Apps and Software

Microsoft Edge now available on Mobile; iOS and Android Preview already available

You cannot make it in the browser business without being present on all platforms. That was the biggest hurdle Microsoft Edge had if it were to stand any chance to oust Chrome as the most popularly used browser.

Microsoft had to pull a surprise on everyone, by releasing a mobile version of the Edge browser. Do you remember Internet Explorer (IE) having a mobile version? Probably not, because it didn’t have one.

With the Edge browser, it seems Microsoft is serious about becoming the most popular browser; and not just on desktop. Although the mobile version is yet available to everyone on stable version, Microsoft has already released the preview version for Windows Insider using an iPhone or Android phones.

Windows Insiders can already give the preview mobile Edge browser a test run. So far, the following are some of the reviews from the Windows Insiders include:

It works like just any other mobile browser, nothing fancy so far. However, there is one major difference between the Edge mobile and the desktop version. The mobile version is not using the Microsoft EdgeHTML rendering engine. That means Edge mobile is missing out on the performance and the efficiency features you would typically get on the Windows 10 desktop. Part of the cause why the Microsoft EdgeHTML rendering engine is

not available on iOS has to do with the stringent restriction Apple has on the iOS platform in as far as the browser engine that can be used by third-party developers. Just like what Apple is doing to Google Chrome mobile browser for iOS, Microsoft too is forced to use Apple’s WebKit engine on the iOS platform.

Other than that, browsing on Edge mobile on an iPhone is more or less the same experience you get on Edge desktop on a Windows 10 PC. Take for instance; when you open a New Tab Page, you get the usual news updates on top stories and other updates according to your interests.

Microsoft has also ported the Hub into the iOS ecosystem, where you can manage your bookmarks, reading lists, and book bought from the Microsoft Store (this feature is coming soon), and access all your browsing history. This feature might just be enough for people who have been wishing to migrate to Edge but held back by the impressive syncing feature you get with Chrome. Although tab syncing is yet to available on Edge mobile and desktop; so Chrome still has an upper-hand on that front.

The browser also comes with a quick search box that supports voice search and QR reading. By default, all searches are run by Bing, but you have the option of changing your default search engine.

In some mobile web pages, Reading View is available for Edge mobile.

If you are used to having the address bar at the bottom while using Windows Phone. You might be annoyed by the fact Microsoft chose to put the address bar at the top for iOS platform. Though, I believe most people like it at the top, which could mean Microsoft might have to revisit their design for Windows Phone.

Then again this is just the preview version of the browser. Perhaps Microsoft has impressive features yet to be baked on the stable version once it rolls out.

Felix Omondi

Kenyan citizen with a passion for writing for as long as I can remember. In my spare time, I like to blog and read up on trends that's happening around the world.

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