Chrome vs Edge on iOS: Which Is the Better Alternative to Safari

Chrome vs Edge on iOS: Which Is the Better Alternative to Safari

Microsoft changed the game by basing Edge on Chromium, giving it equal footing with Chrome on desktop. I’m excited to try it out.

But what about iOS? Apple doesn’t allow third-party browser engines on mobile. In other words, Edge and Chrome can’t use Chromium.

If you’re concerned about performance, Edge and Chrome on iOS will be indistinguishable since they both rely on Safari’s engine. However, they differ in usability. I have extensively used both browsers on iOS and will now compare them.

User Interface

Both Microsoft and Google have done an excellent job with the user interfaces on their browsers. They are visually appealing, but personal preference determines which browser is the best fit. Chrome has sleek and rounded curves, while Edge has precise and fine edges (pardon the pun).

Chrome vs Edge on iOS: Which Is the Better Alternative to SafariChrome vs Edge on iOS: Which Is the Better Alternative to Safari

I will admit that I like Chrome’s UI. New tabs feature shortcuts to bookmarks, the reading list, and recent tabs, along with automatically updated ‘suggested sites’. In contrast, Edge lets you add shortcuts to new tabs. This does feel like extra work, and I prefer Chrome’s approach.

Both browsers are easily used single-handed. Navigation controls and menu items (New Tab, New Incognito Tab, Settings, etc.) are located at the bottom of the screen for convenient access. However, Chrome excels with its Search icon, which is conveniently located and works wonders on larger iPhone screens.

Navigation

The seams are noticeable when we test both browsers. Chrome is polished and fluid thanks to Google’s refinements. In contrast, Edge feels rough and sometimes fails to register taps and gestures. It requires precision to use comfortably.

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Chrome vs Edge on iOS: Which Is the Better Alternative to SafariChrome vs Edge on iOS: Which Is the Better Alternative to Safari

Chrome’s combination of elements makes navigating the browser effortless. The navigation controls are smooth, and the drag-down gestures are excellent for managing tabs. Simply swipe down and either release, swipe left, or swipe right to reload, open a new tab, or close the current tab, respectively.

Additionally, Chrome allows access to menu items with a single gesture (tap and drag), which feels fantastic in action. Once you’ve experienced Chrome, going back to Edge makes me miss those effortless touches on Google’s browser.

Syncing Browsing Data

Both browsers sync your browsing data including passwords, form data, and bookmarks across devices without any trouble.

Chrome vs Edge on iOS: Which Is the Better Alternative to SafariChrome vs Edge on iOS: Which Is the Better Alternative to Safari

Chrome is the fastest at syncing stuff. My browsing data is available between devices in seconds, while Edge can take up to a minute to get everything up to date. It’s not a deal breaker, but something to look out for.

Search Engines

The default search engine you plan to use affects your browsing experience. Chrome and Edge have Google and Bing as selectable search engines, with Chrome using Google and Edge using Bing by default. But you can easily change the default search engine on both browsers.

Chrome vs Edge on iOS: Which Is the Better Alternative to SafariChrome vs Edge on iOS: Which Is the Better Alternative to Safari

Simply perform a search engine query to set it as the default within browser settings. DuckDuckGo is great for private browsing and works smoothly on both browsers.

Ad blocking

Certain websites can be nightmares due to advertisements. They take ages to load, track your activity, and consume bandwidth. To make matters worse, Apple doesn’t allow content blockers for third-party browsers within the App Store.

Thankfully, Edge has a built-in ad-blocker that not only blocks ads but also allows you to whitelist sites you want to support. Pretty neat.

Chrome vs Edge on iOS: Which Is the Better Alternative to SafariChrome vs Edge on iOS: Which Is the Better Alternative to Safari

Chrome does not have any ad-blocking features. This is expected as Google’s main source of revenue is advertising. However, there is a workaround. You can switch to AdGuard DNS servers to block ads in Chrome.

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Dark Theme Support

Do you like dark themes? They not only look terrific but also help save battery life on iPhones with OLED displays. With Edge, you can easily switch to a dark theme that impacts everywhere, including new tabs, menus, and the onscreen keyboard. However, Edge still renders web pages normally, so it doesn’t provide full-fledged dark mode functionality.

Chrome vs Edge on iOS: Which Is the Better Alternative to SafariChrome vs Edge on iOS: Which Is the Better Alternative to Safari

Chrome does not have a built-in dark theme or dark mode. However, you can use the built-in Smart Invert feature in iOS to achieve a similar effect, albeit with minor graphical anomalies.

Voice Search

Chrome’s Voice Search is a convenient feature that allows you to type by speaking. It supports multiple languages and accents and has accurate voice detection. Additionally, it can provide spoken answers to questions, similar to Google Assistant.

Chrome vs Edge on iOS: Which Is the Better Alternative to SafariChrome vs Edge on iOS: Which Is the Better Alternative to Safari

Edge does not have a similar feature. Instead, you can use iOS’s built-in Dictation feature, which is less effective but still useful.

Translation

Often, I come across foreign language sites on my iPhone and iPad. Thankfully, Chrome and Edge seamlessly support translations. Just visit a site, and you’ll be prompted to translate the webpage.

Chrome vs Edge on iOS: Which Is the Better Alternative to SafariChrome vs Edge on iOS: Which Is the Better Alternative to Safari

Chrome uses Google Translate, while Edge uses Microsoft Translator. Google Translate supports more languages. It isn’t a big deal if you stick to popular languages, Chrome is unlikely to leave you stranded compared to Edge.

Continue on PC

Edge features a Continue on PC option in its navigation bar, which works well if you intend to share links on a Windows desktop.

Chrome vs Edge on iOS: Which Is the Better Alternative to SafariChrome vs Edge on iOS: Which Is the Better Alternative to Safari

Chrome can also do that if you have the Continue on PC app installed. Additionally, Chrome supports Handoff on a Mac.

Widgets

Most third-party widgets are disappointing, but Chrome really nails it. You have two Chrome widgets that you can enable — Quick Actions and Suggested Sites.

Chrome vs Edge on iOS: Which Is the Better Alternative to SafariChrome vs Edge on iOS: Which Is the Better Alternative to Safari

Quick Actions focuses on essential actions like Voice Search and opening links in Chrome. Suggested Sites provides a list of frequently-visited sites, similar to new Chrome tabs. Unfortunately, Edge doesn’t support widgets, unlike Chrome.

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Cross-Platform Availability

Unless your ecosystem consists solely of iOS, Android, and Windows devices, it may be challenging to find Microsoft Edge elsewhere. However, if you’re seeking a Safari alternative for both your iPhone/iPad and Mac, Microsoft’s browser is not an option.

On the contrary, Chrome is accessible on nearly every platform, so you don’t need to worry about the device you plan to use in the future.

Nevertheless, with Edge switching to Chromium on desktops, there is a possibility of eventual support for additional platforms like macOS in the future. Stay alert!

Chrome Works Best on iOS

Chrome excels in its user interface, navigation controls, compatibility, and Voice Search capabilities. These aspects are crucial for a superior browsing experience, which Edge lacks.

That said, Edge is still a strong browser. It offers integrated ad-blocking, a flawless dark theme, and seamless PC integration. However, it still has a long way to go to compete with Chrome.

If you’ve chosen Chrome, check out our tips and tricks guide to become a pro user.

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