Microsoft launched its new Chromium-based Edge Web browser for Windows and Mac in January this year. The browser comes as the company's effort to make a mark in the Web browser market, dominated by the likes of Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Now, Microsoft has announced several new features in hopes that it will give the browser an edge over Chrome and Firefox. The new features include vertically-placed tabs, tracking prevention, and a mobile version of the Microsoft Edge browser's Collections feature, among others.
Microsoft announced that it will bring its useful Collections feature to the Microsoft Edge mobile application as well. Although the company did not give a timeline, it said that the feature will be made available on mobile later this spring.
Microsoft Edge's Collections feature allows a user to collect information from different websites, organise it, and export it to various files. In a separate column, the Edge browser saves all of a user's links, images, and texts safely for them to come back anytime, or export to Word or Excel. This is a useful feature for research-related tasks like writing articles, research papers, or looking for material to study a specific topic. Collections on a desktop can be accessed from the Collections button on the top right corner of the browser window (next to the user icon).
Vertically-placed tabs is one of the most important new feature on the Microsoft Edge. A feature that could potentially be copied by others, if proven successful. The new feature places all the tabs vertically to the left side of the window in a list. This move provides an uncluttered view of all tabs that are opened by a user, on the left side of the screen. From the images shared by Microsoft, the tabs list shows the website link and icon when placed vertically.
This will be a useful feature for those who work with dozens of tabs open on a browser. Users often forget which tab is which, and often end up closing the wrong tabs. Given how big the problem of tabs clutter is, other companies should also take note as this could be a possible solution.
Another useful feature Microsoft announced in its blog post is Smart Copy. It will allow a user to select an area instead of the text. This will help in copying text from tables, graphs, infographics, etc., which usually leaves a mess when copied back to a document.
A feature that prevents websites and advertisers from tracking a user over the Internet, Tracking Prevention is an important feature for all Web browsers as it also gives a user more control over what they see on the Internet. Microsoft Edge offers its users three cookie-blocking presets on both mobile and desktop applications – Basic, Balanced, or Strict. Microsoft Edge will adjust the types of third-party trackers blocked depending on these presets.
The Password Monitor on the Microsoft Edge will now also tell a user if their credentials are up for sale on the dark Web. It will notify a user if the login details they have saved to autofill have been detected on the dark Web.
"If Edge uncovers a match with any of your saved login details, you will receive a notification from within the browser prompting you to take action," Microsoft said.
Through a dashboard in Settings, users can view a list of all leaked credentials and get routed to their respective websites to change the password.
InPrivate browsing is essentially Microsoft's term for Incognito mode. The InPrivate browsing mode will automatically delete history, cookies, and site data the moment a user closes the window. The InPrivate browsing also comes with a built-in Bing search engine on Microsoft Edge.
The Immersive Reader feature on the Microsoft Edge provides a reader a distraction-free mode for them to concentrate on reading an article. The Immersive Reader also throws up a number of tools that will help a reader personalise the page they are reading, like ability to adjust the text, or the option of reading the article aloud.
Further, Microsoft also said that Microsoft Edge provides the best Netflix experience on any Web browser. Edge is the only browser on Windows 10 that will now let you watch 4K on Netflix and the only browser that supports Dolby Audio and Dolby Vision on Windows 10.
Microsoft also introduced a “Give With Bing” feature on Edge. The Give with Bing extension will help people make a difference by searching on Bing. Users of the Microsoft Edge will now reward users every time they search using Bing. Those reward points can later be donated to a cause of choice, from a list of more than 1 million nonprofits to that Microsoft has curated.
The Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser was launched in January this year. The new browser is available for anyone to download from Microsoft's official website. The new Edge browser has been made available for all platforms - Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. For Windows 10 users, it is either available to download now, or they can wait for it to come to their PCs along with the Windows update rollout next month.
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