New Edge Dev build brings media autoplay blocking and more customization

It's another Tuesday, and with it comes the weekly build of the Chromium-based Edge browser, which has surprisingly been on a regular schedule for a few weeks now. This week brings us build 79.0.287.2, and unlike the past few releases, it does actually include some new features.

Most notably, there's the ability to block automatically playing media on websites, so you no longer have to look through your tabs to find where the annoying music is coming from. You can access these settings in the Site permissions tab of settings, through the Media autoplay option at the end of the page.

There are also improved tracking prevention settings, which now include a list of all the trackers the browser has ever blocked. It also now has a page of exceptions for tracking prevention, in case you want to support specific websites (like the one you're reading this text on).

The New Tab page has also undergone significant improvements. It now supports the dark theme, and it lets you scroll through previous Bing images of the day using the arrows in the bottom left corner of the page. The News Feed also has some personalization options, including the ability to remove it altogether.

In addition to those big changes, there's a couple more new features in this release:

  • Re-added a prompt to enable Windows location settings if a site requests location permissions but OS-level location settings are disabled.
  • Enabled changing font size in Reading View.
  • Added middle click support to Collections items.
  • Added a tooltip to long Collection titles.
  • Added error messaging for when another program is preventing Edge from installing an update.
  • Added a policy to control the Renderer Code Integrity feature (see https://textslashplain.com/2019/09/27/aw-snap-every-tab-crashes/).

In addition to the new features, this release also comes with a massive list of bug fixes which, as usual, Microsoft separates into behavior and reliability fixes. Reliability has the shorter list of fixes, but it's still a significant one:

  • Fixed a crash on launch.
  • Fixed an issue where Edge on Mac crashes when it checks for updates.
  • Fixed an issue where opening certain PDFs causes the tab to crash.
  • Fixed an issue where some PDF files don’t load properly.
  • Fixed an issue where downloading pages of a PDF that’s being viewed sometimes hangs.
  • Fixed an issue where tabs sometimes hang during navigation.
  • Fixed an issue where page translation via the built-in translator sometimes fails silently.
  • Fixed an issue where opening all Collection items sometimes crashes the browser.
  • Fixed an issue where watching certain videos in full screen causes playback to freeze.
  • Fixed some issues where enabling sync settings sometimes crashes the browser.
  • Fixed an issue where Sync was not working and showed an error next to the profile button on the toolbar.
  • Fixed an issue where syncing is stuck in the “Setting up your sync…” state.
  • Improved reliability of sync for work or school accounts over unreliable network connections.
  • Fixed some sign-in errors that occur when signing into the browser with a work or school account.
  • Fixed an issue on Mac where syncing for work or school accounts doesn’t work.
  • Fixed an issue where trying to import data from the same browser multiple times fails on the subsequent attempts.
  • Improved the performance and results when searching for Edge settings.
  • Fixed an issue where importing data from another browser can sometimes cause the tab to crash.
  • Fixed an issue where certain settings aren’t imported correctly from the previous version of Edge.
  • Fixed an issue where certain audio playback doesn’t work.

The biggest list of fixes is for behavior, and it is indeed massive. Here's everything that's changed in this release:

  • Fixed an issue where the icons for the buttons on the toolbar like the back button or the … menu aren’t centered in the button.
  • Fixed an issue where a new taskbar shortcut is created when Edge is updated to a newer version even though there’s already an existing shortcut.
  • Fixed an issue where the X button to close a tab is incorrectly placed when tab sizes are sufficiently small.
  • Fixed an issue where the X button to close a tab sometimes stays highlighted even when it’s not being interacted with.
  • Fixed an issue where the hover state of the X button to close a tab is too big.
  • Fixed an issue where the address bar theming is too dark in dark theme.
  • Fixed an issue where the ESC key minimizes Edge on Mac when it shouldn’t.
  • Fixed an issue where the F12 Dev Tools sometimes don’t use the proper theme on Mac.
  • Fixed an issue where some context menu items in the F12 Dev Tools appear twice.
  • Fixed an issue where some UI overlaps in the F12 Dev Tools.
  • Fixed an issue where some sections of the edge://accessibility page are missing.
  • Fixed an issue where websites installed as Apps don’t properly respond to changes in the browser’s theme.
  • Fixed an issue where websites installed as Apps sometimes aren’t removed from every list in the browser when they’re uninstalled.
  • Fixed an issue where the “Continue running background apps when Microsoft Edge is closed” setting is missing on Mac.
  • Fixed an issue where feedback screenshots that are cropped become much lower quality.
  • Fixed an issue where the “Save and Include” button on the feedback diagnostic data windows isn’t visible.
  • Fixed an issue where context menus sometimes don’t close when switching tabs.
  • Fixed an issue where the tab favicon sometimes isn’t shown in Reading View.
  • Fixed an issue where the ESC key doesn’t cause Read Aloud to exit.
  • Fixed an issue where copying text from a Collection into another program copies the underlying HTML code instead of just the text.
  • Fixed an issue where Collections created through the context menu don’t show any confirmation that the collection is created.
  • Fixed an issue where Application Guard windows don’t use dark theme even though the rest of the browser does.
  • Fixed an issue where Application Guard windows don’t have their tabs restored when Edge is restarted.
  • Updated the … menu in Application Guard windows to clarify that the Exit option will only close Application Guard windows.
  • Fixed an issue where Application Guard windows unexpectedly open up when the browser is launched.
  • Fixed an issue where the Sync page in Settings briefly shows incorrectly after confirming the settings.
  • Fixed an issue where the PDF toolbar is still visible when it shouldn’t be.
  • Fixed an issue where text selection in PDFs selects an extra character.
  • Fixed an issue where the retry button on deleted downloads appears to be disabled.
  • Fixed an issue where Flash settings are sometimes not properly displayed.
  • Fixed an issue where context menus on the Settings page sometimes don’t dismiss properly.
  • Fixed an issue where multiple context menus appeared on certain Settings pages.
  • Fixed an issue where certain settings unexpectedly become disabled.
  • Fixed an issue where the Delete Browsing Data popup is sometimes missing some of its contents.
  • Fixed an issue where the link to the Extensions store was missing on the Extensions page when no Extensions are installed.
  • Fixed an issue where the Print Preview window was too small.
  • Temporarily disabled Sync for work and school accounts for outdated versions of Edge on Mac and downlevel Windows.

All in all, this seems like a pretty significant build and you'll want to grab it quickly. Of course, if you don't, it'll just install automatically anyway.

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