Microsoft's update to Edge on Android takes 'seems faster' to a whole new level

Edge Canary Android
Edge Canary Android (Image credit: Windows Central)

Microsoft launched Edge Canary for Android yesterday. The new version of Edge – 91.0.858.0 – is in line with the Windows 10 desktop version of Edge Canary, and as a result, is a massive leap over what Edge offered on Android before. We already covered the news of Edge Canary launching on Android, but I wanted to share a quick first impressions post of the app.

The current version of Edge beta on Android is 46.03.24.5155, which seems ancient compared to version 91.0.858.0 seen in the new Edge Canary. With that massive jump comes a fresh user interface, menu layout, and improved scrolling. Edge Canary also supports edge://flags, just like the desktop version of Edge.

The jump comes from the fact that Microsoft is unifying the codebase of Edge across platforms. This will help bring new features to Edge on Android and other platforms while also easing the development process.

The shift to Edge Canary brings a ton of noteworthy improvements, but after downloading the app and using it throughout the day, my main takeaway is its speed. If the only thing that changed between the old version and the new version was speed, I'd still be happy, considering it's as fast as it is.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

I know it's cliche to say that an update "seems faster." It's a recurring joke in Microsoft news circles for a reason. That being said, Edge Canary for Android legitimately does seem faster. The browser absolutely flies for me. Pages load instantly, scrolling is smooth, and navigating the browser feels leaps and bounds above the standard version of Edge on Android.

Edge Canary is in its early stages, so some people have run into bugs and issues. That's to be expected with any app in preview. I happen to be one of the lucky ones that haven't run into any issues. I've been able to sign in with my Microsoft account and zip across the web.

One person on Reddit has been impressed by Edge Canary's ability to scale across the Galaxy Fold 2. Others appreciate its speed on displays with 90Hz refresh rates. Overall, it seems like I'm not alone in noticing the massive speed bump for Edge on Android.

I hope that this is a glimpse of things to come. If Edge continues in this direction, it could become the best browser on Android.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

19 Comments
  • All well and good, but how about a quicker transition to the release app? Tired of keeping up with 3 versions, especially when it takes so long to see the "new" or "improved" reach release.
  • That's up to Chromium's release schedule. It will switch to a faster four-week schedule between releases later this year instead of the current six weeks.
  • Edge Canary is very fast. Installed it on the S20 FE. S20 Ultra and S21 Ultra. Also the battery usage is light. Uses way less than the Beta one. Only problem I have is that have to press "Enter" twice before it starts searching. Reinstalling didn't fix it sadly. But overall it's great so far..
  • I mean, of course it's going to be fast on flagship phones with powerful chips
  • Just tested it out for doing my mobile searches for Microsoft Rewards and it seemed much faster and more reliable than the current standard Edge. No issues so far but we'll see how it goes. I'll use it preferentially until I encounter an issue.
  • i just miss the ABP integration!
  • you mean ABRP (A Better EV Route Planner) 🤔
  • no no ABP: ADBLOCKER PLUS
  • If it's the same codebase as the Windows, etc, version, will it support extensions? I haven't seen word either way.
  • I believe I read that it does
  • The great thing about this new Edge is that it's 64-bit, whereas Google Chrome on Android is only 64-bit if the device has a min. of 8 GB RAM and Android 10, which a lot of devices don't have.
  • Yeah, I noticed the speed immediately, it's awesome! I wonder if this will now allow for real extension support on mobile (Ad Blocker, Honey, etc)?
  • "Legitimately does seem faster" Lol love that. Anyway, looking forward to these changes. Looks like MS finally has their browser strategy straight.
  • The performance of Edge Canary is over the top. I am quite impressed with what the team has done, and this is not even stable build yet. Excited for many more things to come to Edge.
  • Unifying the Edge mobile releases with the desktop variants is a great move. I still prefer Vivaldi for my desktop and mobile devices, but I recommend Edge to my friends and family for both their mobile and desktops (unless they're nerds like me, and then I say try Edge and Vivaldi). Google's 8GB RAM requirement for 64-bit support on mobile for Chrome is just silly, as I've been using 64-bit Chromium-based browsers (Kiwi, Edge, Vivaldi) on mobile devices with 2, 4, 6 and 8GB RAM without any issues...
  • The thing is that the 64-bit Version consumes far more RAM than the 32-bit one, so that's why Google requires devices with at least 8GB of RAM or more. You CAN use it on devices with less RAM without any problems, just be prepared to have your background apps force close on you more often than not.
  • Maybe Microsoft should just make the next surface laptop be a Chromebook.
  • and the next smartphone a android oh wait
  • Does anyone know why the current edge app is still on 4x.something? Why haven't they switched to the new version? I have a OnePlus 8 Pro and keep getting warnings that edge on Android is too out of date to work soon... Why hasn't MS pushed out the 9x.x build to the regular app?