Microsoft announced today two new apps that help expand the company’s presence on operating system platforms outside the Windows ecosystem. Based on the descriptions provided for the new Microsoft Edge for iOS/Android and Microsoft Launcher, the company is working hard to make the user experience more seamless and continuous regardless of the screen a user is looking at or even if they change in the middle of a task. The Microsoft Edge browser is being released today in a preview state for iOS with the Android version slated to be available “soon” while the Microsoft Launcher preview is available starting today.
As suggested by the name, Microsoft Edge for Android is the mobile version of Microsoft’s browser. On PCs, Microsoft Edge is the successor browser to Microsoft Explorer and the company says familiar features from the desktop version have made it into the mobile version. This includes things like Favorites, the Reading List, the New Tab Page and the Reading View. Like other browsers, Microsoft Edge can be kept in sync across different devices. Microsoft is pushing the boundaries though by making it possible to start looking at a web page on your mobile device and push it over to your PC right away and directly. Initially Microsoft Edge will be a U.S., English only release, but Microsoft says they have plans to expand to other countries and languages even during the preview phase. Other features like support for tablets and “roaming passwords” will come in future versions.
Microsoft Launcher is exactly what it sounds like from the name – a new entry in the third-party launcher market for Android devices. Microsoft Launcher will be available in a preview state starting today, but the product should be fairly well-developed already. That is because Microsoft Launcher is basically the next generation of the Arrow Launcher. Arrow Launcher has high marks in the Play Store and we rated it one of the better launchers available last year. Microsoft says the Launcher is based on their “Fluent” design concept and like most third-party launchers, includes several features to customize the look and feel. Similar to the Microsoft Edge app, when it makes sense users can be pushed over to a user’s Windows 10 based PC if they want to continue something on a bigger screen.
Like other popular launchers, the Microsoft Launcher goes beyond the look and feel of the interface to include a special panel call “The Feed” that presents things like top news, activities, upcoming events, and more information for users.
Anyone out there interested in these new Microsoft apps for your Android smartphones?