What you need to know
- The latest Insider build for HoloLens 2 brings the Chromium-based Microsoft Edge to the headset.
- Insiders will be able to use both the legacy and new versions of Edge for some time.
- The latest build also includes a new Settings app, support for swipe to type, and other new features.
Microsoft recently rolled out a new update to Insiders using the HoloLens 2 augmented reality headset. The update includes several new features, but arguably the biggest addition is the Chromium-based Microsoft Edge. Often referred to as "new Microsoft Edge," the browser is built on the open-source Chromium project and is already available on Windows 10 and other major platforms. Now, Insiders on the HoloLens 2 can test out the new browser.
The Microsoft webpage breaking down the latest Insider release states that the new Edge is now available for Insiders on the HoloLens 2. The page does not mention if people on the original HoloLens will be able to use Microsoft's new browser.
Here is the summary of the new features in build 20279.1006:
|Feature name||Short description|
|New Microsoft Edge||The new, Chromium-based Microsoft Edge is now available for HoloLens 2.|
|New Settings app||The legacy Settings app is being replaced by an updated version with new features and settings.|
|Default app picker||Choose which app should launch for each file or link type.|
|Office web app||A shortcut to the Office web app is now listed in "All apps."|
|Swipe to type||Use the tip of your finger to "swipe" words on the holographic keyboard.|
|USB-C External Microphone Support||Use USB-C microphones for apps and / or Remote Assist. 20279.1006|
|New AUMIDs for new apps in Kiosk mode||AUMIDs for new Settings and Edge apps|
|Improved Kiosk mode failure handing||Kiosk mode looks for Global Assigned Access before empty start menu.|
|Configure Fallback Diagnostics||Setting Fallback Diagnostic Behavior in Settings App|
This version of Microsoft Edge is a native Win32 app with Microsoft's new UWP adapter layer that lets it run on devices like the HoloLens 2. As a result, the browser is missing some features at this time like spatial sound and printing. Microsoft highlights a few features that are on the way:
- WebXR and 360 Viewer extension
- Content restoration to correct window when browsing across multiple windows placed in your environment.
- Joining a Microsoft Teams call via the browser with video, mixed reality capture, or screen-sharing (joining calls with audio works well)
While this update including the new Edge will probably garner the most attention, its other additions are also important. The new Settings app has new features and settings compared to the legacy app. The option to pick default apps, support for USB-C external microphones, and other new features round out a rather large update.
This build also has support for a swipe to type feature. People can swipe their fingers around a virtual keyboard to type within the device.
If you're looking to pick up a HoloLens 2, it's easier to get one than ever. Microsoft recently started selling the HoloLens 2 to 14 additional markets.
Microsoft HoloLens 2
HoloLens, but better
HoloLens 2 takes everything that made the original great and turns it up to 11. With a new carbon-fiber body, extra padding, eye tracking, and a wider field of view, the headset should have no problem finding success among developers and first-line workers.
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