Microsoft Edge Beta is Available on iPad

Posted on March 16, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Mobile, iOS with 10 Comments

Microsoft Edge Beta is Available on iPad

In late January, Microsoft quietly revealed that it was working on a native version of its Edge web browser for iPad. That app is now available in beta form.

And by “quietly,” I mean that a Microsoft employee, responding to a tweet, revealed to an individual on Twitter that the the iPad version of Microsoft Edge was then in internal testing. Which, yes, is the absolutely worst way for Microsoft to communicate anything. And a huge pet peeve of mine.


Microsoft surprised us all last Fall when it announced far more formally that it was bringing Edge to Android and iOS. At the time of the announcement, only the iOS version was available in preview form, but the Android version followed quickly (and was more readily accessible to users since Google lets developers put pre-release apps right in the Play Store, unlike Apple).

In my early testing of Microsoft Edge for the iPhone, I found that the app worked as expected: It uses the underlying rendering engine of either mobile platform—Safari on iOS and Chrome on Android—and provided basic sync capabilities for those hardy few who use Edge on Windows 10.

Microsoft rapidly improved Edge on mobile to include password sync,improved navigation and extension support, and other updates, and then the product came out of preview on November 30.

Now, we have a preview version of the app to consider on iPad. If you’re familiar with how this worked before—how all iPhone apps work on iPad—you know that you can run these apps at 1x or 2x zoom, and that they don’t look or feel like a real iPad app.

Well, if you’re on the Microsoft Edge for iOS preview, meaning you’re using the TestFlight app to side-load this (and possibly other apps) onto your iPad, you can now experience an early peek at what a real iPad version of the app looks like. And it’s exactly what you’d expect: A normal full-screen iPad app.

Looking at it on my iPad Pro, I can’t get Microsoft Edge to respect or utilize the new multitasking features—-side-by-side apps, for example—in the latest iOS generation. (But that might be me; these interfaces are notoriously hard to use.) But it does provide the basics, for sure. In some ways—the Hub, for example, it resembles the Windows 10 version of the app, but it has some iOS-type interfaces (like Settings) too. Support for eBooks is coming soon, it says.

In the release notes for the app, Microsoft only lists three items:

  • Support for the iPad experience
  • Improved user sign in/out experience
  • Performance improvements

So it looks like making this thing just work full-screen on the iPad might be the only real point, at least for iPad users. I’ll keep playing around with it to see if there’s more going on here.


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Comments (10)

10 responses to “Microsoft Edge Beta is Available on iPad”

  1. PeteB

    MS desperate to get their second rate browser anywhere, but without any compelling reason for anyone to deviate from default or established leaders.

    • VancouverNinja

      In reply to PeteB:

      The compelling reason is that it works with Edge PC version which is currently the best browser on the platform. Users who want the absolute best cross platform browser experience will use Edge. It is hard to argue against it.

      • hrlngrv

        In reply to VancouverNinja:

        Best browser is debatable, but certainly not the most used, or #2, or #3. Edge gets to be an also-ran among iOS browsers too.

        Does Edge for iPads use Safari's rendering and scripting engines? If so, aside from synced bookmarks and passwords, what benefits does Edge provide under iOS which Safari lacks?

      • macguy59

        In reply to VancouverNinja:

        LOL not hard at all. Chrome wipes the floor with Edge (and I say this as someone that's not a fan of Chrome). Heck the author of this article eschews Edge for Chrome

  2. gregsedwards

    "Microsoft surprised us all last Fall..."

    Well, not all of us... ?

  3. woodward5418

    And unfortunately as with every other browser on the iPad, no ability to actually have the bookmarks bar along the top. Will continue to force me to use Safari as no other browser allows the feature. I am sure it is tied to the draconian rules for developers and their apps, but drives me nuts. I would be using Chrome on the iPad regularly if the bar were available. Nuts.

  4. wshwe

    I was going to try Edge on my iPad, but not after MS pulled their Windows Mail Edge stunt.

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  6. LuxuryTravelled

    After using it for just over a day, I really like it. There are quite a few things which need to be ironed out, but overall as a Edge user, its really handy to have everything synced to my iPad - which is more of a secondary device.

    Note - that if you’re using Outlook on iPad, you can also choose to make Edge the default browser like you can on IPhone.