Why Microsoft Edge is probably the best browser as of now in the market
Bharat Kalluri / 2021-07-25
I've never thought I'll write about how a microsoft product is the best in class in any segment.
How the turntables!
I am and will always be a Firefox user, I donate to the mozilla foundation and want them to make the best in class product like everyone else. The browser wars should not be won by a browser which is from a mega corp looking to collect and sell data whenever possible.
On the other hand, acknowledging the fact that some browsers got some things right is also very important. Right now, I think Microsoft Edge is the best browser feature wise. Here's why:
Most of the power users I've observed operate on a ridiculous amount of tabs (Usually 30+). Every other mainstream browser (except vivaldi) expects the user to look at the favicon of the tab bar and understand the tab contents. So the only way would be to hover over to see the text popover and make sense of the tab contents or just control tab through all this mess.
Is having so many tabs a good idea? Most probably not. Are browsers designed to handle people opening hundreds of tabs? I don't think so. Is it common? Absolutely. This is where side tab bar is a game changer. Having the capacity to glance at 20+ tabs with favicon, and the title is a boon. Jumping to a tab with a mouse is much easier thanks to this feature. Although one disappointing problem is that vertical tabs does not work in full screen for macOS. Hopefully this feature will be added in the future releases.
Control + ` to jump to the previous tab
I cannot live without this feature. Firefox does this natively, and it is very intuitive. No other chrome based browser as far as I know supports this out of the box. Although in my personal opinion, modifying control tab to jump based on context (like firefox does) is the best way forward. I can also live with control + `.
Search with bing in the sidebar
Although it would be nice to change the search provider for the sidebar search, this feature is something I find myself reaching out to a lot of times. For example, if in a blog post I see a mention of a book, and I want to check out the good reads rating for that book. I could select and search in a new tab and open good reads or I can just select, right click, click on search in the sidebar. Bing has these cards for books which will also show the good reads ratings. I also heavily use this for lyrics and movie ratings too. Once done, it's just a quick close without losing context on the main tab.
Collections are an interesting idea for a browser. It is like saving state on a project and reopening it later. If used carefully, it is very powerful. Collections also are synced cross-platform, so projects can be picked up later on from the phone and be continued.
The reader mode in edge is far superior to any other reader mode implementation I've seen elsewhere. Read aloud is one feature I find pretty useful sometimes. Both firefox and edge support read aloud (with what looks like the same voices). What's more interesting is the amount of features Edge has on top for the reader mode. It has a lot more themes for reading mode, has a menu called grammar tools with an option to separate syllables, highlight parts of speech and also an option called picture dictionary where an image pops up explaining a word if a word is clicked on! There is another interesting feature called line focus which blurs all content except 1-4 lines which are in focus.