Microsoft Edge on iOS: Hands-on (video)
For a while now Microsoft has been bringing their best to the mobile world, with apps such as OneNote or Outlook for iOS being some of the greatest out there. The company has stepped forward again and has recently announced that Edge will soon be coming to both iOS and Android.
The app is currently not available in the app store. People who want to test Edge on iOS will be able to sign up through Apples ‘Test Flight’ system. You can get it installed on an iPad but it’s not a universal app so it doesn’t scale very well.
Opening Edge for the first time on your iPhone you’ll be greeted with a welcome page that asks you to sign into your Microsoft account.
Layout and Features
Anyone who has used Microsoft Edge will immediately recognize the controls of the app. Microsoft has decided to go with the same icons it uses for Edge on Windows 10 to help with continuity. The iconography and spacing all look a little sketchy, but I’m sure it’ll smooth out once the app hits the app store.
The layout of Edge on iOS is actually more similar to how the app appears on PC than on Windows Mobile. You have the Microsoft logo promoted at the top, a search bar, top web pages, and news stories.
Sites load about as quickly as you’d expect; the app is in preview so I’m not surprised to see it a little unresponsive sometimes.
We can already explore all the same navigation features Edge supports on Windows. There’s a button at the bottom that lets you view and open new tabs, as well as a section completely separated for InPrivate sessions. You’ll know when you’re browsing InPrivate because the whole UI switches over to a dark mode. Something I’m sure some people will be tempted staying in just for the theme.
Along the top, you’ll find the address bar and the hub. The hub stays synchronized with the hub on your PC, so your favorites, reading lists, books, and history will be available to you on all your devices.
Continue on PC
Looking at the set of actions at the bottom of the app, you’ll notice the ‘Continue on PC’ button in the center. I’ve demonstrated this feature before on Android as a separate app, but on Edge for iOS it’s built right in. After you’ve added your phone to your PC in the Phone section of the Windows Settings app, you’ll be able to simply select it from the list of PC’s in this menu, and the page will immediately open on that device.
Bringing Edge to iOS and eventually Android makes sense for Microsoft. We’re in a world where the smartphone and web browser are two of the most important things to people when thinking about technology.