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By Usama Jawad96
Microsoft is testing a built-in 'Math Solver' in its Edge browser
by Usama Jawad
The Edge Canary channel is updated on a daily basis with new features and fixes added frequently. Recently, Microsoft added an option in the preview channel allowing users to open Office files directly in the browser. Enhancements like these get promoted to Dev and then Beta channels before finally being made available to the public, provided everything goes well.
Now, it appears that Microsoft is testing a built-in "Math Solver" for its Edge browser.
Image credit: Leopeva 64-2 (Reddit)As spotted by Reddit user Leopeva64-2, a new configuration called "Show Math Solver button" may show up in the Settings > Appearance section for Edge Canary. Clicking on it will add a button next to the omnibox pane at the top. This feature may not be available to everyone yet as part of Microsoft's controlled rollout plans. We don't have it on our test devices either.
Once you click on it, you'll be given two options; either to type in the mathematical problem manually or get a window that you can crop over a mathematical problem on the screen, similar to the Snipping Tool available in Windows 10. Regardless of the option you choose, Math Solver will solve the equation and provide you with the answer along with all the relevant working. The functionality and mechanism are quite similar to what you see in computational software like WolframAlpha.
Although it is still in testing, Math Solver could be particularly useful for students and professionals who have to solve mathematical problems on the fly. The built-in feature would also allow for greater efficiency as users won't have to navigate to websites like WolframAlpha to solve their problems. It obviously features additional functionalities on top of the standard Calculator in Windows 10 since it shows the working as well. That said, the limitations of the capability are not known and we haven't been able to extensively test it from our side either. It remains to be seen whether Math Solver will eventually makes it way to the general public.
By Abhay V
Microsoft brings vertical tabs to Edge 89, announces Bing search improvements
by Abhay Venkatesh
Microsoft today announced the list of features making it to the browser this month with the release of version 89. The blog is part of the ‘What’s New in Web Experiences’ series of posts that aligns with the release schedule for the stable version of Edge. Most of these features have been present in the Insider channels, so if you’ve been running Canary, Dev, or Beta builds, you might be familiar with most of them. The announcements also contain a bunch of Bing improvements.
The first – and probably the most significant addition – is vertical tabs. The feature was first announced almost a year ago and officially made it to the Dev channel in October last year. Now, vertical tabs is finally becoming available to all users with Edge 89 this month. As the name suggests, the feature lets users switch to a vertical layout for the tab strip and even hide the panel completely, allowing for more real estate for web pages. The layout also makes it easy to differentiate between the tabs thanks to the width of the panel.
This release will also bring the revamped History experience that provides an easily accessible flyout menu that can be accessed via a shortcut in the toolbar, and one that can also be pinned as a permanent panel.
The other significant improvement debuting with Edge 89 in the stable channel is Startup boost. The company says that its tests show that the feature helps increase browser launch times by up to 41% after a reboot or a browser relaunch. This is achieved by launching the browser in the background after a user logs into the device or running it in the background after it is closed, making the application ready for launch even if it isn’t left open. Startup boost will be enabled by default with version 89, though, users can head into the settings and turn it off.
The other area of improvement noted in today’s announcements is Bing, with the most notable additions and enhancements coming to search. The firm is introducing interactive search results, akin to Google Search’s experience, providing users with more information about individual results in a separate pane. There are a few enhancements particularly aimed at making recipe search results more informative. Bing now extracts recipes from web pages and serves them right on the results page, in addition to relevant suggestions and more.
The new search results pane also brings visual search, meaning that it will now provide related content for the search results – including items that look similar to the selected image and options to shop for available items via purchase links. The results carousel is also getting a design refresh and now offers a “hover-over experience” that lets users expand items by hovering over them to see more additional information or descriptions.
Left: Old | Right: New Another interesting improvement to search is the addition of aggregated results. Bing will now pull up information about broad topics and serve it in the form of an infographic in search results, making it easy to get to important stats and more without heading into websites. It also adds Google Search-like News and Videos cards below the short descriptions. For local searches and places, the results page can provide reviews, top images, and even Bing Maps locations in the results. The feature is currently limited to users in the results and will be rolled out in the coming months.
Edge 89 will roll out to all users running the stable version of the browser today, bringing the new vertical tabs experience, startup improvements, and more.
By Rich Woods
Microsoft Edge 89 is out with sleeping tabs and more
by Rich Woods
Today, Microsoft is releasing a big update for its Edge browser, bringing it to Edge 89. It's right on schedule, as the browser gets updated every six weeks. As usual, it comes with a bunch of new features.
One of them is sleeping tabs. Many of us have tons of tabs open while we're working, so if a tab is inactive for a couple of hours, it's going to basically shut down. You'll notice it when the tab looks dim, and if you click it, the tab reactivates and reloads the webpage. Obviously, you can turn this off in settings if you want to.
Microsoft said that a sleeping tab uses 26% less CPU than a regular one, and it uses 16% less memory. The firm said that it built the feature on top of Chromium's freezing technology that stops scripts from running on inactive tabs. Naturally, fewer resources used results in a better overall experience.
The other key feature that Microsoft touted in the announcement is startup boost. When the feature is enabled, startup times get boosted by between 29% and 41%. Microsoft says that it manages this by running some core Edge processes in the background without adding more when the browser is open.
Microsoft also said that there are some new Chromium features in this build that boost performance as well, such as an "intensive throttling" feature. Edge 89 is out today, with startup boost arriving on Windows and sleeping tabs arriving on both Windows and macOS.
By Rich Woods
Edge Dev 90.0.810.1 has improvements for vertical tabs
by Rich Woods
Today, Microsoft is releasing this week's Edge Dev build, right on schedule. The new version number is 90.0.810.1, and it actually has a few new features, although they're fairly minor.
A lot of it has to do with vertical tabs, the feature that puts your tabs on the side of the screen instead of on top. Now, you'll be able to drag and drop links onto the vertical tabs panel to open them, and you can now resize the panel. Microsoft also said that it's finished rolling out new mini context menus in PDFs, and that it has support for more languages when translating webpages.
And of course, there are a bunch of fixes and known issues. Here's what got fixed for improved reliability:
Here are the fixes for changed behavior:
Here's the list of known issues:
As always, you can manually update Edge by going to Settings -> About Microsoft Edge, or the app will just update itself in the background at some point.
By Abhay V
Microsoft Edge is getting a new Extensions menu in the toolbar, now available for Insiders
by Abhay Venkatesh
Microsoft recently introduced a bunch of changes to the Edge browser that were aimed at improving the usability of the offering. These include the revamped favorites and history menus, a streamlined downloads UI, and more recently, the enhancements to Collections. Today, the firm announced another change coming to select Dev and Canary channel users, and this time, it relates to extensions.
Users that tend to use multiple extensions might have a cluttered toolbar owing to all the icons crowding the real estate next to the Omnibox. The only alternatives are to either move icons into the ellipsis menu or access them through the dedicated extensions page. Now, the Redmond firm is adding a dedicated Extensions menu in the toolbar that serves a flyout menu with the list of available extensions, similar to the history and Collections menus. Users can easily move the desired extensions by right-clicking on the desired icons and hide them from the toolbar.
The Extensions menu – similar to the one present in Google Chrome – not only contains the available extensions but also a view/hide toggle that users can use to choose which shortcuts are needed to be displayed on the toolbar, helping reduce clutter and avoid displaying infrequently used extensions. The three-dot menu contains more options such as the ability to remove an extension altogether or navigate to granular settings for the selected offering. Lastly, the menu also contains quick links to the Edge Addons page and the dedicated extension settings page.
While the change is currently rolling out to users running Dev and Canary channel builds, it is part of a Controlled Feature Roll-out (CFR), meaning that not every user running the test builds will receive the feature right away. Considering that the change is minor, it should not be too long before it makes it to more users.
Interestingly, a listing in the Edge Feature Roadmap page suggests that the feature is slated for release with version 89, which is expected to be released to the stable channel this week. It is possible that the change will be released via a minor mid-stream update or a server-side switch after the firm completes testing it with Insiders.
Have you received the new Extensions menu in Edge on the Dev or Canary channels? Let us know in the comments below!