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Winning over iPhone customers may be an uphill battle for Android makers, but Samsung is determined to give it its best shot, with a new interactive web app that allows iPhone users to “sample the other side.”
The new site appears to be part of a marketing push by Samsung in New Zealand, as evidenced by its “.nz” domain name, and the MacRumors reader who discovered it as part of an ad campaign in that country.
It’s actually a fairly brilliant idea, and even if you’re completely happy staying in the Apple ecosystem, it’s worth a look just to see how well put together the whole experience is.
The web app doesn’t just show you a few interactive screens, but it actually simulates calls and messages and offers up interactive tips and content throughout.
Entering the camera app even offers up a video tutorial from well-known New Zealand photographer Logan Dodds on how to use the Samsung Galaxy camera to take great pictures.
“A little taste of Samsung without changing phones.”
To access the experience, you simply need to go to iTest.nz. Visiting the site from your Mac or PC will give you a QR code that you can scan with your iPhone Camera, but you can also just go to the site directly in mobile Safari right on your device.
The site will first prompt you to install it to your Home screen as a web app, since it naturally needs to run in a full-screen interface. This doesn’t actually install the app on your iPhone, however, it’s just a web shortcut, and there’s no App Store equivalent, for fairly obvious reasons.
Once added to the Home Screen, however, you can simply tap on the app icon, and you’ll suddenly be looking at the main screen of a Galaxy smartphone.
The whole thing is a somewhat surreal experience on an iPhone, since so many things work just like they would if you were using a Samsung phone. While Samsung obviously couldn’t replicate everything through a web app, we were surprised by how much there actually is to explore.
For instance, other than a standard iOS-level prompt asking you to grant access to the camera, opening the simulated Samsung camera app will let you take pictures, record videos. They’re not saved anywhere, mind you, but it otherwise still works like it would on a real Samsung phone.
You can also browse through the Galaxy Store, apply themes, and even place and send simulated phone calls and text messages. The Gallery app also includes a few photos to show off.
To be clear, there are still a number of things that aren’t accessible. Instead, Samsung provides pop-up tips to explain what these options would do on a real Galaxy phone. What is there, however, is pretty cool, and as you navigate the app you’ll even get incoming calls and texts to highlight and explain specific features.
Many of these are also a bit fun and whimsical, such as a series of messages from “Friend with kids” apologizing for a bunch of random messages that came from their young daughter playing with their phone, and of course pointing to “Samsung Kids” as a “life saver” to check out. Or a note in the Settings app that says that “We’ve simplified the settings menu experience just so our developer could have a lunch break.”
Samsung also isn’t missing the opportunity to promote other gear here, with a “Galaxy Wearable” app that shows off the Galaxy Buds Pro, Galaxy Watch, Galaxy Fit2, and more.
Although this new “Galaxy experience” isn’t likely to win over any iPhone users by itself, it’s certainly a good opportunity to see how the other side lives, and of course, Samsung is hoping that it might be enough to persuade at least a few folks who are on the fence about switching.