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Microsoft

Hi, Beta testers:

 

Microsoft Launcher 5.7 Beta is now available for your testing. We'd like to invite you to check out what's new and install the beta build and send your feedback our way! in this version, we focus on some basic experience tuning including feed page and home screen, here is a brief list of the new version. 

 

What's New:

  • Feed tabs are moved to the bottom for easy access
  • Cortana conversation experience updates (en_US only)
  • Improved icon drag & drop experience on home screen

To become a Microsoft Launcher Beta tester:
•  Go to https://play.google.com/apps/testing/com.microsoft.launcher
•  Click "Become a tester". You'll see a confirmation "You are now a tester." 
Moving forward, you'll always get the latest Beta build when it's available, as long as Microsoft Launcher is running.
 
The beta build may need a couple of hours or a day to propagate before you will see it in your Google Play download link, depending on Google Play roll out progress, and please keep the feedback coming! As always, we thank you for your support.
 
Gorden on behalf of Microsoft Launcher Team

10 Comments
Frequent Contributor

Ah, proper thread at last, only a day after the release.

 

MAKE THE BOTTOM FEED TABS AN OPTION. Hate it, hate it, hate it. Don't just jump on the Google bandwagon. It's typical Google behaviour - get some brainwave, assume everyone else will be keen on it, dump it on the users without asking whether they want it or not. Used to be typical Microsoft behaviour, but you've been better for awhile at offering increased options rather than forcing unwanted changes, so I'm really sad to see you slavishly following Google's design about this. It does NOT give me 'easy access'; it makes my access much worse. I use the phone two handed, not one, and having to shift down to the bottom for some things while others are at the top is awkward, slowing my use and increasing the actual physical pain I get with movement from my disability; and with my big hands and especially my big thumb, a lot of the time going for a bottom tab I accidentally catch the back, home or overview button in the navigation bar by mistake and then completely lose where I was (and on the very odd occasion I try one-handed I accidentally catch the navigation bar buttons even MORE often).

 

Make no mistake, this is a deal breaker for me, just so you know where my feelings are on a scale from 'minor annoyance I can live with' to 'This is so bad I'm uninstalling your App for good'. If there is no option to have the tabs at the top by next release I will be gone. Don't just think that because Google have decided everyone wants this everyone ACTUALLY wants this. I don't, and it has driven me from using several Google programs.

 

Pity, because the response to tap/hold/drag/swipe on the home screen and in the dock has got a lot better for me with this build. But if there's no option to put the tabs back on top PDQ, I'm off.

Contributor

Wins: Cortana now actually responds when I say "Hey Cortana" in the car (I think there was an issue with Bluetooth pairing for media vs. Bluetooth pairing for voice - and she needed to be paired with the "voice" option, not the "media" option). 

 

Losses - big losses - 

What the heck is this?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Capture+_2019-07-26-20-09-31.pngHuh?

Frequent Contributor

Aaaand another version. Nothing whatsoever for any of the things that matter to me ... again.

 

This is really depressing.

 

Early this year, when I finally got a phone worth looking for a good launcher for, I went through a bunch of 'top ten launchers' lists I found, made a list of possibles from the reviews, then went through installing and trying each. Most I dismissed and uninstalled within 5 minutes of installing and starting. I ended up keeping two, Microsoft Launcher and Nova. I liked a lot of the features and options in Microsoft Launcher, giving an aesthetically pleasing look with good extra features, especially for someone who mostly uses a Windows 10 laptop rather than a phone. There was, though, a usability problem with poor touch response, and there were some extra features and options - and more linking to Microsoft Android and Windows 10 apps - I hoped would come along in due course. I kept Nova installed, configured and updated, though, because it did not have any of the poor touch usability problems and I felt like I needed to keep a backup option to hand even if I was actually using ML.

 

It is now many months and many betas later (I went onto the betas that first day of launcher testing, hoping the poor touch response had been fixed - it hadn't). So far:

 

There has been some (not fully adequate by any means) improvement over the poor touch response in some parts of the UI (basically, better home screen, still terrible dock and aspects of the Settings and Feeds).

 

Not one of the new features or options or improvements in linking to Microsoft Android and 10 desktop apps I was hoping to see have featured at all.

 

But what has happened is that first one UI option I really liked has been removed (the option to specify light or dark separately for the homecreen folder backgrounds), wrecking the home screen for me. And now the Feed, which I had liked (although wanting proper integration between the News feed and the Android and Windows 10 News apps) has been completely RUINED for me by imposing bottom tab navigation. It has been a basic principle for me that when I choose between several possible new apps to install for something, I immediately dismiss any that use bottom tabs; and if an app I use changes to bottom tabs (or other bottom controls) I find a replacement that doesn't.

 

So here we are , months and many beta versions later, and adding the changes together, the plus from the partial improvement in touch response is way outweighed by the destruction of parts of the UI that were significant contributions to my liking Microsoft Launcher in the first place. In fact, if ML had been this version when I was first trying all the launchers early this year, I would have dismissed it within a couple of minutes of first installing and trying it. I'd have dumped it the first time I opened the feed and saw the bottom tabs.

 

For me and to me, all these betas and all you ML developers have done is make it significantly WORSE. You have removed options rather than increasing them, and have made a major UI change as take-it-or-leave-it rather than offering it as an option. With 5.6 you drove me to using Nova with the folder background change, did NOT restore the old choice, just made a minor cosmetic twiddle to the dark theme folder background that was barely enough to let me use ML again temporarily in the hope you were working to restore the old options, but then you drop 5.7 still without that option restored but with this new UI change that to me is even worse.

 

With these changes you have made ... you clearly have no-one working there who sees things the way I do, and are driving away from something I like in your plans for the future rather than closer to it. I think it is becoming clear that it is a waste of time and emotion for me to go on hoping the app will - to me and for my tastes and needs - get better; you are obviously gong in another direction, and have no interest in maintaining, let alone increasing, options for people who have different tastes and needs. It is really depressing. And sad.

Occasional Contributor

@RG_Durishin How are you getting Cortana via Launcher to work in your car?  I am spoiled with my Lumia being able to press the 'call' button on my steering wheel, say, "Call Cortana" and then being able to send texts or play music.  Unfortunately, I can find no way to interact with Cortana in my car using Launcher on the Android phone.  

Occasional Contributor

@Gorden_Lin will you be addressing the new Android Q navigation?  Right now Beta 6 disables it with this launcher as it is not compatible. Hope this is addressed or may need to go to default Pixel launcher.

Microsoft

@Chris Childerhose Thanks for reporting! We will look into it.

Senior Member

''''Feed tabs are moved to the bottom for easy access'''

i dont like this ..

->cover  bigger area of display

->not transparent 

->more effort  to switch between the tabs

GLANCE feed should more customization  (space & size of different  category .. icon size. more content in lesser space.)

i need  better icon ...

i need better Time & weather widget///or dont disable  defult //system widget..

separate FONT for launcher (multiple)

Contributor

Had 2 or 3 updates since initial 5.7 release, and still can't swipe between glance  news feed and time line .. And I agree with other post, feed tabs look better back on top where they were... 

Frequent Contributor

Several updates since original 5.7, and I have not been aware of any changes at all. I've started with the Edge Insider, and every update of Edge Dev we've had a note of what has changed - why can't you do that simple thing with Launcher?

 

In any case, the feed still has bottom tabs and the home screen folders still haven't had their separate dark/light option restored. Launcher is now worse, to me, than it was when I started (unlike Edge Dev, which has got better with each release), and if it had been like this when I first tried it I would have uninstalled it within minutes. I'm getting the feeling that when you guys change something you will not even consider either going back or making it an option, and I should give up on this.

Occasional Visitor

Please make the Your Feed-News-Open in Edge setting actually open in the Edge App or default browser as opposed to a web view. 

 

Bug Screen Flicker

(steps to repro)

Add folder to dock

Open dock

Select folder 

Return Home 

 

Cortona does not play music. 

The setting Cortona-Cortona Preferences-Default App does not work. It always opens in Google Maps.