Microsoft Edge for iOS Now Supports EBooks

Posted on May 29, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in iOS with 22 Comments

Microsoft Edge for iOS Now Supports EBooks

The iOS version of Microsoft Edge was updated today to support ebooks purchased from the Microsoft Store. There’s no word yet on when this support is coming to Edge for Android as well, but I assume that release is imminent.

Support for ebooks has been promised as “coming soon” ever since Microsoft Edge launched on mobile in late 2017. But as the release notes for today’s app update explain, this support is basic and isn’t yet complete: Bookmarks, annotation, and highlights are not supported. The app notes that the ebooks support is in preview, and there’s obviously no way to shop in the Store from the app.

Microsoft Edge 42.1.0 for iOS also includes the following new features:

  • Sign in with a school or work account. (Favorites and password syncing are coming soon.)
  • On iPad, press the Command key on your attached keyboard to see available shortcuts.
  • Improved Hub design.
  • Performance improvements.

You can download Microsoft Edge for iOS from the Apple App Store.

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Comments (22)

22 responses to “Microsoft Edge for iOS Now Supports EBooks”

  1. skane2600

    So basically an iOS browser that nobody uses supports an ebook store nobody uses. OK, obviously I'm exaggerating but is this really the best use of Microsoft's time?

    • Stooks

      In reply to skane2600:

      I could not agree more. Kindle and iBooks on iOS probably own 99.88659% of a books on iOS. Edge and books on Edge on iOS seem like a crazy waste of effort.

    • curtisspendlove

      In reply to skane2600:

      At the very least it is good for those who use iOS and have purchased books from Microsoft’s ebook store.

      I would like like to see a Venn Diagram with some numbers. ;)

    • Paul Thurrott

      In reply to skane2600:

      It does make more sense to have those books on a mobile device than on a PC.

      • skane2600

        In reply to paul-thurrott:

        Sure, that's why there's a kindle app for iOS, but what I'm questioning is MS's business case both for Edge on iOS and their ebook store. It seems they want to be in the "also ran" column in a number or categories such as ebooks, music, video etc.

        • SvenJ

          In reply to skane2600: They don't want to be in the 'also ran' category in music. They abandoned that race altogether :(

          • skane2600

            In reply to SvenJ:

            Well, they were an "also ran" before they gave up. The point is they keep jumping into categories that are already dominated by competitors without offering any unique advantages. You'd think by now they would have learned their lesson.

        • Chris_Kez

          In reply to skane2600:

          I think the fact that they're continuing to put these e-book/reading pieces in place (with little fanfare) even after retreating from music and from mobile suggests that this is part of a larger strategy they have yet to articulate.

          • chrisrut

            In reply to Chris_Kez:

            Agreed. Occam's Razor to the rescue.

            There is plenty of evidence to see this as part of a "Microsoft User Experience Everywhere" strategy. I note the continued push of advanced collaboration techniques and productivity tools for the office and education.

            • skane2600

              In reply to chrisrut:

              Your understanding of Occam's Razor is quite different than mine. The simplest explanation is that they want people to buy books from their store. We could imagine a more sophisticated reason, it might even be true, but it wouldn't qualify as the simplest.

              There's a difference between making your dominant industry standard applications available on multiple platforms and competing in a broad market with well-entrenched competitors that are even better established on multiple platforms.

          • Stooks

            In reply to Chris_Kez:

            That is some serious wishful thinking. Not only is the messaging all wrong for the 54th time (dump mobile, dump music, dump the band...lets try book?) but even if Microsoft went way, way, way, WAY in on ebooks it is simply too late. Kindle is #1 and iBooks on iOS is strong #2 because of schools that use the iOS products.

          • skane2600

            In reply to Chris_Kez:

            Anything is possible but it's hard to imagine what strategy they would have beyond selling ebooks.

            • Chris_Kez

              In reply to skane2600:
              "Anything is possible but it's hard to imagine what strategy they would have beyond selling ebooks."

              I'm not sure that just "selling books" is a strategy, per se, but the idea of embracing pdf's and e-books as another area of productivity around documents-- perhaps especially in education, industry and other verticals-- seems to fit with their new vision for Windows. This also ties in with the rumors of a two-screened Andromeda device that could offer a good reading and note-taking experience, and maybe also with a lower-cost Surface aimed at the education market. Imagine getting textbooks or other course materials on your Surface; being able to mark them up, share them, and access them from any device. I think this is about more than pleasure reading, which Kindle has definitely locked up (with Apple's iBooks a strong #2 on iOS devices).

              Look, Microsoft has certainly swung and missed more than they've made contact lately, so I'm not going to give them the benefit of the doubt that this will succeed in a big way; but I think it makes more sense than a streaming music service.

          • VancouverNinja

            In reply to Chris_Kez:

            Pretty obvious. This is good news. I am waiting to see the how good the tablet looks; announcement is supposed to happen in June.

  2. JohnPC

    Is there some reason virtually every software company seems to release to ios before android? Is there some requirement of propitiating the ghost of Steve Jobs or Tim Cook? Microsoft, especially, should be treating android as the preferred platform...

    • CoreyP

      In reply to JohnPC:

      This is why.

    • skane2600

      In reply to JohnPC:

      I'm not sure about the free business apps (e.g. banks, airlines etc) but Apple customers seem to be more wiling to part with their money than the average Android user.

  3. jwpear

    I was recently playing around with Azure Cognitive Services and Bing Speech API to prototype viability of adding speech functionality to a browser-based app. Used this to capture speech from the browser and was disappointed that Edge on iOS did not work. Safari did. I've bumped into other issues with some sites. I want to try to use Edge on iOS, but it's proving not to be so easy.

  4. gregsedwards

    So pleased to see this killer feature make its way to iOS and eventually Android. Edge on these platforms is shaping up to be a great experience. I hope they add the ability to easily shop for content from the Microsoft store as well, whether that's through a web-based content portal, a dedicated app, or perhaps some kind of integration into the platforms' native stores. I could see this becoming a play for students and casual readers alike. I'd also like to see them implement Read Aloud in eBooks and web pages in Edge on iOS/Android. It's a great way to roll your own podcasts and audio books.

  5. roastedwookie

    :)) and why in my right mind, I would ever use a F browser for ebooks when on IOS and android you have excellent quality apps for reading books?? Why would I ever buy books from MS when Apple's library and experience is far ahead?? Jeez..sometimes I wonder if MS does have competent people there at all...

  6. JimP

    Yay! Another feature nobody asked for.