Microsoft is bringing the Windows 10 internet browser to more mobile devices. The Redmond, Washington-based company announced that Edge for iOS and Android smartphones is now available for beta testers.
Folks who have enrolled in the Windows Insider Program — Microsoft’s open testing platform for pre-release distributions of Windows — get first dibs. They can sign up for the Microsoft Edge Preview, which will automatically distribute Edge as it’s available. And if they’re on Android, they can download the latest build from the Google Play Store.
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 Android 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. now, 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 highlight recently opened documents.
Update: Added news that Edge is now available from the Google Play Store.
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