Microsoft is bringing one of Apple's best features to Windows 10 with a new web browser for phones

Microsoft is bringing one of Apple's best features to Windows 10 with a new web browser for phones

microsoft edge mobile


Microsoft Launcher for Android (right) and Microsoft Edge for iPhone and Android (right)

If you're living your best Apple life, you probably know all about Handoff - a feature that lets you easily open your iPhone's active browser tab or document on your Mac, and vice versa.


Now, Microsoft is making a move to let Windows 10 users benefit from some of that convenience with the beta release of the Microsoft Edge browser for iPhone and Android. Previously, Edge was only available as the built-in browser to Windows 10, largely supplanting the old-school Internet Explorer. Sign up to test Edge for mobile here.

In a blog post, Microsoft Corporate VP Joe Belfiore explained the big idea. As with other browsers, like Google Chrome, your favorites and saved passwords are synced between your phone and the PC when you're using Edge.

"But what makes Microsoft Edge really stand out is the ability to continue on your PC, which enables you to immediately open the page you're looking at right on your PC-or save it to work on later," writes Belfiore.

In other words, Edge on Windows 10 PC will be able to load up whatever the last thing you were looking at on your phone. It could be a handy way to keep work going, even when you get back to your desk.


Microsoft Joe Belfiore Windows 10 Build 2017

AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Microsoft CVP of Windows Joe Belfiore on stage at Microsoft Build 2017 in Seattle, Washington.

The pitfall, here, is that you need to be using Microsoft Edge to take advantage. In my own tests, Edge is far superior to Internet Explorer, and actually pretty snappy in daily browsing. And yet, in the bigger picture, Edge commands only around 4% of the overall browser market, with various versions of Chrome dominating.

Apart from Microsoft Edge, Belfiore writes that the company is releasing the Microsoft Launcher for Android, also in beta. It's a one-stop feed to access all of your Microsoft apps, Belfiore notes - with the added benefit of letting you quickly move photos and documents from phone to Windows 10, too. Sign up for that beta test here.

In the bigger picture, Microsoft is pitching this as part of its larger vision for making Windows 10 play more nicely with Android and iPhone. Still, a lot of promised Windows 10 features, including something called Timeline that lets you pick up any task from any device on Windows 10, has yet to materialize.


Get the latest Microsoft stock price here.