Microsoft is just fresh off the release of its newest web browser, and it is great. Now based on Google’s open-source Chromium engine, many problems from Microsoft’s previous browsers — Edge and Internet Explorer — are now gone thanks to the new Edge.
From improved performance that puts it on par with Google Chrome, a fresh new user interface, and many ways to customize your browsing experience, the new Edge is definitely worth switching to.
But, there’s still one problem. Edge is missing a key features that a lot of people depend on, most notably, cross-device syncing.
Where’s the history sync?
Let’s face it. In 2020, nobody ties their browsing to one device. Along with your computer, you’re likely at least browsing the web on your iPad or your smartphone. This is something that even Microsoft partially understands, as it has the “Your Phone” experience that lets you your texts, photos from your phone and more to Windows 10.
However, it seems like Microsoft forgot about this feature in the current version of the new Edge. Either that, or didn’t have quite enough time to implement it.
Although Google Chrome currently lets you sync up your Chrome browsing history and open tabs across devices, the feature is currently missing from this new version of Edge. Visit the sync menu and look for the option, and Microsoft tells you that it is coming soon. Sure, you can save a website and sync it to your favorites if you want, but having a full list of your browsing history on any device you own is way more convenient, especially if you’re in search of multiple websites.
That’s a shame, as Microsoft already has a mobile version of Edge on both iOS and Android. So, if you’re hoping to extend your experience from phone to PC, you might run into some problems. You can technically use the Your Phone App as a workaround to share and send a notification to your phone so you’ll have it handy, but what if you don’t use Your Phone? Why isn’t this a native feature?
That important webpage you opened up in the office computer when using Microsoft Edge? It won’t be there if you opened Microsoft Edge on your phone. Want to open the same tab you have on your PC and share the link with your friend with Edge on your phone? Nope, you can’t do it either.
Why can’t you sync your extensions, too?
The other core experience of any browser is the extensions. They help you block ads, correct your grammar and more. The new Edge now has access to all those same extensions like Google Chrome, minus one thing — syncing.
If you’re a person that owns multiple computers like myself, the new Edge can’t currently sync the extensions that you’ve already owned. On a clean install of Edge on your new PC, you’ll have to manually download all the extensions one by one, a truly painstaking process.
Although Microsoft has officially launched the new Edge browser, it is still a work on progress. These two key features are missing, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be coming soon. In fact, when asked, Microsoft said that additional syncing capabilities were indeed in the works, but that there isn’t currently a firm timeline.
The standard version of Edge will get updates every six weeks like Google Chrome, but you’ll be able to continue to shape the feature of the browser by downloading from the other “channels.” Microsoft loves to invite the public to test its new software, best seen with the Windows Insider Program, and there is hope that we might see these features soon. But, for now, it holds back the new Edge from being the perfect Microsoft web browser I always wanted.