Microsoft

Microsoft is testing Your Phone app-management improvements

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Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft rolled out a new Dev Channel test build of Windows 10 on September 30. That build, 20226, has some new storage health monitoring functionality, plus updates and fixes. But the bigger news in today’s blog post about the new build has to do with the Microsoft Your Phone app.

I use the Your Phone app quite a bit as a way to interact with my Android phone right from my Windows 10 PC screen. But setting this app up is harder than it should be, in my experience. I’m betting Microsoft is hearing the same from others, and its team seems to be working to improve the experience.

Microsoft is rolling out a new user experience meant to improve Your Phone device management. There’s a new settings page, designed to improve how users can link a new device, remove an old device and switch between active devices all within the app. Each device will be identifiable on its own device card.

The new Your Phone user experience will be gradually rolling out to Insider testers, Microsoft officials said. No word on when it will roll out to mainstream users. 

(Here’s to hoping Microsoft next will be improving syncing of Your Phone so that messages I type on my PC actually get delivered via my phone consistently and quickly!)

Meanwhile, in Build 20226, Microsoft is testing a feature designed to detect hardware abnormalities for NVMe SSDs which will notify users ahead of a device failing. By clicking on a notification which says “A storage device may be at risk of failure and requires your attention,” or navigating to the drive properties page in Storage Settings, users can get additional details.

There are other changes and fixes in today’s Windows 10 test build. Microsoft is starting to roll out

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Microsoft outlines recent Edge browser improvements

In a new post on the Microsoft Edge blog, the browser’s Principal PM Lead Kim Denny has outlined how the company made it faster and more efficient over the past few months. To help users perform their tasks as quickly as possible, the team rolled out Profile-Guided Optimizations (PGOs) in Edge 81 Stable Channel and Link-Time Optimizations (LTOs) in Edge 83 back in March.

PGOs prioritize the most important parts of the code, while LTOs optimize memory usage. The two techniques apparently improved Edge’s speed by as much as 13 percent compared to previous versions, based on Speedometer 2.0 benchmark. Microsoft also introduced improvements to the browser’s scroll animation and enhanced how scrolling looks, feels and reacts to your touch in general back in April. Denny says those changes make Edge feel smoother and more responsive.

The Edge team is also continuing to work on reducing the amount of memory and CPU power the browser needs. The Windows 10 May 2020 Update, for instance, reduces the browser’s memory usage by up to 27 percent based on the tech giant’s internal tests. Finally, Microsoft shrunk Edge’s size by half over the past year so that it doesn’t take up too much storage on your device.

Microsoft’s Edge browser recently overtook Firefox as the most popular Chrome alternative, according to NetMarketshare stats. Chrome still has the lion’s share of the market with over a 70 percent share, and Firefox isn’t that far behind, but Microsoft’s contender has been slowly gaining popularity.

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