Edge users on macOS and Windows will soon be able to split a window into two tabs for side-by-side comparisons of content, thanks to a new split-screen feature being developed by Microsoft.
According to The Verge, the new functionality is currently being tested in the latest daily builds of Edge in the Canary Channel.
Canary Edge’s split-screen mode is an experimental feature; to activate it, click the icon to the right of the address bar. When you click on the icon, the tab you have open will be divided into two identical windows; the one you are currently using will remain on the left, and the one you are switching to will contain thumbnails of all the tabs you have open. When you click the icon again, or close one of the screens, the tab will revert to a single window.
Every tab in the two-pane interface can be set to either “open a link in the current tab” or “open a link from the left to the right tab,” depending on the user’s preference. On Windows, macOS, and Linux, however, these features appear to be in varying degrees of development. Users can also use the shortcut keys right-click or Ctrl-click to open a link from the first window in a new split window.
If you close one of the two windows, the browser will combine them back into a single window. A ‘new tab’ icon appears after a split screen is created, and when you click it, a Bing search box appears.
Canary Edge has this feature hidden behind a flag, but anyone can test it out by installing the beta, going to the menu, and selecting “Microsoft Edge Split Screen” from the list that appears.
By default, both Windows and macOS include a split-view mode that allows you to view two applications side-by-side for easy comparison. A browser tab’s ability to split the screen into two halves with a single click is a time-saving and convenient feature, as is the ability to select which half to split into by means of thumbnail previews.
Users on Reddit, where the update was first announced, reacted favourably. It has been pointed out that the Vivaldi browser and the new invite-only Arc browser both offer split-screen functionality.
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