Microsoft Edge for Android & iOS

Microsoft launched Edge for both iOS and Android in October 2017 to catch up with Google Chrome in the race for the best mobile browser. Since then, it has been a rollercoaster ride for Microsoft Edge. 

Microsoft Edge for Android and iOS enables people to browse with multi-identity, just like in Microsoft Edge for desktops. Users have the option to add both personal and professional accounts for browsing. The two identities are utterly distinct from one another, similar to what is provided by other mobile apps from Microsoft. 

Although Microsoft Edge for Android and iOS was relatively faster and more secured than most browsers, it was still not good enough to compete with the likes of Chrome and Safari.

In January 2020, Microsoft went above and beyond to launch a Chromium-based version of Microsoft Edge, the same browser project powering Google Chrome. 

As of today, Microsoft Edge has over 10 million downloads on the Google Play Store and a rating of 4.6/5 on the App Store. Seeing all the latest features and routine updates, 10m downloads do not do any justice to how far Microsoft Edge has come in recent years. 

In this blog, we will go over six key features of Microsoft Edge that give MS Edge an edge over the mighty Google Chrome. Moreover, we will share a brief comparison between Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome on functionality, speed, and security. Lastly, we will share quick insights for developers regarding everything they need to know about the latest Edge updates. Let’s get started!

4 Top Features of the New Microsoft Edge

After the recent update, the new Microsoft Edge has come up with the following four incredible features:

1.     Super Fast Experience

The new MS Edge offers a seamless experience with super fast speed and secured browsing. The MS Edge lets users browse faster than ever, without any lagging issues. Despite having a very similar logo to its predecessor, “Internet Explorer,” Edge outshines Internet Explorer by considerable margins in terms of speed. In fact, Edge is in the same league as Chrome in terms of speed.

We conducted a speed test for multiple browsers, including Chrome, Edge, Firefox, etc., and got the following results. 

  • Google Chrome took 7.4 seconds to load the website completely.
  • Microsoft Edge took 8.1 seconds to load the same website. 
  • Mozilla Firefox took 12.6 seconds to load the same website.

Although Google Chrome is the undisputed king in terms of browsing and reloading speed, MS Edge is keeping up closely to overthrow Chrome for the number 1 spot. The VPN for Microsoft Edge is also an amazing feature that comes in handy.

2.     Advanced Synchronizing Options

MS Edge makes it easier to synchronize across multiple devices. It took Edge a few updates, but now it is almost as good as Chrome itself. MS Edge allows users to synchronize the data of mobile apps, extensions, bookmarks, settings, passwords, tabs, and history flawlessly. 

MS Edge lets users synchronize their data between desktop devices, mobile phones, laptops, iPads, and more. With Edge, you can seamlessly carry your internet experience from one device to another. Moreover, the new MS Edge allows tab sharing across mobiles, desktops, tablets, and other connected devices. 

3.     Built-In Ad Blocker

Microsoft Edge has a definite edge over Google Chrome in terms of privacy and security features. MS Edge offers easy-to-track, remarkable privacy settings and enhanced security features that even Google Chrome does not have.

While Chrome can block third-party cookies, Edge enables users to set up their privacy and security features accordingly. Edge has the following three-layered privacy prevention level that makes it easier for the users to customize their privacy levels:

  • Basic

The basic mode blocks harmful trackers and third-party cookies. Websites show relevant ads as they normally do, and legit third-party websites are allowed to send cookies. 

  • Balanced

The balanced mode allows trackers only from the websites you have visited previously. Ads will be less personalized, and harmful trackers will automatically be blocked.

  • Strict

The strict mode blocks almost 95% of trackers from all across the internet. Ads shown will no longer be personalized, and the browser will block all the harmful trackers.

Users can set up their privacy mode depending on their usage. MS Edge also has a built-in antivirus named MS Defender Smart Screen that prevents malicious websites and downloading portals from interrupting the user’s web experience. 

4.     Built-In Microsoft Translator

MS Edge has a built-in translator that can automatically translate the web pages into more than 60 different languages. It allows users to set up their language priority and translate the web page automatically without any fuss.

Besides these super helpful features, the new MS Edge has been equipped with amazing additional features like the on-browser screenshot, enhanced privacy protection, firewall protection, password manager, smart copy, customizable home screens, progressive web app support, built-in AI-powered editor, vertical tabs, and much more. And that too with lightning fast speed and aesthetically pleasing user interface.

Microsoft Edge vs. Google Chrome: A Brief Comparison

Although Google Chrome remains the undisputed king of the desktop and mobile browsers, MS Edge is not far behind. The latest updates of chromium-based MS Edge have made it more powerful than ever. 

While Chrome offers a slightly better web page experience, Edge ensures security and personalized privacy features. Let’s have a quick comparison between the two browsers to see whether Edge has the edge over Chrome or Chrome still tops every browser. Let’s get started.

1.     Edge vs. Chrome: Design

Both Chrome and Edge are almost identical in terms of design. Unlike its predecessor, Microsoft Edge has no old-fashioned design elements that spoil the user experience. Both Edge and Chrome offer a clean and smooth user-interface design. 

If you switch to MS Edge from Chrome right away, you’ll notice only two minor changes. The first one is the cursor’s shape. While Chrome offers an arrow shape cursor, Edge has a hand-shaped cursor with a finger pointing like an arrow. 

The second notable change is the default search engine. While Chrome’s default search engine is Google, MS Edge comes with MS Bing. However, both Edge and Chrome allow changing the default search engines. So, we can say that these browsers are almost similar in design and user interface. 

2.     Performance

Both Edge and Chrome are almost equally strong in terms of performance. Although Google Chrome has the edge regarding Jetstream benchmarks, MS Edge beats Chrome in terms of memory usage. 

While Chrome uses 1.5 GB of RAM loading six web pages, Edge beats it by using only 650 MB of RAM loading the same web pages. So yeah, that’s a big difference for users with low-end desktop and mobile devices. 

If you are disturbed by how memory-intensive Google Chrome can sometimes be, shift to MS Edge! Edge is the clear winner in terms of performance. 

3.     Functionality

Both Edge and Chrome are right on the top in terms of functionality. Switching between Edge and Chrome is quite simple. Both browsers allow synchronizing passwords, history, settings, and bookmarks on the go! 

MS Edge, however, has launched additional functionality features in their recent updates that Chrome does not have. For instance, Edge allows adding web pages to a collection and storing it in the browser. You can access the same web pages by simply opening the pack with a single click. 

Edge also has a remarkable built-in editor like Grammarly. This built-in editor provides AI-powered writing assistance to clear up your writing mistakes.

4.     Privacy

MS Edge facilitates users with advanced, user-centric privacy options, unlike Chrome. Users have the option to set up their privacy accordingly and keep intruders and malicious results away.

While Chrome lets users block third-party cookies, Edge goes even further by blocking malicious search results and unwanted ads. MS Edge also has the support of MS defender Smart Screen which prevent users from accessing shady websites and downloads.

So in terms of privacy and security, we have a clear winner!

Microsoft Edge’s Top Features for Developers

Since the MS Edge upgraded to a chromium-based web browser, it has become more developer-friendly, with dozens of additional features. The latest Edge update was a big deal as it has now addressed the issues from the development aspect, which were left unnoticed for the past couple of years. 

Let’s review some of the most recently updated developer’s features of MS Edge and see what it offers.

1.     Custom Elements & DOM Shadow

Shadow DOM and custom elements enable developers to outline reusable, encapsulated modules. Developers have been questioning this feature lately, and finally, Microsoft addressed their needs. With this feature, MS Edge empowered developers to do things differently. We hope to see a good number of developers (especially front-end developers) turning back to Edge after this update. 

2.     HTML Details & Summary Elements

Edge makes HTML elements more useful and code-friendly. HTML elements like details and summary work perfectly even when JavaScript does not work. Chrome had this feature for so long, but since the Edge got updated to Chromium, it has got the same HTML features as Chrome.

The HTML details and summary enable widgets to show and block content of different sorts. It may not appear as a great feature as it is easily doable using Java Script. However, the HTML details and summary elements can be quite valuable when JavaScript is disabled or does not work correctly. 

3.     JavaScript APIs

After the recent updates, it is now easier to implement the font loading APIs of JavaScript. Since all advanced web browsers use this, developers are more likely to benefit from the font-display CSS property. Adding this feature was crucial since the time developers spend executing JavaScript code gets wasted on browsers supporting the native CSS Font Loading APIs.

4.     CSS Properties & 8 Digit Hex Notation

Besides enabling a smooth and quick programming experience, MS Edge going Chromium sets the path for enhanced CSS features. CSS properties such as prefers-reduced-motion media can help displays become more aesthetically pleasing and help users avoid getting dizzy with their setups.

The caret-color feature facilitates users to add styles to the blinking cursor, giving a smooth and rich display. Moreover, you can also acquire an 8-digit hex color notation to incorporater further depth and richness of your graphics. 

5.     Readable Content

Additionally, Microsoft Chromium Edge’s CSS updates provide your content a marginal improvement. With the help of CSS elements like intrinsic sizing, users can determine the size of their content on the basis of the type of content asset released.

Text editing functions are made publicly available to users. Consider the example of text orientation, the feature makes it much simpler to state text arrangement explicitly, while the placeholder-shown offers you the option to ensure that placeholder texts are shown if the function is required.

Additionally, CSS features like the will-change and “all” property enables you to exercise greater control over the content type you publish and how your people will see it in web browsers.

Easier JavaScript Streams

The JavaScript Text Encoder and Text Decoder feature is a big help for streamers, offering an enhanced streaming experience. These technologies help speed up the information transmission process and enable real-time encoding and decoding.

Even if you do not stream regularly or have never streamed in your life, these tools can improve your web browsing experience by considerable margins and make your browsing super fast.

Wrapping Up…

Since the release of Microsoft Edge back in 2017, Microsoft has done a lot to catch up with Chrome. The January 2020 update was a clear message to Chrome that competition is going to be heated up.

Taking over Chrome is no piece of cake! Still, Microsoft is determined to make Edge the preferred browser of everyone with its regular updates and remarkable features. The numbers may not show it yet, but Edge is on the road to giving head-to-head competition to Chrome. 

Will Edge take over Chrome? Or will it face the same fate as its predecessor? Only time will tell…


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