New Windows 10 APIs to improve inking in Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome

Windows 10 Edge browser

According to code commits reviewed by us, Microsoft is working
on a number of improvements to inking in Chromium-based
browsers, such as Edge and Chrome. The software giant decided
to do something about inking in Chromium after receiving
feedback from users regarding how inking felt a bit jittery due
to latency problem.

Microsoft also received complaints about Edge’s inability to
distinguish between pen and finger input. As part of a
project called “Web Ink
Enhancement“, Microsoft has been considering new APIs to
address latency problems when using a pen or stylus.

Ink prediction is “pretty bad in its current form”. For
example, there’s a bug where delegated ink trail will continue
briefly even when the left mouse button is raised and inking
should stop.

This happens when the browser isn’t aware of anything about the
ink trail and is unable to stop the forwarding points.

In a new post to
Chromium Gerrit, Microsoft has confirmed that it plans to use
upcoming Windows 10 APIs – StartNewTrail, AddTrailPoints,
RemoveTrailPoints and more – to indicate the starting point of
the trail and add additional points as more arrive.

“This allows the browser process to send points directly to the
GPU main thread in preparation for these points to be consumed
by OS APIs and reduce latency while inking by more,” Microsoft
noted.

Microsoft is still working on these new Windows 10 APIs and
they’ll be added in a future SDK.

It’s not yet clear when these enhancements will land in
Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome.

Web apps improvements in Chromium

In addition to inking, Microsoft is also working on a number of
changes to improve the quality of web apps when installed using
the Chromium browser. For example, a future Chromium update
will allow users to restore web apps via the browser session
restore system.

In terms of Edge-specific changes,
Microsoft is adding support for resizable vertical tabs and
a new toggle to turn off the “tabs fading” effect when the
sleeping tab feature is enabled.

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