Microsoft Edge has changed a lot in the past year, but most of those updates have been AI-related features that aren’t always useful. Microsoft is now working on a significant feature for the Android browser, though: support for browser extensions.
Microsoft is testing support for third-party browser extensions in Microsoft Edge for Android, as discovered by Twitter/X user @Leopeva64. There’s a new #edge-extensions-android feature flag that can enable the in-progress extensions page, with installation options for Dark Reader, Global Speed, and uBlock Origin. It’s not clear when this functionality could roll out to everyone in the stable branch of Microsoft Edge, but you can try it out by enabling that flag from edge://flags with the latest Microsoft Edge Canary.
Microsoft Edge would be the third mainstream web browser on Android phones and tablets to support third-party extensions, following Mozilla Firefox (which recently ramped up its extension support) and Samsung Internet. Firefox on Android now has over 400 supported extensions. There are a few more web browsers with extension support on Android, such as Kiwi Browser and Lemur Browser, but since they use extensions designed for desktop Google Chrome that haven’t been tested on mobile, compatibility is hit or miss.
We don’t know yet if Microsoft is planning to allow any supported extensions on the Android browser, like Firefox for Android, or if the extensions will be limited to a small list with partnered developers. A more limited list would be less useful, but it would still give Edge a competitive edge (heh) over Google Chrome, which doesn’t support extensions at all.
Extension support is not currently present in any version of Microsoft Edge for iPhone, since Apple doesn’t allow the third-party rendering engines or JIT compilation that would be required. That’s changing for iPhones in the European Union, as Apple now has to follow the Digital Markets Act in that region (which mandates third-party app stores and fewer restrictions on apps), but Microsoft would have to still have to build a special version of Edge for the EU. The company hasn’t publicly announced that yet, if it will happen at all.