Android-curious iPhone owners have a new outlet today. All you have to do is head to a Samsung website, and your phone will be transformed into a Galaxy S23. Well, sort of. It’s a web app that mimics the interface and features of Samsung phones. Even if it doesn’t convince you to switch, seeing how the other half lives can be interesting.
The website is Try Galaxy, and it’s only for iPhones using the Safari browser. If you try to load it on a PC or Android phone, the site will give you a QR code or link to send to an iPhone. Instead of simply loading the faux Galaxy interface, Samsung tries to get its hooks into you. You have to add a shortcut to Try Galaxy on your home screen, and then you can open it to check out Samsung’s One UI 5.1 software.
iPhone users will be greeted by a Samsung home screen plastered over the top of the iOS system UI. A handful of Samsung “apps” on the home screen include the gallery, messages, Samsung Health, and the camera. Some of these have interactive demos that begin when you open them. Google apps are almost absent from the interface, though.
If you scroll over to the second home screen panel, Samsung included links to info about performance, privacy, and other features. There are also some retail links for the Galaxy S23 family. Even if you don’t poke around there, you’ll get “text messages” from fictitious people in One UI telling you about Samsung phones.
Credit: Ryan Whitwam
You’ll still have your navigation bar at the bottom and the system icons at the top. However, Samsung will add a second navigation bar on top of the iPhone gesture bar. The Android navigation buttons are partially functional, for example letting you go back and return home, but the multitasking button only brings up an info box that tells you about multitasking. Since the iOS system navigation is right at the bottom of the screen, you can leave your Android experiment behind anytime. If you remain unconvinced about this whole switching thing, you can remove the Try Galaxy shortcut from your home screen then and there.
For anyone convinced by Samsung’s little demo, the Galaxy S23 family starts at $800, but these phones are beginning to go on sale now that we’re a few months out from release. Meanwhile, Apple is expected to launch the iPhone 15 series this fall with a USB-C port for the first time. If you’ve toughed it out with Lightning this long, you might as well wait and see how that shakes out.