Microsoft Explains Microsoft Edge for Android and iOS to Developers

Posted on October 5, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Cloud, iOS, Mobile, Windows 10 with 34 Comments

Microsoft Explains Microsoft Edge for Android and iOS to Developers

In the wake of today’s surprise announcement about Microsoft bringing Edge to Android and iOS, the software giant has issued guidance to developers about how they should handle the new browsers.

The short version: There’s precious little they need to worry about.

“Microsoft Edge is coming to iOS and Android, bringing the best browsing experience on Windows 10 to more pockets around the world,” Microsoft’s Sean Lyndersay notes. “One of the most common web developer questions we’re expecting is – what engine are you using? Did you port EdgeHTML to iOS and Android?”

No. No, they did not.

Instead, and as expected, Microsoft is instead using the underlying web rendering engine that is available on each platform. On Android, that means Google Chrome and Blink. And on iOS, where they are, in fact, required to use this web rendering engine, that means Safari and WebKit.

“You can expect that, from a compatibility perspective, Microsoft Edge for Android will match the version of Chrome that is currently available for Android,” Lyndersay explains. “And Microsoft Edge for iOS should match the version of Safari that is currently available for iOS.”

In other words, developers don’t need to do a thing: If their sites work with Chrome and Safari—and they do—they will work fine with Edge on Android and iOS.

That said, Microsoft is providing a unique User Agent string for each browser for those developers that wish to know exactly which browser is running. Notably, those strings do not use the term “Edge” anywhere. We wouldn’t want to scare anyone.


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