Microsoft is aiming to build a browser that’s faster and safer than its predecessors. This has resulted in the development of a cutting-edge browser – Edge, codenamed Project Spartan earlier. Microsoft claims Edge isn’t just a new version of Internet Explorer with a new name. It includes many advanced features and latest technologies.
Media Capture API Support
Edge is a more lightweight platform that aims to replace Internet Explorer as the go-to browser for the majority of users running the upcoming and new OS of Windows – Windows 10. As such, daily new capabilities are added to the browser and so the latest Windows 10 preview release sees the addition of Media Capture API support to the browser for the first time.
The feature known by some web developers simply as getUserMedia is based on the Media Capture and Streams specification, developed jointly at the W3C by the Web Real-Time Communications Working Group and the Device APIs Working Group. It acts as the main interface that allows webpages to access media capture devices such as webcams and microphones.
The feature can be switched off or on depending upon one’s preference under the experimental features interface in Microsoft Edge and can be easily found by navigating to about:flags.
To encourage valuable feedback from the web development community, Microsoft has primarily set this feature to be “on” by default in the latest Windows Insider preview. Moreover, to strike a balance between security and privacy concerns and user experiences, Microsoft has the following to report-
If the webpage is from an HTTP origin, the user is prompted for permission when a capture device is accessed through the getUserMedia() call. Microsoft allows permission to persist for the specific capture device type until all capture devices of the specific type are released by the webpage.
For webpages from an HTTPS origin, when a user grants permission for a webpage to access a capture device, the permission will persist for the specific capture device type. If the user navigates away to another page, all permissions will be dismissed. Microsoft Edge does not store any permanent permissions for a page or domain.
When a webpage calls getUserMedia() from an iframe, Microsoft will manage the capture device permission separately based on its own URL. This provides protection to the user in cases where the iframe is from a different domain than its parent webpage.
The software giant seems to be using this fresh start to take a new look at the internet browsing experience and build something exciting from the ground up.
This post on Windows Blogs goes into deeper details with regards to the coding and cites multiple examples specific about using the Microsoft Edge basic media capture features in software development.