Microsoft has been investing heavily in making its Microsoft Edge browser the best browsing experience for Windows 11, macOS, Linux, and mobile users, and recently, the company has announced a number of new features coming in the coming weeks, such as AI Image Creator, Drop, Image Editor, and the changes for Efficiency mode to improve battery life.
In addition, the software giant is also working on several other features that are expected to roll out in future updates of the browser, including Edge Workspaces, Grouping similar tabs, block autoplay videos, browser essentials, split screen, Super video resolution, and visual updates.
This guide will outline the next wave of features coming to the default browser of Windows 11.
Biggest new features coming to Microsoft Edge
Here are the eleven new features that will soon roll out to everyone using Microsoft Edge.
1. Image Creator
The “Image Creator” is an AI feature that uses the OpenAI DALL-E model to use AI to convert text into images. The feature is already available on Bing Chat, but the company plans to integrate it into its web browser.
The Image Creator option will be available from the Microsoft Edge sidebar. When you click the button, a flyout will appear, with a prompt box that you will use to describe the image you want, and then with a single click, the AI will create the image.
2. Drop (note and file-sharing)
Drop is a feature that allows you to share notes and transfer files between devices (to yourself), whether you use the browser on your laptop, desktop, or phone.
The feature works with your OneDrive account, and when you click the “Drop” button from the sidebar, a new flyout will open, which you can use to write notes to yourself or send files. Since the feature is built into the browser, the files will be available for download from any device signed in with the same Microsoft account.
3. Image Editor
The “Image Editor” feature allows you to edit any image from the web directly from Microsoft Edge instead of having to download the image and edit it with another tool.
On any website, you can right-click an image and select the “Edit image” option to open an overlay editor. The interface includes many basic tools to edit the image, including crop, rotate, color adjustment, and filters, and you can even use markup to annotate the image. Once you are done editing, you can save the edited image on your computer for later use.
4. Efficiency mode changes
As part of the “Efficiency mode” changes, when the system detects that you are low on battery, the efficiency feature will start automatically, enabling power-saving features when interacting and not interacting with the browser.
In addition, the browser now has more ways to help you save battery with two modes, including “Balanced Savings” and “Maximum Savings.” Using the “balanced” setting will help save energy while giving you a good browsing experience. The “maximum” setting will save the most battery but will impact the browser’s performance.
5. Edge Workspaces
The “Edge Workspaces” is a feature currently in limited preview that aims to make it easier to share tabs with other people. The feature allows you to create a new instance of the browser without any personal settings that you can share with others with a single link.
Once you share the workspace, anyone with access to the link will be able to see and open new tabs that will also be available to anyone in the group.
The workspace is persistent, meaning that the session and tabs will continue to be available until you either leave or delete the workspace.
The feature is available as a limited preview in the latest stable version of Microsoft Edge, but you need to sign up before you get access to the workspaces.
6. Grouping similar tabs
When browsing the web, we have the tendency to open many apps, you can always re-arrange tabs manually, but Microsoft is working on a new feature that aims to streamline this process. The feature is known as “Group similar tabs,” and as the name implies, it will help you to organize your open tabs into groups keeping related tabs together while reducing clutter.
The Group similar tabs feature is expected to be available from the “Tab layout” menu, which is where you will switch from the horizontal to vertical tabs view.
7. Block autoplay videos
Another interesting feature coming to Microsoft Edge is the ability to block autoplay videos when navigating a website. Although the browser previously offered a similar feature, it was limited based on how you interacted with the website and whether you visited the page in the past. The new feature is more restrive to prevent videos from playing automatically.
The ability to block autoplay videos on websites is rolling out slowly in the Canary channel, and you can customize the experience from the Media autoplay (edge://settings/content/mediaAutoplay) page and select the “Block” option in the “Control if audio and video play automatically on sites” setting.
8. Browser essentials
The “Browser essentials” is an option designed to give you insights to show you if you are getting the best performance of the browser.
The option is available from the address bar area, and it includes the option to turn the battery saver on or off and shows you which tabs are sleeping to save memory. In addition, in the “Safety” section, you can see sites the browser has scanned for safety while browsing the internet.
9. Split screen
Microsoft Edge is also getting a new “Split window” feature that allows you to view two tabs in the same window to compare pages side-by-side.
Once you enable the feature, a new “Split window” button will be available from the address bar area. When you click the button, the page you are viewing will split, and then you can select another to split the screen.
The Split window feature is still under development. However, it should be available through the stable channel enabling the “Microsoft Edge Split Screen” flag.
10. Super Resolution
“Super Resolution” is a media feature that uses machine learning technology to enhance the quality of any video you watch on Microsoft Edge. Super Resolution removes blocky compression artifacts and upscales the video resolution for a more crisp and clear experience.
As a result of its complexity, the feature is only available for devices with Nvidia RTX 20/30/40 series or AMD RX5700-RX7800 series graphics cards. Also, the resolution has to be less than 720p, the device has to be connected to the power outlets, the video height and width have to be more than 192 pixels, and the video doesn’tdoesn’t have to have any protection.
You can enable a preview of the feature from the Flags page by turning on the “Edge Video Super Resolution” (edge://flags/#edge-video-super-resolution) option.
11. Visual update
In addition to the new features, Microsoft plans to update the visuals of the browser using the mica material and acrylic to match the design language of Windows 11. The mica material adds a translucent layer on top of the frame that lets the colors of the background shine through, and the acrylic material adds a blur effect on the elements.
Furthermore, the browser interface will include even more rounded corners, and you will notice this everywhere, especially in the main canvas.
Finally, the profile menu, along with other features, will now appear in the top-left corner next to the tabs.
The Image Creator, Drop, Image Editor, and the changes for Efficiency mode are expected to roll out in the coming weeks, and the remaining changes outlined in the guide could release later this year. However, the company can always delay and discard any of the new features.