Microsoft's new Edge Dev build adds spellchecker and other minor new features

Earlier today, Microsoft's new Chromium-based Edge browser hit general availability, but it's still updating its other branches. The weekly Dev branch got build 81.0.389.2 today, although it's a bit light on new features. Microsoft says that this is because it was focusing on its big launch this week.

Here's the full list of new features:

  • Added the ability to hide the Collections button from the address bar.
  • Added a “coming soon” message to all users who still have favorites sync disabled.
  • Added a dialog to inform users when another program on the device installs an extension in Edge.
  • Enabled integration of the Windows built-in spellchecker.
  • Added a management policy to prevent the first run experience from running.

There are also some fixes for improved reliability:

  • Re-enabled favorites sync for some users who hadn’t gotten it re-enabled last week.
  • Fixed an issue where sorting favorites and then hitting undo sometimes causes the favorites to be deleted.
  • Fixed an issue on Mac where the send feedback button sometimes crashes the browser.
  • Fixed a crash when using accessibility software like screen readers.
  • Fixed an issue where closing an IE mode tab sometimes crashes the browser.
  • Fixed an issue where attempting to customize sync settings during the First Run Experience crashes the tab.
  • Fixed an issue where watching DRM-protected video like on Netflix doesn’t play at the highest possible quality on certain devices with Nvidia graphics.

As always, there are also some fixes for changed behavior:

  • Improved Read Aloud performance.
  • Fixed an issue where exporting a Collection to Excel results in the column headers being messed up.
  • Fixed an issue where cancelling an edit on a Collections item doesn’t undo the changes to it.
  • Fixed an issue where sites that are deleted from the Top Sites tiles on the New Tab Page sometimes return.
  • Fixed an issue where the Share UI doesn’t appear when the Share button is clicked.
  • Fixed an issue where the link in Settings to manage a browser profile’s associated account sometimes doesn’t work.
  • Fixed an issue where linked clicked from other applications sometimes don’t open if Edge is already running and was launched with administrator privileges.
  • Fixed an issue where Tracking Prevention sometimes causes content blocked notifications to the right of the address bar (cookies, for example) not to appear properly.
  • Fixed an issue where the ink customization options when annotating feedback screenshots don’t work.
  • Fixed an issue where the Grammar Tools color picker isn’t visible.
  • Fixed an issue where the Cisco Webex extension doesn’t work properly.
  • Fixed an issue where manually navigating to an extension’s page by typing their address into the address bar doesn’t work.
  • Fixed an issue where editing settings from within an Application Guard window that causes the window to have to close and re-open leads to the window closing, but never re-opening.

Finally, there are also some known issues to be aware of:

  • After an initial fix for it recently, some users are still experiencing Edge windows becoming all black. UI popups like menus are not affected and opening the Browser Task Manager (keyboard shortcut is shift + esc) and killing the GPU process fixes it.
  • Some users are still not seeing Collections being enabled by default on Canary and Dev. For users who want to try Collections, enabling the flag at edge://flags/#edge-collections should still work to turn on the feature.
  • There are some issues where users with multiple audio output devices sometimes don’t get any sound from Edge. In one case, Edge becomes muted in the Windows Volume Mixer and unmuting it fixes it. In another, restarting the browser fixes it.
  • At certain zoom levels, there is a noticeable line between the browser UI and the web contents.

Most of the new features are pretty minor, like adding the Windows spellchecker. It's a little disappointing that a "coming soon" notice has to come to favorite-syncing, rather than just being able to fix what's broken. One thing that will be useful is a notification that a third-party service added an extension.

If you're in the Beta channel, which is typically updated every six weeks, you should be getting an update to Edge 80 soon. It's been on Edge 79 for about 10 weeks now, but that's because Microsoft has been gearing up for GA of that version. Edge 80 will arrive soon in Beta, and then in the stable channel in early February.

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