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Microsoft Edge's New Updates Makes Sidebar Actually Useful

Updated: Jan 6, 2023

Microsoft Introduced Sidebar to Edge back in September 2022. It is supposed to help you multitask smarter without having to jump between different tabs for stuff that you access frequently or have always open using Apps in the sidebar.

The initial set of available Apps are -

  • Search - Bing only,

  • Discover which shows page synopsis, related topics and pages, and site info like page traffic.

  • Shopping which showed the price history of a product and available coupons.

  • Tools like a world clock, a calculator, Dictionary, Translator, a Unit converter, and an Internet speed test app.

  • Microsoft Office with easy access to recent files and creating new files.

  • Outlook with optimized email display.


I use Google search so the Search in the sidebar isn't that useful for me. Discover is, in its current format interesting but not very useful. This feature has potential for improvement though.


I use Gmail and Drive, so office files and outlook aren't useful to me.




Shopping is slightly useful. It shows me the price history of the products I'm browsing on Amazon and the coupons available. It'd be more useful if it showed me products I've wishlisted or saved for late. For now, it's just random products.


The tools app is a nice addition, and I'm sure it'd save me a few seconds rather than opening a new tab to quickly calculate, convert, translate or get internet speed.


But I'm not keeping the sidebar enabled for just the tools app & shopping which might be somewhat useful in my workflow.


Cue.. the latest update

Edge version 107 adds a bunch of features to the sidebar which I actually find useful.


In addition to earlier available apps, now you get Image Creator - an AI-based image generator + whatever music service you subscribe to.


I use Apple Music and it's working quite well in the sidebar

In addition to this, you also get Messenger and WhatsApp to Chat. You can view your Instagram feed with the Instagram app. Gmail to quickly check email & YouTube.


 

You can also now add any site you are on to the sidebar and it'll show a mobile version of the website.







The integration is neat and well thought out. If I hover over Apple Music or YouTube, I get controls for it.





 

Now with all these additional features, apps, and tiny improvements. I am going to keep the sidebar open all the time and integrate it into my workflow.

One more fantastic feature pulling Edge ahead of Chrome.

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