Microsoft is delivering on its word to keep its Windows 10 “service” fresh and humming, with regularly released updates and fresh preview builds. Along the same story, the company has launched a brand new preview build with extension support for the Edge browser.
Yes sir, the company has finally launched an updated, build 14291, with support for edge extensions, which was initially supposed to be out by the end of 2015, but was delayed. While the build is in preview and available only to testers right now, we expect Microsoft to go for a public release, soon.
Extension support was certainly need and indeed, was one of the major features missing from Edge. Considering the fact that edge was launched as the successor to Internet explorer and had received acclaim, the absence was sorely missed — particularly since every major browser sports the feature.
Microsoft has also introduced several ways of adding extensions to Edge. For one, developers can port their extensions from Google Chrome. However, while the public build will see the extensions delivered through the Windows Store, the preview build requires users to sideload them manually.
To manually load extensions into Edge, developers need to go to Microsofts developer resources and download extensions. After that, open Edge and click on download notification>Run>More (…)>Extensions>Load extension and choose the extension folder to be loaded.
As of now, only a few extensions have Ben made available to developers although Microsoft promises to introduce more soon.
We’re continuing to work with a group of co-development partners on the first extensions that will be available in the Windows Store later this year.
The extensions already available include Mouse Gestures, Microsoft Translator, and Reddit Engagement Suite, while those of AdBlock, Adblock Plus, Amazon, LastPass, and Evernote may be in the pipeline.
Extensions apart, the new Edge has some other noteworthy features as well. For example, users can choose to pin tabs in Edge. The pinned tabs is rather like having multiple homepages, they open up every time to open edge and don’t have a close button.
Also, if you have something copied upon your clipboard, you can search it — if it’s a string of words — and go to it — if it’s a link — simply by choosing paste and search and paste and go respectively, by right clicking the address bar. The edge app on mobile also has a larger X button to close tabs, quickly.
Edge is not the only thing that has been updated in the latest build though. The maps have also been renovated and feature a bevy of new features. For example, you can now get directions to anywhere using just one hand — handy for users hitting the road.
Secondly, Maps has also gained tabs. Rather similar to the tabs on browsers, you can use the feature to view and save multiple locations that can be accessed and brought to the fore by clicking the relevant tab. Consequently, you can also minimize one or more tabs to look at the map and still have directions within easy reach.
Along with improving the algorithm, so that you get closer directions, Cortana can guide you to the place by turn by turn instructions.
Finally, you can now search for your favorite city in the 3D Cities list. The build also features an improved turn-by-turn design for enhanced viewability and landscape layout.
The build also corrects multiple faults with the previous version including slower text input speed when more words were typed and word flow recognition of longer words. Similarly, multiple issues arising out of touch and improper alignment have been fixed as well.
That said, the build still has some significant issues, although Microsoft is probably working upon resolving them as we speak. For one, Some Surface Pro 3, Surface Pro 4, and Surface Book devices freeze and the user must hard press the reboot button — or wait for the device to discharge. Plugging in an Xbox One or Xbox 360 controller or other gamepads to your PC, has also been known to cause similar issues.
Also, while QQ, Windows Live Mail, and Expression Encoder 4 are known to crash, Kaspersky Anti-Virus, Internet Security, and Kaspersky Total Security Suite, are among those that don’t work at all.
The mobile version has some issues too, the most serious of which is the inability of the device to restore from backup after a reset. While the first restore will fail to install apps from your backup’s apps list, leaving blank grey titles on Start menu. Consequent restorations only serve to delete all the backup data.
So yes, you definitely don’t want to restore your device while rocking this build upon your device. Microsoft bands also refuse to sync with this build and do so temporarily, after you change your devices language.
However, the fact that Microsoft has taken cognizance of the error before the still away public launch, may mean that the company is waiting to fix these bugs before going for a mass launch. We will know more on the topic after the Microsoft Build conference, which is slated to take place near the month end.