Microsoft Edge vs Safari: Best for iOS

Safari is an outstanding web browser on iOS. It is tailor-made for the iPhone and iPad, supports ad blocking, and integrates well into the Apple ecosystem. And needless to say, that alone makes Safari quite formidable in the eyes of its competitors. So what did Microsoft Edge have up its sleeve to even think of going neck and neck with this beast of a browser?

Apple imposes its WebKit rendering engine on all third-party browsers. So getting a performance advantage on Safari is next to impossible. So, to excel, Microsoft Edge really has to offer a lot to stand a chance against Safari. So how is it going? Well, you will find out.

Note: iOS weaves Safari tightly into the system so you can't delete or redownload it. On the other hand, you can download and install Microsoft Edge from App Store and reach around 150MB.

User interface and navigation

Both web browsers feature clean user interfaces, but with slightly different aesthetics. It all depends on what you prefer – the gently rounded curves of Safari to the hard edges of Edge (no pun intended).

Microsoft Edge vs Safari Ios Comparison 1

Navigation controls are conveniently located at the bottom of the screen on both browsers, with finely positioned tab selectors to allow easy access to move between tabs.

When it comes to accessing your bookmarks, reading list, and history, Safari offers the option of accessing them by simply tapping the book-shaped icon right next to the object picker. tabs. Oddly, Edge places it in the top right corner of the screen, which can cause issues when browsing solo. It's a bit weird since Microsoft could always put it a bit lower.

Microsoft Edge vs Safari Ios Comparison 2

This is where things get interesting – Edge also has a dedicated browser menu. And rather than having to rely solely on the tab switcher like on Safari, it presents a very easy way to open both new tabs and InPrivate tabs. Additionally, the ability to bookmark sites, add pages to the reading list, and access the Settings panel is a little effort compared to Apple's browser.

Ad blocking

iOS provides native support for ad blocking on Safari, which is a far cry from what Google does with Chrome on Android. However, you need to download a third-party content blocker separately – although there are plenty of them on the App Store, the whole procedure can be quite confusing.

Additionally, Apple has restricted ad blockers a lot for third-party browsers on the App Store. This means that you have to rely on various workarounds to stop ads on browsers like Chrome for iOS. But not with Edge.

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Microsoft was smart enough to circumvent Apple's restrictions by building ad blocking functionality right into the browser itself. And that is none other than Adblock Plus, which is one of the best ad blockers in town.

No more fiddling with third parties, as all it takes is a brief visit to the Edge Settings screen to start blocking ads. The browser also lets you whitelist your favorite sites, which is a nice feature to have around.

dark mode

In the running for dark mode to come to Safari? Inverting the color scheme on iOS is an option, although it doesn't work as expected and results in horrible artifacts most of the time. Not to mention, you need to support system-wide color inversion to boot.

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With Edge, however, expect a full-fledged dark theme that you can easily switch to whenever you want. At first glance, Microsoft has really gone the distance by applying the theme evenly to every nook and cranny of the browser. Good game!

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To note:

Navigation data management

Accidentally browse something personal on a normal tab? Or are you having specific issues with a site due to an outdated web cache? On Safari, you need to navigate through various menus in the Settings app. Its poor implementation distracts you from your browsing experience.

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But with Edge, you have everything built right into the browser itself. A brief visit to the Settings panel via the Edge menu should make it easy to get rid of your browsing data in a jiffy.

Transfer vs Continue on PC

Safari is pretty awesome if you have a Mac because you can easily continue your big screen browsing activity with Handoff. But this feature does not work outside of Apple's ecosystem.

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If you're using a PC, then Edge offers the upper hand. It includes a built-in Continue on PC feature that allows for seamless PC continuation. And to make things even better, you can do this by simply tapping the Continue on PC icon right in the UI itself.

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That's not to say you can't continue browsing on PC through Safari — download the Continue on PC app from the App Store, and you can do so from virtually any web browser. However, Edge does not require any such add-ons, which is a definite boon.

Supported platforms and devices

While you can easily sync your browsing history and personal data with other Apple devices, Edge takes the lead due to the sheer number of platforms it supports.

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Safari only works on macOS and iOS. Compared to this, Edge supports Windows 10, iOS and Android. If you want that added convenience of logging in and continuing to browse just about anywhere, then Edge offers the best chance of that happening. After all, you can find a Windows 10 or Android device just about anywhere, right?

Now only if Edge also supports macOS. It would have made the decision much easier.

Search engines available

By default, Safari offers three search engines to use – Google, Bing and Yahoo, the first being the standard default engine. Contrast that with Edge, which apparently only provides Bing at first glance – however, you can also find Google listed under Others on the Set Search Engine screen.

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Both browsers have no built-in way to manually add new search engines. Safari is the default browser on iOS, which means the chances of integrating privacy-focused engines like DuckDuckGo are more likely.

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In short, Safari supports more search engines and uses Google to generate superior search results from the start.

Loading sites in desktop mode

Hate restrictive mobile websites? Both browsers offer the ability to load a desktop version of a site. What if you always wanted it to be?

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While Safari offers no way, Microsoft Edge lets you configure the default user agent to make this happen easily. If you're using an iPad or iPad Pro, this feature should be very useful on the large mobile screen.

QR code scanning

QR codes are everywhere. Scan one and you can visit the websites encoded in those codes. Safari forces you to use the Camera app for the actual scanning. With Edge, you can do this directly in the browser itself.

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See that QR code icon in the New Tab search bar? Just tap it and you'll have access to a built-in QR scanner. It's great of Microsoft to have this small but useful feature right at your fingertips.

So who wins?

Actually it depends. If you're already deep into the Apple ecosystem, you'll obviously find Safari more convenient. Synchronizing items between devices is essential for a seamless experience, and it makes sense to stay on supported devices.

However, Microsoft has really hit several weak spots in Safari – a dedicated dark mode, the ability to manage browsing data directly, and a better user interface in terms of browsing is no laughing matter. Already using Edge on a PC or Android? So consider giving it a try – you might end up falling in love.

Next up: Also wondering how Microsoft Edge holds its feet next to giant Chrome on Android? Click the link below to read all about it.