Microsoft's new browser, Edge, is finally here and ready to make you forget all about Internet Explorer.
Even at first glance, Edge seems like a vast improvement over its predecessor: fast browsing, minimal popups (thanks to a built-in popup blocker), and more importantly, no sporadic crashes. Internet Explorer is on its way out.
IE will be used purely for business and corporate accounts, while Edge is the browser that ships with Windows 10.
So if you don't know much about the new browser, here's a list of its best stand-out features...
This is by far one of the most prominent features within the new browser that is not available in IE. Simply clicking the Reading View icon causes the page to reload, with just about all content hidden aside from the article and images.
You can now make notes directly onto a web page or article. This can be done using the cursor on a desktop or nontouch laptop, or using a finger or stylus on a screen on a touchscreen or tablet.
You can easily save the annotated page as a OneNote document as well or add it to your favourites/reading list. You can also share it socially with friends or colleagues.
An icon in the upper right of Microsoft Edge lives up to its name: you'll get a drop-down list, showing your favourites, reading list, browsing history, and downloads.
Sharing is a much more useful and accessible feature in Edge than it is Internet Explorer. Just click the Share icon to easily share a web page via email, OneNote, or Reading List.
This new feature is essentially a “read later” folder, which serves as an alternate to favourites or bookmarks. It's where you store articles you may want to read once at a later time (you can also remove them after they've been read). The browser saves the entire page code so you can even read the saved pages offline.
Cortana is present in various places in Windows 10 – and Edge is no exception. The personal assistant will offer answers for math problems typed into the search/address bar, quickly display the weather, current stock quotes, etc. On some websites (restaurants, businesses, etc.), Cortana will appear in the address bar with various information.
Clicking on the Cortana icon will allow you to view a list of the information that the feature has to offer. You can also highlight text, then right click “Ask Cortana” at the top of the list, and she will retrieve information from different sources depending on the context. Amazeballs.
The settings have a variety of options for personalising your browsing experience, including a theme selector (light and dark are the only options available right now, but each is clean and simple) and a toggle on/off for the favourites bar.
Under advanced settings, there are some of the more fine-tuned options, like the ability to turn of Adobe Flash player if the built-in popup blocker should ever interfere with a web page.
My News Feed
If you choose not to set a default site for Edge to open up to, you'll see top sites (more on that later) and a "My News Feed". It's a customisable grid of news stories and articles. Under browser's customise setting, you can designate a variety of topics that you'd like to read, such as Autos, Sports, Entertainment, Lifestyle, News, etc.
This area shows you your most frequently-visited sites for quick access along with suggestions for commonly visited sites. If there's a dedicated app for a site, such as Netflix, you'll notice a link to “get the app” just below the icon. Clicking the link will bring you to the store to download and install.