Software giant Microsoft today announced the launch of two new apps for Android and iOS. The Redmond based company is bringing the Microsoft Edge browser to Android and iOS, while the Microsoft Launcher is currently headed to Android in beta.
Over the last few months, Microsoft has been moving ahead with its aim to make its products be as accessible as possible across platforms. Boosting its cross-platform strategy today, the company announced two new apps with Microsoft branding – its new Edge browser for Android and iOS, and an overhauled version of its existing Arrow Launcher.
Microsoft Edge for Android and iOS
Fans of Microsoft Edge browser on Windows 10 have been wishing for an Android and iOS version of the browser with syncing capabilities. Today, the company answered their wishes, albeit with a couple of riders. For starters, Microsoft Edge for Android is based on Chromium on Android and Webkit on iOS. On iOS, Microsoft has no other option but to use Webkit, its decision to fork Chromium for its Android version could seem like a lost opportunity to some users.
The second and more important rider for Edge fans is the fact that the Android version requires users to sign up as Windows Insiders and run preview versions of upcoming Windows 10 Fall Creators update. Given the nature of preview releases (often buggy, can be crashy too), not many users may be interested in installing them on their computers to use Edge Preview on Android.
Other than the two caveats, the Edge browser for Android and iOS doesn’t seem to support extensions just yet. It does support Microsoft Account for syncing your favorites and reading list, with synced tabs and history sync being worked on for future releases.
Microsoft Launcher for Android
Microsoft Launcher for Android is the second app to be announced today. Still in preview stages, it seems to be an overhauled version of the company’s old Arrow Launcher. For now, Microsoft Launcher is a rebranded version of Arrow Launcher, but new features and changes could be added down the line.
The new Microsoft Launcher comes with features like contact pinning, viewing appointments, recently viewed documents, frequently used apps and more.
An interesting feature that the new Edge and Launcher apps come with is “Continue on PC”, allowing users to move easily between their PCs and smartphones. In the upcoming Windows 10 Fall Creators update, Microsoft will allow you to pair your Android and iOS devices to your Windows 10 PC. Presently, the company is testing this feature in its Windows Insider previews with plans to expand this feature to more complex scenarios like syncing an email you’re editing. Microsoft Edge browser for Android and iOS is available for testing – you can sign up here.
Microsoft Launcher for Android is also available as part of a beta – you can sign up to test the launcher here.