Microsoft has started rolling out a new update for its Chromium-based Edge web browser. The latest update brings several new features, changes and improvements to the browser. However, the most noticeable change is the new sidebar which offers a slew of shortcuts to start with.
Edge Sidebar: What is it
Microsoft Edge Sidebar is an additional shortcut ribbon interface that appears on the right side (by default) of the web browser. The new sidebar grants access to tools and shortcuts to several Microsoft services such as Outlook, Office, OneDrive, etc. These services in the sidebar usually open in the extended window on the right side itself which makes things like searching a web page, looking up some information while reading an article, and accessing email without leaving the ongoing work easier.
Edge Sidebar: What are the options available
The Edge Sidebar currently includes apps and services from Microsoft only. We didn’t find a way to add third-party apps like Gmail, instead of Outlook on the sidebar. As far as options are concerned, there are OneDrive, Office, Outlook, Bing search, Discover, Games, Clock, Calculator, Calendar, Dictionary, Translator, Unit converter and Speed test.
Edge Sidebar: Is it new for web browsers
Well, the idea of adding a sidebar for added functionality isn’t all new. Web browsers like Opera and Vivaldi already have a sidebar which offers access to several apps and services from different brands. For instance, Opera has WhatsApp, Messenger, Twitter, Bookmarks, History and more.
Edge Sidebar: How practical is it
Sidebar’s practicality depends upon the user, some may like the idea while some won’t it boils down to the preference. For instance, if you are invested in Microsoft services or need quick access to calendar, calculator and other tools, then the Edge Sidebar can come in handy. However, if you are not that heavily invested in Microsoft services, as of the month, it can appear to be a gimmick. That being said, Microsoft should also think about adding more external and internal services to the sidebar.
Do note that, the sidebar can be turned off. So if you don’t want to use it, it can be turned off from the settings.