Microsoft announced plans today to release a version of the company's Microsoft Edge web browser for Apple's iOS and Google's Android operating system.
The release for Apple's iOS operating system seems to be available already, the Android release is still under development. Both releases are currently only available to Windows Insiders who run a copy of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update on their machine.
All users may open the promotional page for Microsoft Edge for iOS and Android however.
This is not the first time that Microsoft brought a web browser to a non-Windows operating system. The company released Internet Explorer for Mac many years ago, but stopped doing so after a while.
Microsoft Edge has been available for Windows 10 only up until now as well, and the release for Android and iOS means that versions of Microsoft Edge will land on non Microsoft operating systems and not on previous versions of Windows that Microsoft still supports.
It is interesting to note that Microsoft did not port Edge to the two mobile platforms. The iOS version is a re-skin of Apple's Safari web browser for iOS more or less. This is the only option to bring browsers to iOS as Apple has a set of restrictions in place that prevent different browsers from being ported to the operating system. This restriction affects other browser developers, Mozilla and Google, as well for instance.
Android does not have these restrictions, but Microsoft made the decision to use Google's Blink browsing engine for the port.
In short: both browsers use a different engine than Microsoft Edge on Windows 10. This begs the question: how much Edge is in the browser?
The promo page provides some details on what Edge for iOS and Android supports:
Users who want to give it a go right now need to be signed up for the Windows Insider program. Those interested in the Android version can only enter an email address currently on the page to receive a notification when that version is available. Apple iOS users need to enter their name and Apple ID to get instructions by email from Apple on how to proceed with the installation of Edge on iOS.
Edge for mobile devices should make the browser more attractive to Windows 10 users who use Android or iOS devices, and want a browser that syncs between PC and mobile device. The move may irritate Microsoft customers who use previous Windows versions however, as Edge is still not -- and probably will never be -- available for these operating systems.
Now You: Will you give Edge on mobile a go?
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.