Microsoft Edge Beta Browser Adds Native Apple M1 Mac Support For Improved Performance
Microsoft first launched an M1-specific version of Edge via its Insider Canary Channel back in mid-December. Then, on January 7, support was added via the Dev Channel. With support now being extended to the Beta Channel, an official Stable Channel release can't be too far down the road. For those that are not familiar with Microsoft's software channels, Canary builds are the most unstable, and are released daily. Dev builds are released on a weekly basis and are more stable than Canary release. Beta builds come down roughly every six weeks and are the most stable of the three pre-release channels.
If you're eager to get your hands on the M1 compliant version of Microsoft Edge and don't feel like waiting for the Stable release to arrive, the Beta is definitely your best bet and a safer option than the previous Dev or Canary builds.
We should mention that the existing x86-64 version of the Microsoft Edge has worked just fine on M1 Macs. However, that version of the browser must be run through the Rosetta 2 translator and that results in a hit to performance, which isn't ideal. The native M1 version of Microsoft Edge affords users better performance and efficiency, which should improve battery life as well.
Although Microsoft is fully committed to delivering the M1-native version of its browser, it's a step behind both Google and Mozilla. Google released its M1 native Chrome browser back in November, while Mozilla countered with its M1 native Firefox browser in mid-December.
Given Microsoft's rapid iteration with Canary, Dev, and Beta builds, it wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility for the M1 recompile to arrive with Microsoft Edge v88 (Stable) within the next week. You can download the latest Microsoft Edge Beta right now direct from Microsoft.