Microsoft has launched its new Edge browser and has rolled it out to most Windows 10 users through the May 2020 update. Some might have noticed the slightly different icon, and it is not just the icon that has changed. You might have read about Chromium Edge. Or Edgium?
Edge is now based on Chromium, just like Google Chrome. This, itself, makes the new Edge better than the Legacy Edge (that is what Microsoft is calling the older iteration), to put it simply. It even runs the Chrome extensions. Except, it does so with a warning that the extensions might not have been verified.
Edge is not yet as powerful as Chrome, far from it. One of the best features is yet to come – Sync (Microsoft says, it is coming soon). Another useful feature on its way to Edge is the ability to search for a phrase in sidebar without leaving the page you are on, similar to the search option in the context menu in Google Chrome. It will be added as an extra option in the context menu under the usual search option. Edge also brings some neat features of its own already, besides needing relatively less RAM as compared to Chrome at the moment.
One of the most useful feature is the option to view webpages in reading mode, similar to how you would see it in services like Pocket or Instapaper, stripping all non-essential stuff apart from the content from the page and showing the text with a cleaner, larger font with a Sepia background; except, I don’t think there’s an offline reading option, at least not yet. The bonus is that you get to listen to it with the read aloud option. While reading aloud, you also have the option to control the speed, choose the language and accent (there’s also option for natural language, which is far better to listen to when compared to the older robotic voices), and the basic play and pause buttons, etc. The option to make a playlist is not here yet, which would make it even better.
There is also “Collections” for collecting and managing links to websites. It may seem similar to bookmarks, but it is more than that. It also has options to add notes to collections (groups) of links and to send links to word or excel files. OneNote is likely to be added soon (although adding to OneNote is already possible through other methods like “Share” or “Aad to OneNote”, etc.
Another notable feature is relatively better privacy settings with 3 easy options to choose from.
Edge is available for iOS and Android now and Microsoft may launch a version for Linux as well. Seems like it is worth a try, but I would say, wait for around a month or two for some of the other features that I mentioned to be added to Edge, improving the user experience even more. It would also allow for some time to see how enthusiasts see it and how web developers support it. And who knows…you may want to switch if you are a Chrome or Firefox user. Just Maybe.