Category Archives: New Platform Features

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What’s New in Microsoft Edge in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

Today, we’re beginning to roll out the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update to Windows 10 customers around the world. This release upgrades Microsoft Edge to EdgeHTML 16, the best version of Microsoft Edge yet. The Fall Creators Update also includes new enhancements like improved favorites management and pinned sites, new developer APIs like CSS Grid Layout and WebVR 1.1, and better-than-ever reliability and performance.
To get started with EdgeHTML 16, simply update your devices to the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update today. Developers on other platforms can get started testing with free remote testing via BrowserStack today. In this post, we’ll walk through some of what’s new in Microsoft Edge for Windows 10 customers and developers alike.
Stay productive and organized with new features
The Fall Creators Update introduces a set of new features to make you more productive as you browse and read web pages, PDFs, and books. We’re also previewing new features to let you browse on your phone in the new Microsoft Edge preview apps for iOS and Android, with Continue on PC functionality. You can learn more about everything that’s new by selecting the “…” menu in the top-right corner of Microsoft Edge and selecting “What’s new and tips.”
A refreshed look inspired by the Fluent Design System
In the Fall Creators Update, Microsoft Edge gets a subtle makeover inspired by the Fluent Design System.
A subtle use of Acrylic material provides depth and transparency to the tab bar and other controls, and we’ve improved button animations to feel more responsive and delightful.
Annotate your e-books and PDFs
When you’re reading an e-book or PDF, you now have a whole lot of new options to personalize your books.

You can add highlights in four colors, underline, add comments or copy text. You also have the ability Ask Cortana to find more information about the content you are reading without leaving the reading experience. To get started, simply select some text and choose one of the annotation options from the menu that pops up!
Or, if you’re reading a PDF, you can select the “Add notes” button next to the address bar to mark the PDF up with Windows Ink.

This feature lets you take notes with a pen or highlighter right on the page – perfect for marking up a draft, signing a document, or filling out a form!
Pin your favorite websites to the taskbar
Pinned Sites, a top-requested feature from our Windows Insider community, are now available in Microsoft Edge! You can now pin a website to the Windows taskbar for instant access in the future. The site will be saved with its icon so it’s just a click away.

To pin a site, go to More … > Pin this page to the taskbar and the site will be pinned for you to come back to again and again.
Hear the web read out loud
Microsoft Edge can now read web pages, e-books, and other documents out loud to make reading accessible to more people. To hear an e-book or PDF out loud, click or tap anywhere on the page and select the “Read aloud” button from the top-right corner.

For sites, right click where you want to start reading and select “Read aloud.” You can adjust the playback speed, pause, skip between paragraphs, or even change the voice from the Voice Settings menu at the top of the page.
Edit URLs for favorites
By popular demand, we’ve added the ability to edit the address for individual favorites in the Favorites Hub or on the Favorites bar.

To do this, simply right-click or press and hold a favorite and select “Edit URL.”
See and manage website permissions
New features like web notifications and location services mean more sites may ask for your permission to access your location, webcam, or to send notifications, among other things. To help make it easier to keep track of what permissions you’ve granted, we’ve added a new “Show site information” pane for every website you visit.

To see the permissions you’ve granted for any site you visit, simply click the icon to the left of the URL bar (either a lock icon or an “i” icon, depending on the site’s security configuration).
Or, to see and manage all the permissions you’ve set, select More … > Settings > View advanced settings > Manage under Website Permissions.
Browse in full screen
Another popular request from our Windows Insiders was to introduce a true full screen browsing experience to Microsoft Edge.

To browse in full screen mode, select the More … menu and click the “Full screen” arrows icon, or press “F11” on your keyboard. Full screen mode hides things like the address bar and other items from view so you can focus on your content.
To exit full screen mode, move your mouse near top of the screen or swipe down with your finger and select the “restore” icon in the top-right, or press “F11” again.
Browse on your phone and continue on your PC
The Fall Creators Update adds support for a new feature currently in preview on iOS and Android Devices, which allows you to start from a website on your phone and send it to your Windows 10 PC.

This feature requires the preview of Microsoft Edge for iOS or Android. Learn how to install the preview on your phone here.
New features for web developers
The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update upgrades Microsoft Edge and the Windows web platform to EdgeHTML 16, with major new features for web apps, modern layouts, payments, and more.
New CSS features: Grid Layout, object-fit, and object-position
Microsoft Edge now supports the unprefixed implementation of CSS Grid Layout. Grid Layout defines a two-dimensional grid-based layout system which enables more layout fluidity than possible with positioning using floats or scripts. The example below uses CSS Grid Layout to create the structure for a basic web page.

EdgeHTML 16 also introduces support for the CSS properties object-fit and object-position. These properties control the position and size of replaced content within the content box.
Improvements to the Microsoft Edge DevTools
EdgeHTML 16 marks the beginning of a major renewed investment in our DevTools, beginning with a new refactoring effort for improved robustness and performance.

We’ve also introduced a number of new features to the DevTools, including the ability to view ancestor event listeners, set DOM mutation breakpoints, view CSS “at” (@) rules on the Styles pane, and more – along with major improvements to the Console and Debugger and early support for debugging Progressive Web Apps.
We’ll be sharing more details on what’s new in F12 in separate posts coming soon – in the mean time, you can see everything that’s new in the Microsoft Edge F12 DevTools page on the Microsoft Edge Dev Guide.
Payment Request API
The Payment Request API is an open, cross-browser standard that enables browsers to act as an intermediary between merchants, consumers, and payment methods (e.g. credit cards) that consumers have stored in the cloud. The API in EdgeHTML 16 has been updated to match the latest W3C Payment Request API specification. This includes:
Support for the canMakePayment() method
Support for the requestId property
Support for the id property
The default value for the complete() method’s result parameter changed from ” ” to “unknown”
Service Worker preview
Service Workers are event-driven scripts that run in the background of a web page. Service workers enable functionality previously only available with native apps like intercepting and handling requests from the network, managing and handling background sync, local storage, and push notifications.
Support for service workers is still in development, but you can test out your Progressive Web App in Microsoft Edge with our experimental service worker support by enabling the service worker feature in about:flags.
Motion Controllers in WebVR
WebVR for Microsoft Edge has added support for motion controllers. These controllers have a precise position in space, allowing for fine grained interaction with digital objects in virtual reality.

The release of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update also marks the beginning of the era of Windows Mixed Reality, with the first wave of consumer Windows Mixed Reality headsets coming to market to enable immersive, low-cost experience with WebVR in Microsoft Edge.
In anticipation of this upcoming release, we’re excited to announce (with big thanks to the community and contributors involved) that the popular WebVR frameworks A-Frame, BabylonJS, ReactVR and three.js have now added support for the Windows Mixed Reality platform to their current and upcoming releases.

Version
Immersive View
WebGL context switching
Motion Controllers

master


0.7.0


R88*


2.0.0



You can learn more about getting started with WebVR and Windows Mixed reality in our post on the Microsoft Edge Dev Blog: Bringing WebVR to everyone with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.
… and more!
There’s too much in EdgeHTML 16 for one blog post; fortunately, you can find our full documentation, including a list of all the new APIs in EdgeHTML, over at the Microsoft Edge Dev Guide. Or, see what’s new in a given preview build at the Microsoft Edge Changelog.
If you’d like to learn more about a given topic, check out our recorded sessions from Microsoft Edge Web Summit 2017, where we shared more about our plans for the future of Microsoft Edge and gave a detailed look at what’s shipping today.
Test for free with BrowserStack or free virtual machines
The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is rolling out to Windows 10 customers starting today – you can learn how to get the update on your PC here.
In case you don’t have a Windows 10 PC, we’ve partnered with BrowserStack to offer remote testing via a streaming instance of Microsoft Edge. Just set up a free account on BrowserStack for unlimited cloud testing, or download a free virtual machine from Microsoft Edge Dev, to get started testing EdgeHTML 16 today.
As always, we’re passionate about building in the open, and encourage you to review our open platform roadmap and provide feedback on features that matter to you. We’re always listening here in the comments, or @MSEdgeDev on Twitter. We can’t wait for you to try it out and let us know what you think!
— Kyle Pflug, Senior Program Manager, Microsoft Edge
— Libby McCormick, Dev Writer, Microsoft Edge

Bringing WebVR to everyone with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

Last April, we introduced the WebVR 1.1 API in Microsoft Edge as part of the Windows Creators Update, providing a foundation for developers to create immersive virtual reality experiences with Windows Mixed Reality developer kits. We have been hard at work building on this foundation to provide an end-to-end mixed reality experience with Microsoft Edge, WebVR, and Windows Mixed Reality, in line with our goal to democratize virtual reality this holiday.
On October 17th, EdgeHTML 16 will be released with Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, and the era of Windows Mixed Reality begins as headsets and motion controllers become widely available, enabling low-cost, immersive experiences with WebVR in Microsoft Edge.
In anticipation of this upcoming release, we’re excited to announce (with big thanks to the community and contributors involved) that the popular WebVR frameworks A-Frame, BabylonJS, ReactVR and three.js have now added support for the Windows Mixed Reality platform to their current and upcoming releases.

Version
Immersive View
WebGL context switching
Motion Controllers

master


0.7.0


R88*


2.0.0



* Upcoming release
In EdgeHTML 16, we’ve made a few updates to our WebVR 1.1 implementation that you should be aware of, starting with added support for Windows Mixed Reality motion controllers.
New support for motion controllers
Developers now have the tools to create fully interactive, immersive experiences on the web with our new support for Windows Mixed Reality motion controllers.

When a site is presenting to a headset, connected motion controllers will be available via the Gamepad API.
Adding support to the browser is only half of the story. We have been working with 3rd party middleware libraries to make sure that integrating support for motion controllers into your experience is as seamless a process as possible.
Current releases of both BabylonJS and A-Frame have full support for Windows Mixed Reality headsets and motion controllers.
Controller support includes detection of connected motion controllers, rendering accurate representations of the controllers into the scene, mapping button presses to actions and casting pointing rays into the scene for point-and-commit interactions. For added realism, the controller models animate the buttons and thumbsticks as the devices are manipulated:

Image: Hotel Room, Reno, Nevada / Bob Dass / Creative Commons 2.0
Added support for more Windows Mixed Reality PCs
Windows Mixed Reality supports a wide range of desktop and laptop hardware, with many graphics card configurations. Microsoft Edge has extended support for running WebVR experiences on this broad range of hardware – including machines with multiple graphics cards.
To leverage this support as a WebVR application developer, make sure that you are using the most up to date version of BabylonJS, A-Frame (0.7.0), three.js (r87), ReactVR (2.0.0).
If you are using WebGL directly rather than through one of these libraries, you’ll need to handle the WebGL Context Lost and Context Restored events to take advantage of this wider range of hardware.
The first immersive experience that lets you enjoy the entire Web
Microsoft Edge is now the first stable browser to ship comprehensive support for Virtual Reality.  From within your headset you can view traditional 2D websites, manage your favorites, create new tabs (including InPrivate tabs), and seamlessly transition into WebVR experiences.  And when browsing with Microsoft Edge on the Desktop, you’re still only one click away from launching WebVR content directly into your headset.
Because Microsoft Edge is built on the Universal Windows Platform, it can be used alongside the thousands of other apps supported by Windows Mixed Reality out of the box.

When you encounter a WebVR experience in Microsoft Edge within Mixed Reality, you can seamlessly transition from a 2D page to an immersive experience and back again without ever switching apps or leaving your headset.
Start developing today!
Our updated WebVR implementation is coming in EdgeHTML 16 with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, which will be released alongside new Windows Mixed Reality headsets and motion controllers on October 17th. Developers can get started building for WebVR today (no headset required!) via the Windows Insider Program, using the built-in Mixed Reality Simulator. Or, if you have an Acer or HP developer kit, you can try out Mixed Reality today!
You can learn more about the WebVR API with our documentation online, where you’ll find everything you need to get started, including a checklist of things to consider when creating a WebVR experience.
More Information
Finally, check out the talk that Nell Waliczek and Lewis Weaver recently gave at the Microsoft Edge Web Summit for an overview of WebVR, a deep dive into how to use the APIs, and some more good practices and resources:

We can’t wait to see what you build!
Lewis Weaver, Program Manager, WebVR
Nell Waliczek, Principal Software Engineering Lead, WebVR

Microsoft Edge extensions, one year later

It has been a little more than a year since Microsoft first shipped the number one requested feature for Microsoft Edge – extensions! Today, we are excited to share a few updates on the progress we have made since then, and a quick look at what’s planned for the future, as we continue to listen to feedback from customers and partners.
We heard loud and clear that extensions like ad blockers, password managers, and key productivity enhancements are important to our customers to make the browser meet their needs. Throughout 2016, we worked closely with a small group of partners to launch a core set of highly-requested extensions through the Windows Store as part of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. The first extensions in the Windows Store were AdBlock, Adblock Plus, Amazon Assistant, Evernote Web Clipper, LastPass, Mouse Gestures, Office Online, OneNote Web Clipper, Page Analyzer, Pinterest Save Button, Reddit Enhancement Suite, Save to Pocket and Translator for Microsoft Edge.

Enabling more powerful extensions
When we shipped this first batch of extensions, the response from our customers and enthusiasts was tremendous. Still, many of you were immediately ready for the list to grow, and have often asked when a personal favorite extension will show up.
Before we could enable a wider ecosystem of extensions for our customers, we needed to improve the capabilities of our extensions platform to allow new categories of extensions and more features for existing extensions. Over the past year, we’ve been focused on a few key engineering investments to add new capabilities:
Native Messaging (supported from EdgeHTML 15) allows an extension to communicate with a UWP application installed on the system, enabling apps to integrate with more sophisticated functionality outside of the browser, which enables more advanced password management and other features.
Bookmarks (supported from EdgeHTML 15) allowing an to access your favorites (with associated permissions.)
Improved APIs – In addition to new APIs like bookmarks, we improved and fleshed out the existing API classes already supported, which combined meant we support over 30% more APIs than in the initial release.
Fundamentals – Astute observers of our release notes and active testers in the Insider program may have noticed that some preview builds break extensions temporarily. The Insider program is key for us to see how experimental features are working on a build with real users, including helping us where we were falling short. We have used that data to improve the reliability and performance of our extension platform and will continue to focus on improving these fundamentals in future releases.
We’re always evaluating additional API support for future releases. You can see the extensions APIs that we currently support at our Extension API roadmap, as well as those that are under consideration (for example, Downloads and Notifications). We’re keen to hear your feedback on what’s most important to your extensions – let us know on UserVoice or via Twitter at MSEdgeDev.
Building a thoughtfully curated ecosystem
We have taken a purposefully metered approach as we onboard new extensions. Extensions are one of the most substantial features in a new browser, and we have a high bar for quality. Because extensions interact so closely with the browser, we have been very attuned to the security, performance, and reliability of Microsoft Edge with these extensions enabled. Starting with a small group of the most popularly requested extensions has allowed us to mature our extension ecosystem as alongside our extension platform, as well as to build a smooth onboarding experience for developers over time.
As we’ve continued to work on the extensions platform, we sometimes get questions asking why the list of extensions isn’t growing faster. What gives?
We are extremely sensitive to the potential impact of extensions on your browsing experience and want to make sure that the extensions we do allow are high-quality and trustworthy. We want Microsoft Edge to be your favorite browser, with the fundamentals you expect – speed, power efficiency, reliability, security. Poorly written or even malicious add-ons for browsers remain a potential source of privacy, security, reliability and performance issues, even today. We want users to be confident that they can trust extensions in Microsoft to operate as expected. As such, we continue to evaluate each extension submission to ensure that it will bring value to our users and support our goals for a healthy ecosystem.
A growing catalog of trusted extensions
Today, in the Windows Store, our partners are offering over 70 extensions worldwide, and are adding more every week – including popular extensions like Grammarly, which launched earlier this week! As this list grows, we will continue to preview new functionality and experimental extensions starting with Windows Insiders for testing and feedback, followed by a broader release via the Windows Store, to ensure the quality of the end-to-end experience.
Looking forward, we continue to work closely with our developer partners to onboard new extensions into the Store. We continue to prioritize what APIs we should support, and what partners we should work with from user feedback, so please keep it coming! Thanks to our users and partners for a great year!
– Colleen Williams, Senior Program Manager, Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge Web Summit 2017 recordings are now available on Channel 9

Last week we welcomed hundreds of local developers and thousand of online viewers to our third annual Microsoft Edge Web Summit! Videos and slides from each session are now available to stream or download on Channel 9.
Learn about what’s new in EdgeHTML 16 in the keynote at Microsoft Edge Web Summit 2017.
Our sessions will bring you up to date on what’s in store for EdgeHTML 16, including learning how to use new and updated features like CSS Grid Layout, object-fit and object-position, WebVR, and the Web Payments API.

Learn about how to build faster websites with a fast and furious tour of web performance in the real world, and how to keep your development and testing on track with sonar, a new open-source, community-owned linting tool for the web. And make sense of the always-evolving web app landscape while blending the best of web and native with Progressive Web Apps.

Or go on a deep dive into the inner workings of the browser, to learn how we’re constantly rebuilding Microsoft Edge to be more secure, more accessible, and faster than ever, with every release we ship.

That’s just the beginning – there’s lots more to see on Channel 9, and we’ll have more to share about these topics and more in the coming weeks right here on the Microsoft Edge Dev Blog.
Thanks for joining us at Microsoft Edge Web Summit 2017 – we can’t wait to see you next year!
— Kyle Pflug, Senior Program Manager, Microsoft Edge