Samsung Internet 17.0 Browser released: anti-tracking and usability improvements
Samsung Electronics released Samsung Internet 17.0, the company's official mobile browser, on May 4, 2022. The new version of Samsung's browser blocks Internet tracking automatically and improves the usability in several meaningful ways.
Samsung Internet Browser is the default mobile browser on Samsung devices. It is also available at the Google Play store for non-Samsung devices. The new update is not yet available on Google Play or the Galaxy Store at the time of writing, but Samsung announced that users would start to see update notifications once it is released.
Samsung Internet Browser users can check the version that is installed by selecting Menu > Settings > About Samsung Internet. The installed version is displayed and a check for updates is performed.
Samsung Internet 17.0 Improvements
The new version of Samsung's mobile browser comes with improved anti-tracking functionality. The privacy feature is enabled by default for Samsung customers in several dozen countries, including the United States, South Korea, many European countries, including Belgium, Germany, France, Spain and Iceland.
The previous version of the Samsung Internet Browser supported anti-tracking functionality, but had it disabled by default. Users may go to Menu > Settings > Browsing privacy dashboard > Smart Anti Tracking to enable or disable the privacy feature in that browser.
Samsung did not provide specifics in regards to the enhancements of the anti-tracking feature in the new release, only that it is improved in the new version of the browser.
The built-in privacy dashboard is now accessible via the browser's quick access panel. A tap on the entry opens the dashboard, revealing the number of trackers blocked. Users may change privacy settings right on the page as well.
Samsung notes in the release announcement that its browser supports external security keys for two-factor authentication now; this is an alternative to SMS-based or App-based verification options.
Samsung Internet Browser 17.0 introduces support for tab groups. Users may open the tab view of the browser to drag & drop tabs on to each other to create tab groups. Tab groups consists of multiple sites, which improves organization, especially for users, who have lots of tabs open in the browser.
Samsung notes that the search experience has been improved for local data. Bookmarks, History and saved pages searches may process searches with common typos to return results to the user. Phonetic matching is now also supported, and Samsung's translation service supports five additional languages, which brings the total to 26.
Samsung's Internet Browser has a sizeable market share on mobile devices, thanks to its integration on Samsung devices. It is based on Chromium, the same source that Chrome, Microsoft Edge and other browsers use.
Now You: do you use Samsung's browser on your mobile devices?
Interestingly enough Exodus Privacy scanner from F-Droid finds no trackers inside the app itself. Might be really worth a shot. Usually I have no great opinion of Samsung.
Exodus Privacy scanner finds no trackers inside Google Chrome too, so it doesn’t say much about privacy, does it now? :)
Anyway, even so, Samsung has a very bad track record privacy-wise, Samsung Internet is closed source and needs a hair-raising 100 permissions. So buyer beware.
Well Exodus can only scan for known tracking frameworks. If we want real hard answers, all we gotta do is check in our home wifi what pops up in the wireshark traffic :)
Samsung Internet is actually very good as a browser, but it’s lacking a desktop version to sync all your data such as bookmarks.
there is a chrome extension to sync bookmarks:
I have tried it and it’s not reliable.
Samsung should fix bugs and update the extension.
Use Bromite. Or Brave. Or Kiwi with uBlock Origin.
This Samsung Internet browser is nonsense.
Any android that is capable of blocking ads is useful, so Samsung Internet deserves to be mentioned. Too bad one has to install the adblocker first, just like in Kiwi, so Brave is probably the best option to suggest for people who are not too informed or interested in any kind of tinkering. Opera used to have an adblocker, haven’t used it years so dunno.. Maybe Mr. Brinkmann could write an article about this? Like “Top 10 ad-blocking browsers for Android” showing the differences and options each of them have, since they all go about it a bit differently. My top choice is Kiwi since it just accepts any chrome extension one throws at it. Google will HATE you for it though, since the great uberlord of greed will not have their own adspreading datatracking browser on that list. The world needs a little punk-spirit now, ads on our small screens are satan.
Take a look at the VIA browser. Fast and light.
“Top 10 ad-blocking browsers for Android” – but what for? All you need is one, open-source and free app: blokada.org and you have all trackers and ads blocked – across the entire smartphone, not just the browser.
So far i’ve found Bromite to be the best for privacy. Never seen data gets leaked out of it so far. However i wish there would be a good pitch black theme for it.
I use Bromite on Android, myself. It’s added some new features besides the ad/tracker blocking (which you can change databases for, if you want). It now has some other security features of note. You can set a history expiration threshold; prevent preloading; and, a new site setting blocks third-party sign-ins. They also added a patch under accessibility that puts the toolbar at the bottom and inverts the three-dot menu. Maybe a whole article should be done about it.
do u know that kiwi browser have 3 trackers built in ?
source – https://reports.exodus-privacy.eu.org/en/reports/com.kiwibrowser.browser/latest/
Do you know what they are collecting precisely?
Yes I know. And can you believe this: I DON’T CARE. All I care about is not seeing ads in my Android web browser.
Bromite is great except it’s got one nasty bug. If you input your preferred DoH provider into its Secure DNS setting and then proceed to open multiple tabs concurrently (eg: long-press a few of your bookmarks and select “Open in New Tab”) your DNS queries end up being leaked outside Bromite and are resolved by whatever DNS your Android setup is using.
I tested this by;
1. Setting my NextDNS (DoT) in Android’s Settings > Connections > More > Private DNS
2. Setting another DoH provider (AhaDNS, BlahDNS, Quad9, etc) in Bromite’s settings.
3. Open multiple bookmarks simultaneously in new tabs
Result: My NextDNS logs displayed all the domains of those new tabs.
Also tested with a work profile (created with Shelter and Knox Secure Folder) running MullvadVPN with Mullvad’s DoH server address manually input into the cloned Bromite’s settings. Same thing happened – domains would show up in NextDNS logs, only difference being they’re shown as originating from the Mullvad assigned IP this time.
This only happens when you open more than one tab at the same time. Not something most will do on a mobile setup. With regular browsing, opening one site at a time, nothing leaks. But if you’re the type that doesn’t clear your browsing session upon close, you’ll get DNS leaks the next time you launch Bromite again. Concerning.
You could report the bug you experience here:
This way the developer sees it and it can be fixed.
404 page error for me.
Yeah, I just noticed. I can only view it when I logged in. Apparently my account is flagged. They want me to use a non-disposable/aliased email. Like hell I’m giving a MS owned company that.
Even after logging in I see that nobody from Bromite has seen that report, even when issues posted by others at later times have been answered. I’m guessing my flagged account’s posts aren’t showing up for them.
Screw Bromite. If they want to make their reddit sub private and force non-developers to sign up to github just to let them know about bugs, then I’ll just switch to Brave (unless that bug is upstream-Chromium specific) or Mull.
I’ve been using Samsung Internet for years on my Note devices. It works great and is one of few web browsers to utilize S Pen hover scrolling (hover near edge of screen to scroll that direction), which can be very convenient instead of having to touch the screen (with the S Pen or a finger) and use a flip motion to scroll.
I’ve preferred Samsung Internet Browser on Android to any other browser because it simply has the best “forced dark mode” of any browser I know. The extra video controls also make inline videos a lot easier to operate. That and it generally performs very well even on cheaper devices or with 50+ tabs open.
Lately Vivaldi has been improving massively and since I use that to browse on the desktop I might switch fulltime, but so far I haven’t yet.
I was using classic Edge on Android (v46x) on my Samsung Tab S2/3 tablets, but hated the new version, so I tried Samsung Internet Browser, but eventually switched to Vivaldi. I used a light blue colour to tone down that red theme, and I LOVE it. Very simple, but configurable.
For me the browser doesn’t support good enough ad-blocking and pop-up blocking capabilities so I can’t really use it.
Right now I’m using Kiwi on Android and the other one I’ve tested that is almost as good is Brave, but then I have to go to about:adblock and add a hefty list of custom filters.