Edge Updates

It wouldn’t be an update to Windows 10 without some new features and fixes in the Edge browser, and with the Fall Creators Update, Edge now gets bumped to EdgeHTML 16. It’s a bit disappointing that Edge is still tied to the operating system update schedule, but with the biannual release schedule now locked in, it’s a better situation. As a new browser, Edge launched with Windows 10 in a state that was somewhat sparse, to say the least, but has gotten successively better with every update.

Some of the reasons Edge gets tied to Windows itself is that Edge tends to take advantage of new features coming to the OS, which they would not be able to test and implement outside of the current Windows Insider Program. For example, Edge has already gained some support of Fluent Design, with some acrylic on the tab bar. It’s subtle, but looks nice.

There’s still a lot of features that existed in Internet Explorer that have yet to make their way over to Edge, but they are slowly checking all the boxes. With the FCU, you can finally pin a website to the taskbar, and it gets the webpage icon, as it should. The only missing feature here is a way to customize it opening in a new window, or in a tab in the currently open window, since it’s locked into the latter only. That might not always be what a user would want, especially when heavily using web apps like mail.

One very nice feature that has arrived is the ability to annotate PDFs and e-books right in Edge. Edge is the default PDF viewer in Windows 10, and the ability to now sign and mark up PDFs right in the browser will be welcome to many. There’s always third-party utilities for this, but it’s nice to have the feature built-in. You can of course mark up with Windows Ink as well.

As part of the push to accessibility, Edge will now tap into the Windows Narrator to read websites aloud, just by right clicking the page and choosing “Read aloud”. This works for e-books and PDFs as well, and because it uses the built-in tools, you can easily adjust the voices or add new ones if necessary. You can quickly adjust the speed, or pause the reading, right in the browser window.

For those that miss the ability to browse in full screen, Edge 16 adds that feature back, which can be accessed with F11.

Another small change is the ability to edit the URLs for favorites. Yay.

One nice new feature is the ability to manage website permissions, right from the address bar. Clicking on the TLS lock, or the i icon if the site doesn’t have TLS, and you can see and adjust what permissions, such as webcam, location, or notifications, that the site has access to based on your previous responses. You can also view all website permissions under advanced settings.

One thing you still can’t do is actually view the site certificate. The information provided by Edge is very basic, with no option to open the certificate in the more advanced Windows certificate tools to check the trust chain, and more. This seems like an obvious requirement, but is still lacking.

Edge 16 has also added preview support for Service Workers, which are the prelude to Progressive Web Apps on Windows. Going to about:flags allows you to enable this to test PWAs on Edge, in preparation for full support coming in the next update.

For me, Edge is still my go-to browser mostly because of the fantastic job it does rendering text, especially on high DPI displays, but several years on, it’s still missing some very basic functionality, such as the ability to copy the link of an image, but the dev tools have continued to improve with every release. For some tasks, I still have to fall back to Chrome, but you can pretty comfortably use Edge as your daily browser now, which certainly wasn’t the case when it first launched. I look forward to seeing more feature updates coming, with the knowledge that they are chasing a moving target.

Interaction Updates: Accessibility and more Windows Mixed Reality
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  • ddriver - Friday, November 10, 2017 - link

    Oh wow, I bet those 10 seconds you save are a life changer. Reply
  • inighthawki - Friday, November 10, 2017 - link

    Oh come on. He's booting into several different OSs a day. That's at least a full minute. Reply
  • ddriver - Friday, November 10, 2017 - link

    Yeah, and they are all windoze 10, which saves that much time :)

    I was talking about the boot time difference relative to w7, not the overall boot time.

    I usually run at least 2-3 OS in the same time, it is much faster and far more usable when you use virtual machines rather than booting one OS at a time. You get to use them in parallel and also avoid the mobo post time. The only downside is you need plenty of ram.
    Reply
  • ddrіver - Sunday, November 12, 2017 - link

    Well, not actually every few months but easily every couple of days. Reply
  • ddriver - Friday, November 10, 2017 - link

    Windoze 10 is a great OS, I just has an amazing experience with it the other day with its latest and greatest iteration.

    A laptop was behaving weirdly, so I decided to do some checkups, beginning with a disk check.

    Clicking to run the disk check, I was told that there is no need to run it because the disk is OK.

    I insisted to run it nonetheless, and to automatically fix errors.

    About 1 second in the check, I was told that the error check cannot continue because the drive contains errors, and to run it again after I fix the errors.

    Great functionality, I have to admit. It's like ordering pizza and they tell you they can't deliver you pizza because you have no pizza, and to call back again when you have the pizza.

    And what stunning graphics design, for example the settings dialogs are literally just a white background with 3 columns of text. It is like looking at HTML without the CSS styling applied. Just pathetic and hideous.

    And in an all-too-typical for m$ fashion, they are more invested into introducing even more useless bloatware.
    Reply
  • ddrіver - Sunday, November 12, 2017 - link

    Then again I haven't actually done any troubleshooting without Google for so long... Google 1, M$ 0.
    And they could make those Windoze 10 menus with gold and glitter and they'd still suck. Because they're M$.
    Reply
  • ddriver - Monday, November 13, 2017 - link

    LOL, I have a copy-troll now. Reply
  • ddrіver - Monday, November 13, 2017 - link

    Mispost. Reply
  • jardows2 - Friday, November 10, 2017 - link

    Protected folder option - great! Going to be checking this out and enabling on all my computers. I wonder how it works with network mapped drives? Will this folder have to be selected as a protected folder on all PC's that have write access? Reply
  • peevee - Friday, November 10, 2017 - link

    Brett, where are multiple Linux flavors? Reply

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