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article imageMicrosoft Edge is coming to iOS and Android

By James Walker     Oct 5, 2017 in Technology
Microsoft has announced it's bringing its Edge web browser to iOS and Android. The surprise reveal is part of Microsoft's ongoing efforts to narrow the gap between phones and PCs. It raises questions around the company's own Windows 10 Mobile though.
Microsoft Edge debuted with Windows 10 a little over two years ago. Throughout its life, it has remained exclusive to Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile, with Microsoft making no attempt to bring it to other platforms or older Windows versions.
Today, Microsoft announced this is going to change. The company has developed a new Edge experience for iOS and Android which syncs with the one on Windows 10 PCs. The company said it will let Edge "work great with your phone," including features that let you reopen a webpage from your phone when you're on your PC.
The app has a unique interface that does not appear to resemble Edge on Windows 10. There's a bottom bar with buttons for sharing and tabs, including dedicated navigation keys. Unlike Edge on Windows 10 Mobile, the address bar is located at the top of the display.
There's also a fully-featured start page reminiscent of the one on Windows 10. This component is absent from Windows 10 Mobile. On iOS and Android, it displays a prominent Microsoft logo, a central search bar and links to recent sites and top news stories.
Microsoft Edge for iOS/Android
Microsoft Edge for iOS/Android
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"Microsoft Edge for iOS and Android brings familiar features like your Favorites, Reading List, New Tab Page and Reading View across your PC and phone, so, no matter the device, your browsing goes with you," said Microsoft. "But what makes Microsoft Edge really stand out is the ability to continue on your PC, which enables you to immediately open the page you’re looking at right on your PC—or save it to work on later."
The surprise announcement resurfaces old questions about Edge and Microsoft's mobile ambitions. Edge's desktop market share is still far behind Chrome, Firefox and Microsoft's own Internet Explorer. At just 5.6%, the number of people actively using Edge is very low. For comparison's sake, Chrome currently leads with around 55.7%, forcing the consideration of why Microsoft's even bothering with the port.
Microsoft said it's bringing Edge to phones because "we want our browser experience to move to our phones" is the top request from Edge users. The decision seems to say less about Edge's market share than Microsoft's mobile intentions though. Coming alongside today's announcement of the Microsoft Launcher for Android, the release of Edge for iOS and Android could indicate the end for Windows 10 Mobile.
Microsoft has repeatedly stated it will not abandon its mobile efforts. However, Edge's expansion suggests its own platform is now more forgotten than ever before. Microsoft is having to follow its users in an effort to retain a foothold in the mobile market.
Using the Microsoft Launcher, Edge and apps such as OneDrive and Office, you can now create an Android device that effectively offers an all-Microsoft experience. It might not be Windows Mobile, but it seems to be the new meaning of "Microsoft Mobile." Edge will be released in preview form later this year. There's no word yet on when the full release will be ready.
More about Microsoft, Ios, Android, microsoft edge, Apps
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