What’s new in Edge HTML on Windows 10 v1809

The Edge HTML 18 browser is faster, better and comes with new features and enhancements. Perhaps it would be right to say that this is the best Edge yet. So, what’s new in Edge HTML 18 that makes this browser really useful? This post looks at the new features and enhancements that the new Edge browser brings on Windows 10 v1809.

New features in Edge HTML on Windows 10

Edge HTML on Windows 10 1809 is certainly much better looking with refreshed menu and setting interface. You also have options for customizations and new ways to learn and stay focused.

If you are a developer, then there are useful “new developer features” released with this update as discussed later in the article.

1. Control whether media can play automatically

No more unwanted playlists of videos and sounds while you are browsing. With this update, you can control whether sites can autoplay media, so you’re never surprised.

You can find Media Autoplay settings in the Advanced tab of Microsoft Edge’s Settings menu.

New features in Edge HTML on Windows 10

You can get started in Settings under “Advanced” > “Media Autoplay,” where you’ll find three options: Allow, Limit, and Block.

  • “Allow” is the default and will continue to play videos when a tab is first viewed in the foreground, at the site’s discretion.
  • “Limit“ will restrict autoplay to only work when videos are muted, so you‘re never surprised by the sound. Once you click anywhere on the page, autoplay is re-enabled and will continue to be allowed within that domain in that tab.
  • “Block” will prevent autoplay on all sites until you interact with the media content. Note that this may break some sites due to the strict enforcement – you may need to click multiple times for some video or audio to play correctly.

You can also enable or block autoplay on a case-by-case basis by clicking Show site information in the address bar (Lock icon or Information icon) and changing the Media autoplay settings.

2. Refreshed menus and settings interface

The new Edge HTML browser has Settings easier to navigate, putting commonly used actions front and center, and providing more ways to customize the browser toolbar.

Bookmarks, history, downloads, and more live in the redesigned Hub menu in Microsoft Edge. Just select the “Favorites” icon by the address bar and choose Reading List, Books, History, or Downloads to see what’s new.

In the “Settings and more” (Setting and more icon) menu, options are now organized into groups, with icons for each entry and keyboard shortcuts (where applicable) for a faster and more scannable experience.

Microsoft has also added the much-requested ability to customize which icons appear in the Microsoft Edge toolbar. You can remove them all for a tidier look, or add as many as you like to bring your favorite functionality to your fingertips. Just select the “Show in toolbar” option in the “Settings and more” (Setting and more icon) menu to get started.

3. Stay focused with improvements to the reading mode and learning tools

Microsoft has made a number of improvements to reading modes and learning tools in Microsoft Edge to help you stay focused and get things done.

Now, when you’re browsing a web page in the reading view, you can narrow the focus of the content by highlighting a few lines at a time to help tune out distractions. Just click or tap anywhere on the page, select Learning Tools (Learning tools icon) > Reading Preferences (Reading Preferences icon) and turn on Line focus.

Line Focus allows you to dim the areas of the page you are not focused on, to help minimize distractions.

As you read, you can now look up definitions for keywords in Reading View, Books, and PDFs, using the new dictionary function. Simply select any single word to see the definition appear above your selection, even when you’re offline. The effectiveness of this feature may vary depending on the language of the selected words, and possibly your system language as well.

4. Other features

Other notable features include design refinements, improved PDF handling, a more powerful download manager, and more.

What’s new for web developers in Edge HTML 18

As a developer, you have a lot coming with this release including version 18 of the EdgeHTML rendering engine. Below are some of the highlights.

1. Web Authentication

The new EdgeHTML 18 brings support for the Web Authentication API allowing users to use Windows Hello to sign in to websites with their face, fingerprint, or PIN, as well as hardware-based authentications methods such as FIDO2 Security Keys.

2. New Autoplay policies

With Windows 10 1809, users can customize media behavior with both global and per-site autoplay controls. Additionally, Microsoft Edge automatically suppresses autoplay of media in background tabs.

Developers should check out the Autoplay policies guide for details and best practices to develop a good user experience with media hosted on your site.

3. Service Worker updates

Microsoft has come up with several updates to Service Worker support in EdgeHTML 18. The fetchEvent enables the Service Worker to use preloadResponse to promise a response, and the resultingClientId to return the ID of the Client that the current service worker is controlling.

The NavigationPreloadManager interface provides methods for managing the preloading of resources, allowing you to request in parallel while a service worker is booting-up, avoiding any time delay.

4. CSS masking, background blend, and overscroll

EdgeHTML 18 improves support for CSS Masking. This implementation further supports the CSS mask-image property with improved WebKit support, including webkitMask, webkitMaskComposite, webkitMaskImage, webkitMaskPosition, webkitMaskPositionX, webkitMaskPositionY, webkitMaskRepeat, webkitMaskSize, as well as more complete standards support, adding maskComposite, maskPosition, maskPositionX, maskPositionY, and maskRepeat.

CSS improvements can also be found in how Microsoft Edge handles what happens when the boundary of a scrolling area is reached, now supporting overscroll-behavior, including overscroll-behavior-x, overscroll-behavior-y, and overflow-wrap.

5. Chakra Improvements

EdgeHTML 18 includes improvements to the Chakra JavaScript engine to support new ES and WASM features, improve performance, and improve interoperability.

6. Developer Tools

The latest update to Microsoft Edge DevTools adds a number of conveniences both to the UI and under the hood, including newly dedicated panels for Service Workers and Storage, source file search tools in the Debugger, and new Edge DevTools Protocol domains for style/layout debugging and console APIs.

7. Web Notification properties

Four new properties are now supported for web notifications: actions, badge, image, and maxActions, improving our ability to create notifications on the web that are compatible with existing notification systems while remaining platform-independent.

8. Support for WebP Images

Microsoft has also added support for WebP images, improving interoperability with sites that serve them across the web.

9. Progressive Web Apps

Windows 10 JavaScript apps (web apps running in a WWAHost.exe process) now support an optional per-application background script that starts before any views are activated and runs for the duration of the process. With this, you can monitor and modify navigations, track state across navigations, monitor navigation errors, and run code before views are activated.

Microsoft says that it has updated its WebDriver implementation in Windows 10, and it now passes 1222 of 1357 web platform tests. WebDriver is now a Windows Feature on Demand (FoD), making it easier than ever to automate testing in Microsoft Edge and get the right version for your device.

To know more Technical details about the new Edge HTML 18 click here.

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Ankit Gupta is a writer by profession and has more than 7 years of global writing experience on technology and other areas. He follows technological developments and likes to write about Windows & IT security. He has a deep liking for wild life and has written a book on Top Tiger Parks of India.