You won’t find it in the App Store, but if you want to test Samsung’s One UI 3 operating system on your iPhone, there is a convenient way to do it. Why would anyone want to is another question.
The web app, which was created by Samsung New Zealand, is actually quite smooth and mimics the experience of a Galaxy phone well, with notifications, themes, and incoming calls. Navigation uses the old bar rather than gestures, although Samsung ships its phones with gestures turned off by default.
Typing on menus and settings tabs doesn’t really do what they’re supposed to do. Rather, they display little pop-up cards that explain what they would do on a Samsung phone. There are also fun little Easter eggs, like the Google bar that goes straight to a Samsung Galaxy S21 search.
I’m not sure exactly what this is trying to accomplish, however. Like the iPhone, Samsung phones are as much about hardware as it is software, with the design, display, and camera driving the experience, as well as the nuances of the respective interfaces. Otherwise, the basics of Galaxy phones and iPhones are very similar, with apps, icons, and widgets dotting the home screen. I can’t imagine why anyone who uses it would walk away with an educated opinion on Samsung’s operating system or phones, let alone decide they want to change. It looks more like a nifty gag app than anything else, which is probably why it launched now and not on April 1.
You can try the app by using this link and downloading the Safari bookmark on your home screen.
Michael Simon has covered Apple since the iPod was iWalk. His obsession with technology dates back to his first PC, the IBM Thinkpad with the pop-up keyboard to replace the reader. He’s still waiting for it to come back in style.