19 January 2021
Microsoft has announced a couple of new features for the Edge web browser along with changes that have been lined up for the future. The first new feature is a dedicated Kids Mode that will ensure that kids have a safe and secure web browsing experience. The browser will also get support for adaptive notifications for a better user experience.
Starting with the Microsoft Edge Kids Mode, it is currently available only through the beta channel. It can be enabled by visiting the browser's user profile picker settings. The mode comes with custom browser themes that have been designed while keeping kids in the mind. It also enables Bing SafeSearch so that kids do not get exposed to adult content and websites. It even lets parents whitelist and backlist websites for a better browsing experience.
The kids' mode is actually divided into two age categories: 5-8 years and 9 years or older. The browser will ask parents to choose the appropriate age group before enabling the mode. Whenever parents want to exit the mode, they can do so by clicking the Purple-colored avatar in the top right corner and then entering the password. This protection is needed only for exiting the mode and not for entering it.
Next up, Microsoft wants to change the way users receive notifications on the Edge browser. Currently, the browser delivers notifications silently as it does not show prominent alerts. There is a small bell icon in the URL bar whenever there is a new notification request. While many users have appreciated this, it has also resulted in many others getting confused about why they are not receiving alerts anymore or how to enable them for select websites.
In an attempt to deliver the best of both worlds, Microsoft is now bringing an adaptive notification system to Edge. It will now show a full prompt for notifications and users will have an option to interact within any of the following four ways: Allow, Block, Ignore, and Dismiss. It will look at the responses selected by users to deliver notifications based on their particular tests. If you are someone who wants to continue with the previous method of getting all notifications silently, you can re-enable that by visiting the browser settings.