Microsoft Edge Browser for Android, iOS Allows Quick Switch to PCs

Blurring the lines between smartphones and PCs, the new Edge browser for Android and iOS allow users to seamlessly shift their browsing habits between both device classes.

Windows Edge PDF Files

Microsoft has officially dropped the beta or "preview" label on its Edge browser for Android and iOS devices.

In early October, Microsoft released a preview of the Edge app for iOS followed soon after by the Android version. On Nov. 30, Joe Belfiore, corporate vice president of Microsoft Windows and Devices division, announced the arrival of the full-fledged app at the Apple App Store and Google Play app marketplaces, along with a couple of new features.

"Microsoft Edge for iOS and Android brings familiar features like your Favorites, Reading List, New Tab Page, Reading View, and Roaming Passwords across your PC and phone, so, no matter the device, your browsing goes with you," wrote Belfiore in a blog post. "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."

As its name suggests, the Roaming Passwords feature allows users to set passwords for frequently-visited sites and online services on a smartphone and then pull up those credentials when they revisit those sites on their Windows 10 PCs. The app also borrows the Dark theme from the desktop version of the Edge browser, draping the browser's menus, address bar area and controls in black and dark gray hues.

Some users will have to wait a while before the Edge app arrives in their region, however.

Microsoft Edge for iOS is currently available for users in the U.S., U.K., China and France in the respective languages of those countries. Similarly, the Android version is available in the U.S., U.K., Australia, Canada (English and French), China, France and India (English). More countries and languages are in the works, added Belfiore.

Microsoft Edge isn't the only web browser making waves this November.

On Nov. 14, Mozilla launched Firefox 57 with a splashy ad in The New York Times, a repeat of the Firefox 1.0 launch in 2004, of sorts. Codenamed Quantum, the browser features a minimalist interface, an intelligent address bar and snappier performance.

With Firefox 57 for Windows, Mac and Linux, web pages quickly pop into view, courtesy of a new CSS engine called Stylo that employs parallel, multi-core processing techniques to slash rendering times. Firefox 57 also prioritizes the tab that is currently is use, preventing system slowdowns when several browser tabs remain open in the background.

For web developers, Firefox 57 Developer Edition contains new and updated tools aimed at helping coders inspect and debug their websites with greater ease. This time around, the Page Inspector tool does a better job of handling sites that use the popular CSS Grid layout system.

"Head over to the new Layout panel in the Inspector, where the CSS Grid widget lists all of the grid containers on the page," instructed Mozilla software engineer Julian Descottes in a separate blog post. "The grid overlays have also been improved: they now show line numbers, area names and adapt to the most complex CSS transforms."

More information on the new developer tools is available here.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...