GDS recommends testing digital services on Samsung Internet browser

GDS recommends testing digital services on Samsung Internet browser

The Government Digital Service (GDS) has added Samsung as the new face to the mobile browsers public sector users should test their digital services on. 

Samsung Internet is the latest to join the list of browsers, which users should test their services on to meet the requirements of the Digital Service Standard.  As the default browser on Samsung Devices, data from StatCounter, Samsung Internet has 2.71% of UK browser market share and accounts for 3.2% of traffic to the GOV.UK platform, adding up to 466,000 users per week.

The GDS updates its recommendations in the Service Manual every six months. In a blogpost, the GDS said that from December 2017 to January 2018, 466,012 users visited GOV.UK using Samsung Internet. On 10 most-used service start pages on GOV.UK, Samsung Internet accounted for 1% to 5% of traffic, it said.

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

Although webpages and features on Samsung Internet and Google Chrome for Android function in a similar way, Google Analytics started to distinguish between Samsung Internet and Chrome for Android in August 2017.

Some functional differences are already apparent between the two browsers and there could be many fundamental changes between the two browsers in how pages render or function on Samsung Internet and Chrome for Android. Therefore, the GDS said, it is important to test the new browser.

After being defined separately from Chrome, Samsung Internet becomes the second Android-based browser on which public sector digital services must achieve compliance.

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“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,” the GDS said in the blogpost.

The GDS said that diversity in the browser market will benefit users.