Close to the Edge: Microsoft’s Browser Now Available On iPhone and Android

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Microsoft’s Edge has had some unkind things said about it over the years. “Internet Explorer with a different name”, for example, or “like Bing, but a browser”. Some have even referred to it as the browser you use to download a better browser, a description which was simultaneously cruel, funny, and true. However, you don’t get to be one of the biggest computing companies in the world without knowing how to act on criticism, and you don’t get to be Bill Gates without knowing where there is money to be made- so it was always likely that Microsoft would bounce back.

It’s clear that Microsoft has gone away and made Edge a whole lot better than it was when it first appeared. Rather than trying to use their historic market dominance to make their browser indispensable to Microsoft PC owners, the company has accepted that it needs to be more broadly compatible. One way in which they have shown this readiness to embrace a more open market is by making Edge available as a browser for mobile devices, including Apple devices and Android phones.

What Can iOS And Android Users Expect?

While Microsoft’s popularity in the desktop and laptop markets continues at an impressive level given the competition that has arisen over recent years, the take-up of their Windows Phones has not really provided any kind of challenge to the market leaders. It’s more than possible, then, that you have a Windows PC or laptop and a phone with another OS entirely.

Taking note of this, Microsoft have offered Edge as a mobile browser with a seamless switchover from handheld device to computer. If you’re looking at a site on your phone, the “Continue on PC” option lets you send the page to an Edge browser on your PC.

This is extremely handy for those occasions when the limitations of a mobile site become maddeningly evident, for example when you’re trying to place a wager on a complex UI betting site like Betway for example and the screen won’t recognise what you’ve pressed, or when you want to make the text bigger on an article without having to scroll from side to side.

An End To Microsoft Insularity

One thing that has turned a lot of users off Microsoft in the past is the company’s seeming determination that if you’re using one of their devices, you will use their software and their platforms on it. Taking that further, if you surfed using Edge, it would try to make you search with Bing. Now, Bing works fine, but when you don’t know the answer to a question you don’t say “Hold on, I’ll just Bing that”, do you?

It’s good news, then, that with Edge for iOS and Android, you have the option to make Google -- or Yahoo!, if you must -- your default search engine.

Too Little, Too Late?

Users who can overcome their existing prejudices will find Edge for iOS and Android to be a genuinely useful browser with a lot of welcome functionality. It remains to be seen whether this will boost their (currently unimpressive) standing in the browser market, but it’s a credit to Microsoft that they’re trying.