Microsoft announced this morning that it is bringing its Microsoft Edge web browser to Android and iOS. And in a related move, the Arrow Launcher app for Android is “graduating” and getting a new name: Microsoft Arrow. Both apps are part of the firm’s efforts to make it easy to move what you’re working on between your phone and PC.
“One of the most common requests we hear from people who use Microsoft Edge on Windows 10 PCs is ‘we want our browser experience to move to our phones’,” Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore writes. “You spoke, we listened.”
And to be clear, Microsoft Edge for Android and iOS is about that “browser experience,” is about bringing the features from the Windows 10 web browser to mobile, and not about the rendering engine or the underlying technology. So you’ll get familiar Edge features like Favorites, Reading List, New Tab Page, and Reading View, plus automatic “Continue on PC” functionality. Over time, more features, like roaming passwords, will come to the apps as well.
For the short term, however, availability and functionality will be limited. If you’re on iOS, you can access the first preview version of Microsoft Edge today. But the Android version is coming soon.
Language support is US English only for now, but Microsoft promises to “ramp to other countries/languages” as it expands the preview. And some features, like roaming passwords, will not be available immediately.
What is available immediately is the new Microsoft Launcher app for Android, which is a replacement for Arrow Launcher. This version has been updated with the Fluent Design System, and it lets you pin your favorite people to the home screen, just as you can do with Start in Windows 10.
“Microsoft Launcher represents the ‘graduation’ of the 4.6-star rated Arrow Launcher project that was developed in our Garage,” Mr. Belfiore explains. “We’re making a big update to Arrow and changing its name. Everyone on the Arrow Launcher beta will automatically get the Microsoft Launcher today, and any other Android users can join the preview of Microsoft Launcher beginning today as well.”
Exciting stuff. I’ll try to look at both of these in more detail as soon as possible.