Even though online browsers are plentiful, most of us gravitate towards Google Chrome or Safari (if you’re on Mac), but a new entrant may be a decent competitor. We just won’t mention that it used to make the universally hated Internet Explorer browser. Oops.
Microsoft just released its new Edge browser built on the Chromium engine. It’s the same engine Chrome runs on, and it’s an open-source web rendering engine developed by Google.
The new Edge officially launched this week, and it’s now available to download and use across Windows, Mac, Android and iOS devices. The new browser looks very similar to Google Chrome, but the company has implemented its own tweaks to make it look and feel more like the legacy version of Edge (so we’re just ignoring the existence of Explorer? Right).
Move it, move it
But why change though? Yes, Chrome works well and has complete Google account integration, but the thing chows RAM man. Have you ever noticed your machine get disturbingly slow after you hit 20 tabs? Yeah, that’s Chrome absolutely hogging the random access memory — a vital part of keeping the computer running smoothly and quickly.
So this switch is not about looks, one main reason Microsoft opted for Chromium was to bring better compatibility for websites and extensions while reducing fragmentation for developers. That’s a fancy way of saying websites prefer to run on Chromium than other engines — so your Facebook page will load quickly and all your Chrome extensions will automatically work here too.
Another reason for the choice, is the easy implementation of new ‘experiences’. For instance, the latest version of the browser now includes a “tracking prevention” system that blocks harmful online trackers to protect your privacy, and “Profiles” allows you to share one browser with other people without messing with your curated online space.
There’s also a thing called “Collections,” which is a new feature in development that allows you to gather content from the web and organise your research. This feature is perfect for students, journalists, academics or anyone who needs more structure online.
How to move to Edge
That isn’t a sentence we thought we’d say anytime soon, tbh. But the new Chromium Edge has made it shockingly easy to move from any other legacy browsers like Chrome or Firefox, by helping you automatically port all your info without any hassle.
On Windows: You’ll have to do this manually for the time being, PC geeks. So open Settings > click on Update & Security > click on Windows Update > click the Check for updates button. This should give you the option to download the new Edge browser if you’re on Windows 10. Otherwise, just head here to download it.
On Mac: Obviously, Apple would rather you use Safari, but make your way to this link and download and install it directly.
On Android: Yes, Edge is even available on mobile — which means you can cross-sync all your files/info from PC to your phone. Download it on the Play Store right here.
On iPhones: Again — if you’re o Edge on your desktop/laptop, we reckon you should download it on your phone too. Even if it’s an iPhone. Head here to download it.
After installation, setup will commence — and this time there are a few things you can tweak throughout the setup phase. This includes choosing a ‘tab experience’, syncing data across browsers, logging into your account and even the ability to port all your extensions/bookmarks from your previous browser. They’ve made it almost annoyingly easy to move from Chrome.
We’re not saying take the plunge now, but it may be a good experiment to see whether Chromium Edge is quicker and more responsive than Chrome.