet, accounting for 3.2% of traffic. On GOV.UK’s 10 most-used service start pages, Samsung Internet accounts for between 1% and 5% of traffic.

Samsung Internet and Chrome for Android are different and more changes are expected

Samsung Internet is one of several browsers for the Android operating system built on Chromium, the open source code project that’s also the basis for the Google Chrome browser.

Webpages and features on Samsung Internet and Google Chrome for Android function in a similar way but this might change as the browsers diverge. Google Analytics started to distinguish between Samsung Internet and Chrome for Android in August 2017 - previously, it had counted them as the same browser.

Some functional differences between the 2 browsers are already apparent and web developers will need to consider slight differences in CSS, JavaScript and interface features when building for this browser mix.

In the future, there may be a fundamental difference in how pages render or function on Samsung Internet and Chrome for Android. That’s why we think testing this new, popular browser is important.

Having more browsers around is better for everyone

Diversity in the browser market is great for users. Competition between browsers helps to stimulate development of the web, as browsers are iterated to become faster, more secure and easier to use. We’ll keep monitoring use data to make sure GOV.UK keeps pace with the evolving browser space.