Here’s what new about Edge in the Redstone 4 update

by Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
Matthew is a freelancer who has produced a variety of articles on various topics related to technology. His main focus is the Windows OS and all the things... read more
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nimbus screen capture edge browser

The Redstone 4 update, or Spring Creators Update, is rolling out in April 2018. Aside from updating Windows 10, Microsoft’s latest update is also revamping the platform’s Edge browser. Even though Edge is bundled with Windows 10, the vast majority of users still overlook it in favor of Chrome and Firefox. As such, the Spring Creators Update is boosting Microsoft’s flagship browser with numerous enhancements.

Microsoft revamps the Edge browser

Clutter-free printing is one of the most notable new options that Microsoft is adding to Edge. There are various extensions for Google Chrome,Firefox and other browsers that enable users to strip down page content before printing.

Clutter-free printing is a similar built-in option for Edge’s print dialog that gets rid of ads and other superfluous page elements. That option could save Edge users quite a bit of printer ink.

The updated Edge will include a Mute tab option. That option mutes audio for specific pages. Edge will include that option on its tab context menu much the same as Google Chrome.

The Fall Creators Update updated Edge with a full-screen mode. At the moment, you cannot enter website URLs when in that full-screen mode. The Redstone 4 update will enhance Edge’s full-screen mode so that you can access the URL bar without leaving full-screen mode.

Microsoft is updating the Dark theme in Edge. After the update, Edge’s Dark theme will have better contrast and darker colors. Microsoft has also fixed a glitch whereby URL bar text turns gray in Edge’s Dark theme as shown directly below.

Edge will have a redesigned Hub menu after the Spring Creators Update. The redesigned Hub menu includes buttons along the left of the menu instead of the top.

The new Hub includes a Books view from which you can right-click a book to pin it to the Start menu. The favorites bar, included on the Hub, also automatically displays when you open New tab page in the updated Edge.

Edge’s PDF reader is getting revamped with a new UI design that users can configure with the browser’s settings. The updated browser includes an option to save EPUB books. Users can also manage EPUB and PDF bookmark lists from the same location in the updated Edge.

The EdgeHTML 17 rendering engine, which replaces EdgeHTML 16, is perhaps the most notable new addition to Edge. EdgeHTML 17 enables a whole new raft of technologies in Edge, such as Push notifications (for Action Center notifications), Cache APIs (for offline page browsing) and Fetch networking. With its new rendering engine, Edge supports Variable Fonts that enables developers to adjust variations in fonts with CSS.

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are websites and web apps that you can utilize in separate windows much the same as native Universal Windows Platform apps. The Redstone 4 update ensures Edge incorporates all the web technologies the browser needs to fully support PWAs.

The PWAs can utilize all Windows 10’s WinRT APIs much the same as UWPs. A Microsoft Windows Blog post states, “In the browser context, all the benefits of being a PWA should still accrue to the website, empowering the user to choose how and where they want to engage with the experience.

The Spring Creators Update is not exactly an Edge overhaul, but there are still plenty of refinements for the browser. However, Edge still needs lots more extensions, custom themes and more extensive customization options to match Chrome and Firefox.

The latest update does not enhance Edge customization in any way. For further Windows 10 Redstone 4 update details, you can check out this post.


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