Why it matters to you
If you wish Windows 10 worked better with your phone, Microsoft Edge for iOS and Android might be the answer.
Microsoft is bringing Windows 10’s internet browser to more mobile devices. The Redmond, Washington-based company announced that Edge would launch on iOS and Android smartphones on Thursday, October 5.
Folks who have enrolled in the Windows Insider Program — Microsoft’s open testing platform for pre-release distributions of Windows — get first dibs. Starting October 5, they’re eligible to sign up for the Microsoft Edge Preview, which will automatically distribute new builds of Edge as they become available.
The Edge apps for iOS and Android are consistent with their desktop counterpart’s minimialist aesthetic, but they aren’t ports of Windows 10’s Edge. Microsoft says they’re built from the ground up to take advantage of the platforms’ unique features. The iOS version uses Apple’s Webkit rendering engine instead of Microsoft’s EdgeHTML, for example, while Edge on uses Google’s Chromium. And both versions let you change the default search engine and block pop-ups and cookies, toggle form saves, and clear browsing history.
Unsurprisingly, Edge for iOS and Android integrates tightly with Windows 10. The apps pulls your bookmarks, tabs, ebooks, favorites, and Reading View from the cloud, and Microsoft says future versions will sync passwords and browsing history across your signed-in devices.
“By far, the majority of our Windows 10 users have iOS and Android phones,” Joe Belfiore, vice president of Windows Experience, told ZDNet. “But there’s no good system to unify PCs with these phones. These two […] apps will knit all this together for all our customers.”
Edge will evolve throughout the testing period, Microsoft says. Support for iPads and Android tablets is in active development, as are Microsoft Cortana-powered recommendations and the desktop Edge’s pen highlighting features. Continue on PC — the Windows 10 service that lets you start browsing the web on a Windows 10 device and pick up where you left off on a phone or tablet — will launch on October 17, when the final Windows 10 Fall Creators update becomes available.
Edge for iOS and Android are available in the U.S. starting October 5, with additional languages and countries to come in the next few weeks. If you’re already a member of Microsoft’s Windows Insider Program and have the latest Windows 10 Insider build installed, you can sign up for access here.
Coinciding with the rollout of Edge for iOS and Android is the Microsoft Launcher, a rebranded version of Microsoft’s Arrow Launcher for Android. The home screen replacement app, a graduate of Microsoft’s internal Garage accelerator, features a real-time feed of important events, top news, recent activities, and favorite contacts; customization options like a background switcher, adjustable grid layout, and programmable gesture shortcuts; and Continue on PC features that highlights recently opened documents.
The Microsoft Launcher is available now for Android devices from the Google Play Store.