Like many others, I used to only ever use Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (and later Edge) to download Google Chrome on a new Windows machine. But last year’s Chromium-based Microsoft Edge was intriguing enough that it convinced me to give it a proper try. I was sure that I’d use it for a couple of days before ultimately getting frustrated at something broken or half-baked before returning to Chrome. On the contrary, I haven’t looked back since. Edge has been my primary browser for all my work needs, and that's remained the case even as I switched platforms to macOS.
Windows’ built-in internet browsers have had a long history of disappointing and frustrating users, and it became even more glaring when Google Chrome came about. Thankfully, the same can't be said about the new Edge browser. While its Chromium base provided me the entry point and ensured that all my Chrome plugins worked seamlessly, all of its other features ensured that I stuck around. There are quite a few things that I like about it, but there's one particular built-in tool that stands out and comes in handy on more occasions than I can think of. It's called Collections.
When researching long-form pieces, I have to routinely go through tens of web pages, and these sessions can sometimes stretch over days. To keep track of whatever I’ve already looked at, I dump important links to a collection I create for each topic — doing this has become second nature at this point. This may sound like something I could do with bookmarks, but Collections is far more powerful with its various cataloging options and integrations.
A perk of being a Microsoft product is that Collections works well in tandem with other productivity apps, including Excel, Word, and OneNote, enabling quick editing options. But what I find particularly convenient is the built-in notes tool — it’s got way more text formatting options than Google Keep. Of course, it cannot replace your full-blown notetaking app, but it’s still good to have all my links, notes, and ideas in one place, saving me from relying on several different apps for everything Collections can do.
And given Edge syncs these collections across all my devices, I can use my phone to access my notes and quickly add new articles while I'm away from my desk. This is how it helps sort out my day-to-day work, but it’s equally good for personal use, be it for your shopping wish list or a trip itinerary.
I do keep tabs on what’s new with Google Chrome, but I’m in no mood for going back just yet.
Before you point it out, yes, I’m aware of the fact that replicating these functionalities is easy enough with browser extensions. But in my experience, they either have straight-up bad design or slow down the browser over a period of time, and you can’t guarantee interface uniformity (or even app availability) across devices.
I’ll admit that it feels a little awkward to use a Microsoft browser on macOS, but it offers a surprisingly impressive experience. Considering how bad its browsers have been in the past, Microsoft has got a lot of things right with its latest incarnation, including quickly porting Edge to M1 Macs. While working here at Android Police, I do keep tabs on what’s new with Google Chrome, but I’m in no mood for going back just yet. I'd recommend you give Edge a try and see if it can work similar wonders for you too.