Microsoft’s latest trick for Edge could be the closest Windows 10 users get to Copilot AI

Microsoft’s Edge browser has a new version which brings in some fresh features including the ability to detach the sidebar and move it onto the desktop for Windows 10 users.

This ability has been introduced with version 116 of Edge, as spotted by Ghacks, and it comes alongside the usual bug fixes and smoothing out of performance issues.

The Edge sidebar normally nestles on the right-hand side of the browser, but now, those on Windows 10 can pop it out of the browser window, and place it on their desktop.

The idea is to facilitate a “side-by-side experience” with the sidebar and any Windows 10 app, with the feature remaining present on the desktop, even if the Edge browser itself is closed.

So, this is kind of like having two taskbars on your desktop, if you will, with one of them being Edge-specific.

The Edge sidebar offers quick access to various bits of functionality, such as pinned websites, and Microsoft’s tools like Bing AI.

Analysis: Substitute Copilot – at least in a small way

This is a useful option that’s opt-in as Microsoft makes clear, so if you’re not interested in having the Edge sidebar on your Windows 10 desktop, you’ll never need to bother with it. For those who do want access to its features independently of the browser window, it’s clearly a handy choice to have.

Indeed, when you remember that Microsoft’s Copilot AI is only coming to Windows 11, this is actually a way of getting something a little like this on Windows 10. We’ve already seen that Microsoft plans to incorporate Copilot into the Edge sidebar, after all, so you’ll be able to deploy this on the desktop, in the same vein as Windows Copilot.

Granted, the functionality of Copilot for Edge will be nowhere near as useful as the full version of Copilot – which theoretically will be able to change all manner of Windows settings in the blink of an eye – but it’s something.

And Microsoft is going to work on adding “additional features and options” to the sidebar with future incarnations of Edge, as you might imagine. The sidebar isn’t going away, in short, for Windows 10 or 11 users, and is seemingly a key part of Microsoft’s ambition to make Edge one of the best web browsers out there.

You might also like

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

This Siri replacement may be the closest thing to having ChatGPT on your iPhone

Siri’s 11-year reign may be drawing to a close as a new generative AI rival called Perplexity has just landed on the Apple App Store.

Note that Perplexity is not based on ChatGPT and has its own AI. However, it does function in a similar manner to ChatGPT. You ask it a question, like who designed the Golden Gate Bridge, and it’ll churn out a response in a few seconds. From there, you can either type in a follow-up question, use the voice command feature to verbally ask questions, or choose one from the generated selection. Responses can then be shared via a messaging app or social media platform. It’ll even save “your thread history so you can pick up where you left off,” according to the App Store listing. But unlike ChatGPT, Perplexity actually provides the sources it used to generate content. Underneath, you will see citations from Wikipedia, local news sites, and national newspapers like NPR accompanied by a brief piece of text providing context. 

To use Perplexity, you will need an iPhone supporting iOS 16 or later to install the app or an M1 Mac sporting macOS 13.0 or later.

As for an Android version, it doesn’t appear the developers behind Perplexity have any plans to make one at the time of this writing. We reached out to the team via the official PerplexityAI Discord channel, but haven’t heard back yet. The closest thing you can do is use the AI through a web browser on your Android device or Windows computer. There’s also a Chrome extension available if you prefer more direct access.

Perplexity on an iPhone

Perplexity on an iPhone (Image credit: PerplexityAI/Twitter)

Siri's future

With the introduction of Perplexity on iPhone, you essentially have some form of ChatGPT-like AI on every Apple platform and we don’t mean accessing the generative AI through a web browser. Mac computers have MacGPT, a native app offering quick access on desktops that saw a big update recently. A couple of weeks ago, the Apple Watch got Petey as an easily accessible, on-device assistant to replace Siri.

So we can’t help but wonder what’s cooking behind the scenes at Apple Inc. The company has been suspiciously quiet, allowing the likes of ChatGPT to roam on its platform unfettered as third-party apps. It's unlike Apple to just leave this new trend in the tech industry alone so it must be up to something. The closest indication we currently have is Apple enacting some new rules on its App Store for generative AI. According to a report by CNBC, it recently rejected an update to the BlueMail app due to concerns about the software’s ChatGPT feature not including a filter to protect minors from inappropriate content.

The date for Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference 2023 has been set for June 5. We’re looking forward to seeing what changes, if any, Siri may get. It'll be interesting to see if the long-standing virtual assistant will get a revamp allowing it to go toe-to-toe with its newfound rivals or be thrown out for a brand new AI model. 

Until then, be sure to check out TechRadar’s list of the best virtual assistants for 2023

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More