The Microsoft Launcher can give you more control over your home screen and help bridge the gap between a smartphone and computer, provide it runs Windows. Microsoft Launcher's "Feed" plugs you into numerous Microsoft apps and services you might already use on your computer, and it's getting a makeover. The new update also adds landscape support and various bug fixes. This update first appeared in the preview app, and now it's available in the main Play Store listing as a beta.
Microsoft's Cortana virtual assistant never reached the market share needed to compete with Google Assistant and Alexa, and Microsoft is starting to scale back its ambitions. The Cortana Android app has already been removed in several countries, and now Microsoft is taking it out of its Android app launcher.
Since Microsoft released its very own launcher back in 2015, the app's grown quite popular, especially among business users work with Microsoft services. Now in a brand new preview build, Microsoft Launcher gets its biggest upgrade yet with dark mode enhancements, landscape support and more.
Cortana made her way onto Android devices back in 2015 but hasn't managed to gain the same popularity as its competitors. This isn't entirely surprising, considering Microsoft's digital helper hasn't been available on smart speakers and displays, leaving people to use alternative solutions. The company seems to acknowledge Cortana can't keep up with its rivals, at least on mobile devices, as it just announced the Android and iOS apps will be retired at the end of January.
The present parental control options for Microsoft Launcher aren’t enough for keeping children and teens away from their phone screens. At most, parents can assign an overall device screen time and get an overview of how kids use their handsets. Microsoft wants to address this situation by giving them more granular control over what apps and games their kids can use and at what time during the day.
Windows Phone might be a thing of the past, but for those who still love Microsoft's operating system, you can get a rough approximation with Microsoft Launcher. The launcher employs a distinctive Windows aesthetic and provides access to features that are particularly handy to users deep in the Microsoft ecosystem. Case in point, the new beta — v5.0 — adds Timeline, a feature that syncs your recent activity between mobile and Windows desktop.
With a smartphone in your pocket, you can access the sum of human knowledge in mere moments. However, you can also access some really sketchy stuff out there that you probably don't want your kids absorbing. Microsoft is offering new tools to parents with an expansion of its family group features on Android. You can now access family controls in the Microsoft Launcher and Edge browser for Android.
For most of us, this week is likely to be important because of Google's I/O developer conference, which starts tomorrow. But Microsoft is also desperately trying to push its own relevance on the Android platform at the company's Build 2018 developer conference, which began today and is scheduled to overlap with I/O. Details are sparse, but Microsoft has revealed that it is planning on updating its Android launcher to support the Timeline feature from Windows 10 for enhanced workflow, and it will also be rolling out a new "Your Phone" app for notification mirroring and file sharing.
Since the demise of its own Windows Phone platform, Microsoft has been putting a lot of effort into creating a compelling suite of Android apps instead. Microsoft Launcher started life as the experimental Arrow Launcher but morphed into its current form late last year. It features a control center panel unlike any other Android home app and is unsurprisingly linked with Bing rather than Google for search.
A new beta update has just been released which integrates Microsoft's digital assistant, Cortana. It seems to work much as it does in the Cortana app (which doesn't need to be installed), but as an overlay on top of the launcher.
Microsoft started branching out in mobile a few years ago when it became apparent Windows Phone wasn't going to work out. One of the apps that came out of the so-called "Microsoft Garage" program was Arrow Launcher. It was a reasonably popular app in the Play Store, and now Microsoft is giving it renewed focus and a new name. It's the Microsoft Launcher now.