Microsoft has been invading the Android ecosystem with its Microsoft Launcher, SMS organizer, Cortana for Android, and a new preview version of Microsoft Edge. It was once exclusive to the Microsoft Ecosystem. And Samsung Internet (Beta) is no different. It was just for Samsung devices but now it is a standalone app in the Play Store. Samsung is actually pushing the apps onto the Play Store to target a wider audience and significantly decrease the System update space and time.
We already have UC Browser, Opera Browser, Firefox Browser, Dolphin Browser, Google Chrome and Puffin web browser (for those with some different taste). Now we have two new members in this gigantic category of “Browsers” on the Google Play Store.
- Microsoft Edge (Preview)
- Samsung Internet (Beta)
Microsoft Edge is in its infancy with its very first build rolled out for iOS as well as Android users. Samsung Internet has been there for a while but not yet out of beta. Can they replace Chrome or Firefox? Let’s find out-
Samsung Internet is a relatively new entry on the Play Store from Samsung. We already have a bunch of apps from the Korean giant.
It comes with all the general features. Below are some of the pros and cons of this browser.
1. Closeby feature
It is one of the in-built features or extension which needs to be turned on. This allows the nearest Beacons to be scanned and get information about your surroundings. It uses Bluetooth to do so.
2. Content Blockers
Several content blockers like Adguard, Adblock fast, Disconnect for Samsung Internet, Unicorn Adblocker and much more are offered as extensions and these need to be installed as a separate app from the Play Store. Usually, they are marked as “works with the Samsung Internet and Yandex Browser”.
We don’t have anything like Chrome store in the back for an endless number of themes, apps, and extensions.
We have seen these extensions working pretty well in the Firefox Browser on Android.
3. Quick Menu
There is a simple floating control that can be used to toggle the Night Mode, adjust web page text size and create a new tab.
The good thing is that the colors of the images are kept intact in the Night mode.
4. Open tabs from other devices
This is a good feature but considering the limited cross-platform availability of this browser. We could hope that it will be used more often in the future.
5. Video assistant
It can be used to change the video mode, rotate the screen and amazingly cast videos to your capable TV. This could be done without pausing the video.
There is a feature to amaze us, we can play our videos in a pop-up video player and move it to anywhere in our system (similar to the EMUI’s Video Player). The good thing is that we can control whether to allow background playback or not from the video assistant toggle.
6. High Contrast Mode
In the accessibility settings, High Contrast Mode can be enabled to view web pages comfortably.
7. Ultra Power Saving Mode
Samsung Galaxy devices provide an ultra power saving mode and emergency mode for prolonged battery life. Samsung Internet is the only web browser that can be used in these modes.
8. Web Payments
Shopping on the web will get more secure and easier than ever with support for the new Web Payments API, letting you check out and pay securely with only a few taps.
9. Progressive Web Apps indication badge
Progressive Web Apps are applications which can be installed like apps or used in the browser. When the page you are viewing supports this feature, an indication badge will appear in the URL bar. We could see progressive apps replacing the conventional Android and iOS apps in coming time.
The 3-dot overflow menu contains-
- Add to bookmarks,
- Save web page,
- Add to quick access
- Add to home screen
- Find on page
- Request desktop site
- Scan QR code
- Content blocker toggle
- Print, Browser settings, and error reports.
1.You cannot add more search engines
There are 4 search engines namely Bing, Google, Yahoo, and Duckduckgo. And this is pretty much it.
There are a very significant amount of glitches present.
- Video playback isn’t smooth. Problems with resuming and skipping.
- The problem of congestion occurs sometimes.
- Switching between tabs is not a good experience either.
3. Limited Extensions
There is no web2pdf or other pdf extensions as in Dolphin Browser. We have seen how effective the extensions could be. Thanks to Dolphin and Firefox. We could see more extensions coming to the browser in upcoming builds.
Talking about the successor of Internet Explorer Microsoft launched this browser back in 2016. Trying to give some fight to the most popular Chrome on the desktop. It hasn’t been an easy path.
We must say, it was pretty promising at first but with some ON and OFF updates, we are witnessing some dip in its Internet Browser share.
They have launched their Windows exclusive Microsoft Edge to iOS and Android.
The initial build comes with no extensions as we have seen on the Desktop version.
1. Data Sync
All favorites and reading list are synced across your devices, so no matter the device, your browser is always personalized to you. Basically targeted to Windows 10 users and hence having a greater audience than Samsung Internet.
2. Hub View
With your favorites, reading list, history and books all in one place, finding and managing your content is made simple. I am looking forward to the “Tab snooze” feature in the upcoming builds.
3. Reading View
Reorganize the content on a webpage to focus on what matters. Clutter-free reading experience.
4. QR Code Reader
Easily read QR codes at the touch of a button. This works really fine to me.
5. Voice Search
Voice to search the web. Ask a question or speak a prompt to use the web in more natural, familiar ways.
6. Continue anywhere
The most talked feature about Edge is the “Continue anywhere” feature. No matter what device you are using, you could simply tap Continue anywhere to have that content on other devices from where you left.
7. It also supports playback in the background and the video playback is really smooth. But the problem arises when you switch to another tab or app then playback is paused which has to be resumed manually in order to keep the playback going. While doing this there were a few hiccups.
8. Top Stories
In the latest build, we have news (or top stories) from MSN just like the desktop Edge browser which is very clean and good interface.
All the general features like Bookmarking, Privacy Control, Site permissions control, Reading mode, Sign in to sync, webpage text size control, and Favs are present here.
1. No Extensions
The thing to worry is that there are no extensions, not even the ‘not so special’ ad blockers.
It uses Download Notification service and it has its own download manager coz it does not uses the system’s Downloader.
2. Cannot add search engines
There is no option to add more search engines as we are restricted to only 3 engines. These are- Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
3. No night mode/dark mode
And the biggest blow for the Edge fans and users is the lack of a Night Mode.
How to protect all of your Internet browsers from hackers? (to some extent) Read this
For now, it is the Samsung Internet Browser which takes the lead. Although Edge was better on memory and battery than Firefox and Chrome. It was also better than Samsung Internet in tab switching.
While running single tab Samsung Internet and Microsoft was nearly identical but while running 5 tabs Samsung took the lead.
Loading time for sites like wsj.com or cnn.com or dailymail.co.uk or dailymotion.com was identical (slightly towards Edge) and transitions were smooth.
Firefox isn’t that good.
We could expect to see the involvement of the digital assistants(Bixby and Cortana) from both the vendors in upcoming builds. The Play Store link for Microsoft Edge Preview is this and for Samsung Internet (Beta) is here.