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Microsoft
Hi there, beta users! 

The new version of Microsoft Launcher v5.5.0 is now fully available for your testing starting from today! We added some long time request like Adaptive Icon, and also we are making some  adjustments to current implementation like the Dock, Notification badges and task card per user feedback. and you will see detailed information on these feature additions in the what's new section below. You can now try this by installing from the Google Play Beta store. 
 

Check out what's new in v5.5:

  •  Adaptive Icons- Have the same look for your app icons with multiple shape choices.
  •  Hidden Dock- The hidden dock is back. You can set the dock to be hidden and still access your apps and widgets.
  •  Tasks card syncing is now faster for MSA and work/school accounts.
  •  Experience adjustments for accessing shortcuts when the home screen is locked.
  •  Get notification badges for calling and messaging apps without setting Microsoft Launcher as your default assistant. For more accurate badges, set Launcher as your default assistant.
 
we also including several bug fixing and performance improvements in this build, feel free to try out and give us feedback through Google Play comments, UserVoice or email
 
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
84 Comments
Regular Visitor

Hey there. Good job on the laucher! I have been loving it for a while. Just a small thing tho... As of this last update, I can't seem to get my clock widget centered anymore but it was on the last version this morning. It might be small but it is extremely anoying as I see it all the time. Can this be fixed? 


@Gorden_Lin wrote:
Hi there, beta users! 

The new version of Microsoft Launcher v5.5.0 is now fully available for your testing starting from today! We added some long time request like Adaptive Icon, and also we are making some  adjustments to current implementation like the Dock, Notification badges and task card per user feedback. and you will see detailed information on these feature additions in the what's new section below. You can now try this by installing from the Google Play Beta store. 
 

Check out what's new in v5.5:

  •  Adaptive Icons- Have the same look for your app icons with multiple shape choices.
  •  Hidden Dock- The hidden dock is back. You can set the dock to be hidden and still access your apps and widgets.
  •  Tasks card syncing is now faster for MSA and work/school accounts.
  •  Experience adjustments for accessing shortcuts when the home screen is locked.
  •  Get notification badges for calling and messaging apps without setting Microsoft Launcher as your default assistant. For more accurate badges, set Launcher as your default assistant.
 
we also including several bug fixing and performance improvements in this build, feel free to try out and give us feedback through Google Play comments, UserVoice or email
 
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

 

Contributor

I am seeing the same problem with the clock widget. It is no longer centered and I have not found a way to set it to be centered.

Microsoft

@ms4132 @PancakeMike , thanks for your reporting, I will FW your suggestion to our design team and at the same time, you can long press the widget, select "Resize" and make it smaller, then move it to the center of screen. 

Contributor

@Gorden_Lin @PancakeMike I can Resize, but I still do not have a way to center it.

 

I am using the Widget on the Glance panel.

Microsoft

ok, got it,  we will triage this and get back to you.

New Contributor

I love the UI improvements on the dock side, now widgets in the dock are way more visible even if you use transparent theme

Senior Member

@Gorden_Lin Now we also have sorted icon names, when personalizing the icons. Thank you team, that was quick. 

Occasional Contributor
Thank you for the return of the disappearing Dock! Love the new Settings Icon!
Occasional Contributor
The more you update this Launcher, the less it looks like a Microsoft product. Disappointed
Occasional Contributor

@SOI_7 ,

 

I wonder what you mean specifically. Can you give some examples?

Senior Member

Great work Guys!

 

Let me go through this update and revert for any possible dislike...I mean if any! 

Occasional Contributor

Great that we can now have notification badges on phone and messages without having to have the launcher as the assistant.

 

But the adaptive icons ... In principle I want them, but in practice you have implemented them just like Nova Launcher in a way I find hideous to look at. I want the rounded square shape, but just like Nova, for round icons and icons that are unique shapes with transparent backgrounds, ML is adding a coloured rounded square background, with the colour chosen in some way from the colours in the icon. But for many of the icons these background colours are terrible shades of pink, green etc. To use the feature I need an option to select one colour for all the added backgrounds. Specifically I want to be able to pick white or the same transparent white used as the folder background by the light folder theme. (Actually I'd like to be able to choose a solid white as the folder theme background too.) So rather frustratingly I'll be leaving adaptive icons off until there's an option for control of the background colour used to adapt the shapes.

 

Occasional Contributor

@RG_Durishin Just the progressive abandoning of MDL2 Assets in favor of Material Design ones, like the new quicksetting icons in the dock (Disclaimer: I'm talking about the icons themselves, not the circles. The circles were a nice addition), the rounded corners, the Roboto font (seriously, everyone complained about it and it's still there), the bubble searchbar and so on.
Note that this is my personal preference, if you prefer Material Design that's fine. But tbh I picked this Launcher because I wanted a full MS experience, especially since I'm coming from Windows Mobile. Moreover, Microsoft said during the Build conference that they were going to bring Fluent Design across all their platforms, including Android, and yet I see the Microsoft Launcher team going in the exact opposite direction, which saddens and confuses me. But to each their own, I guess

Occasional Contributor

@SOI_7 ,

 

No. I'm with you, but, coming from Win Mob, I'm just happy to have the ability to scroll vertically instead of Android's typical horizontal arrangement. In terms of Fluent Design, I too am frustrated as I really prefer it more sophisticated style to Android's in-your face cartoonish presentation. But, I'm not as sensitive to font and other cues as many. I just really want the Outlook team to give us an Acrylic calendar widget. That's the place where I am really frustrated with MS for Android design.

Occasional Contributor

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  BUG  !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Setting a reminder using "Hey Cortana" from the home screen doesn't work. She opens up, types what I dictate and then disappears.

 

Ver. 5.5.0.51876 on an LG V30.

New Contributor

I also really like the new toggles bar for feeds etc. It's way more simple now, sometimes gestures are not the best idea

Senior Member

Kudos to @Gorden_Lin and the team, nice work! I had moved away from ML but 5.5 beta brought me back. Specifically, adaptive icons, hidden dock, and ability to receive notification badges on phone/sms apps without forcing ML to be device assistant.

 

I have the same clock widget not centering issue others reported. And one lingering issue - when i apply other icon packs, the calendar app icon is never updated. I have to set it manually to the new icon.

Occasional Contributor

I've been getting the problem with the calendar icon when changing icon pack for at least several versions. If I change to the Microsoft Launcher pack from the system pack (which I prefer), the calendar icon changes along with all the others to the ML pack icons; but when I then change back to the system pack, everything else changes back but not the calendar icon which remains the ML icon. If I then go to the Edit Icon, it shows as if the system pack calendar icon is selected at the top, even though the ML icon calendar is actually displaying on home screen. But if I then re-select (even though it is showing as selected) and confirm, then the system calendar icon returns on home screen. A glitch with that one icon, for some reason.

Occasional Contributor

BTW, I haven't really been following this stuff about ML changing to Roboto to follow Google, and generally don't even notice what fonts things use as long as they are easily legible to me, but ... if this is following Google, are not Google themselves moving from Roboto to the Google Sans version of Product Sans as part of so-called Material Design 2?

Regular Visitor

@Gorden_Lin

Yes... That is the point. The resize give me uneven options 🙃. 

 

Also, I have had no more bug since except for the scale of the clock widget so nice 😊

Regular Visitor

@RG_Durishin My cortana shortcut never worked from voice so I get the frustration. 

Contributor

@Gorden_Lin I am not clear if @PancakeMike is reporting that the problem with centering has been resolved, but I am still unable to center the clock widget on the glance screen. I can resize the box to be as wide as the screen, but the text is still left justified. I do not seem to be able to move the left side of the box from the edge or to be able to drag the box to the center.

Regular Visitor

@ms4132 same here 

Senior Member

Howdy folks, 

 

Good job with latest update. Kudos guys!

 

But, what about the localized news feeds I advocated for a while ago? As it is, this is the only reason I am not enjoying ML right now. I have to resort to Google Now for my localized news. Kindly look into it. It can be a mixture of international as well as localized news.

 

Secondly, in the news feed, the issue of the inbuilt browser suddenly going blank or white still persists in this update. Why can't the news item launch Immediately on click using the default browser instead? 

Contributor

@Gorden_Lin I am also having the issue with some pages going blank after opening. If I Open in Edge, it works fine. It seems to me that if Edge is the default browser, the Launcher should open in Edge by default. Or at least that should be an available option to choose.

Occasional Contributor

A few thoughts on 5.5 (currently 5.5.0.51884 after the update I found a few minutes ago) - all my personal opinion and preferences, of course:

 

1 I still suffer from quite a few of my clicks on home screen app icons causing a jump to the next left page of the home screen (including jumping to the feed page if I was trying to click on an app  icon on the left normal home screen page). Not all the time, or even most of the time, but still many times a day amd way beyond the lower limit of annoying.

 

2 The past few days I've also started getting something else, quite similar - a number of my clicks to open an app in the bottom row or the dock have caused, not a jump to the page to the left, but the expanded dock flying open. After it just happening again, it has occurred to me that although I configured what should be in the expanded dock, I never actually use it. So I may as well turn it off, which will remove this problem for me, but it is still an unwanted behaviour. But while I still haave it ...

 

3 To add to what I said in a post above, I actually have the calendar app icon in the extended dock lower row as well as on the main homescreen. As above,after switching to the ML icon pack, then back to the system icon pack, on the main home screen the calendar app icon stays the ML one, even though doing Edit on it shows the system icon selected, and I have to reselect the system icon and apply for it to change back to the System icon pack version. Because I don't use the extended dock I hadn't noticed until it started flying open incorrectly on app clicks, but the calendar icon in the lower dock row was STILL stuck on the ML one, despite the overall change back to the system icon pack, and the individual change to the calendar icon up on the main page. And on opening edit on it, that also shows that the system icon is assigned even though the ML icon is actually being displayed, ans also needs the system icon re-selecting (even though it is showing as set) and applying to change it.

 

4 I do really need to be able to select either a solid white background or the same dark and light theme choices as for the folders for the new adaptive app icons option to be able to use it. Some of the specific app icon background colours it uses at the moment are hideous.

 

5 Really disappointed I still don't have the option to set for an app icon to be auto-added to the home screen for new apps; and for the life of me cannot think why that would be an option just being tried with some people, not just there for everyone.

 

6 Really REALLY want the option to have the page indicators always showing, at least when the expanded dock is OFF, which currently leaves no marker of any kind between the bottom app row and the dock apart from while actually scrolling sideways. For me, I just want a marker of some kind there, for some aesthetic reason rather than any practical need.

Senior Member

@ms4132 and others experiencing the inbuilt browser going blank or white, I have figured out a way around it. Just disable the "open in microsoft edge" tab via the "your feed" > "news" menu. The news still opens with the inbuilt browser but without any blanks while scrolling up and down. You can also open the news from your preferred browser via the menu of the inbuilt browser if necessary. 

Occasional Contributor

shortcut icon pack is not the same as other app icons Screenshot_20190525-011014[2].pngshurtcut Play Store "My Apps"

Occasional Contributor

OK - another 5.5 beta version, after several others. Are there not release notes somewhere for each version? If not, there really should be. It is very frustrating not knowing what to check to see if it has improved since the last one.

Senior Member

@DavidGB my thoughts as well and good suggestion you gave. I go through the "what's new" section in the play store but only to see those of the major update, in this case 5.5.0! 

Contributor

@Gorden_Lin Regarding the time/weather widget. I have it set up to use my current location. The name of the location on the widget is not updating, but the weather is for my current location. If I tap the weather portion of the widget the detail page has the correct location name. But if I return to the widget the name is still incorrect and reflects a previous location.

Occasional Contributor

Shuh-weet! I usually stick to the stable release, but I'm going to try out adaptive icons right now. I literally just asked for adaptive icons a couple weeks ago! You guys must have had it in the works.

Occasional Contributor

The adaptive icons if off to a good start, and I really appreciate the implementation. Nonetheless, I would suggest that it could be more sophisticated by recognizing the native shape of icons. For instance, if I choose round as the icon shape, then icons that are already circular should be left alone. Right now, they are shrunk and put inside another circle.

 

I don't know how any of this works from a programming perspective, but I'm curious whether this is "true" adaptive icon work, or if it's a simulation of it (that is, if Android's adaptive icon system is only available via some integral part of version Oreo and higher). Anyway, good job over all. P.S. is the "squircle" shape have the same 20% corner radii as prescribed by the new Play Store icon guidelines?

Microsoft

Hi, @JordanQ :  thanks for the feedback, we actually are working on the improvement of adaptive icon's result, and we do hear a lot of good feedback around Adaptive icon and also some cases we need to deal with which may need more time so we are evaluating default off this feature in 5.5 and ship it to end users in 5.6 version. 

Microsoft

@ms4132 regarding the time/weather widget issue, thanks for the reporting, we will take a look on this bug and please let us know if this happened before or only in 5.5 beta build. and if this happened when you upgraded to 5.5 or already upgraded for some time. and at the same time, please try to remove the widget and add it again by long press the home screen and click "Add widget" to see if this can solve the problem. 

Microsoft

Hi, @DavidGB you can only see latest beta build what's new if you are a beta program member in Google Play, and your what's new will be displayed in Google Play product page. and we also posted the what's new in here in this Tech community forum in the blog posting part. 

Occasional Contributor

@Gorden_Lin Er - no. In Google Play, where I am a beta program member, and in the first post of this topic, the What's New just lists what was new in the original 5.5 beta, and has NOT changed with the several new later betas. What I, and the other person who replied to me, want is a list of what parts have been changed and issues addressed since the previous version for EVERY new version. We have had, what, 3 ... 4 (?) new versions of the 5.5 beta since the first version (and it is part of the problem that because you post no change logs I can't even check back how many versions there have been), with not one indication as to what areas have been changed in each. I've been a beta tester for a number of programs and apps over the last 25 years, some open public betas like this one where anybody can sign up, others closed betas where one had to be invited to be a beta tester by the software manufacturer (generally based on user forum contributions back before I became disabled and very limited how much and how often I can contribute), and EVERY SINGLE BETA program I've been a member of, EVERY new beta release contained some kind of change log indicating what areas had changed since the last one - so we knew what to look at to see if the changes were working and good, and the bug fixes were OK. But from you (the Microsoft Launcher team, not just you personally) - nothing. Which is very inefficient, both for you and us. I am liable to waste time looking to see if you've done anything about the areas that interest me each new point release where a changelog would have told me you hadn't so I needn't waste that time; but I maybe miss other things you HAD changed which I could have checked if you'd only list what areas had been changed since the previous beta version.

 

I am frankly astonished that you run a beta tester program WITHOUT some kind of changelog posted each new version (doesn't have to be incredibly techie and detailed, just list areas that have had changes). As I say, it's something I've never seen in 25 years of beta testing with a number of software producers, big and small.

Microsoft

@Ratinvirgo yes, I saw the ask for sorting the icon pack in last release and we fixed that in this release which is a low hanging fruit, glad you like it. 

Microsoft

@RG_Durishin nice to see you again in the new community, yes, we received bunch of user feedback around the disabled dock, we used to have it swipe out even in disabled status, we thought it might be more consistent to have it gone when user explicitly disable that, while we are not expecting so many users use dock as hidden but invokable status, then we added it back, but with more systematic design, now you can have "show" "hidden" "disable" status in settings page to choose from. 
Regarding the bug for Cortana, I've reached out to Cortana team for investigation, and also would like to know if you still meet the same issue since then. 

Microsoft

@Plesk90 glad you like the new version. we do found small glitches we experienced or user reported and fix them incrementally. 

Contributor

@Gorden_Lin The centering has been fixed on the weather widget in 5.5.0.51889. The location name is also updating correctly now.

Microsoft

@ksblack65 yes, we heard our beta users are reporting the widget of time/weather did not centered any more, that's a design change from our designer, after triage of this change, we've already changed back to the centered design, it should already be included in the latest beta build. please check out and see if that solved your problem. 

Senior Member

@Gorden_Lin , thanks for the reply. The centering issue of the time/weather widget is fixed in the latest beta!

Occasional Visitor
Swiping and clicking is too buggy. Swipe up on dock to expand it, and it moves the icon out of the dock. Swipe up on any icon on home screen to trigger swipe up action, moves the icon. Long pressing on icon does not work many times.it just does not register the touch Suggestion : Can you add an option to search icon in a pack by typing name ? Its too cumbersome to scroll all the way down to x,y,z to select icon work those starting alphabet
Occasional Visitor
Also, i have put search bar on the first row of the dock (which is always visible) and other app on the bottom two rows (which are visible after swiping up on dock). So to expand the dock, i should be able to swipe up on either that small white pill on top of the dock, or i should be able to swipe up on the search bar sitting on the dock. But swiping up on the search bar always moves it out of the dock (or the unlock homescreen popup appears if screen is locked). I'm not holding the search bar and then dragging it up so that it should trigger the moving action. I'm just swiping up. So i have to precisely swipe on the white small pill everytime. But if put app drawer icon on the dock, and swipe up on it, it expands the dock. So there is something wrong with swiping up on search bar in the dock.
Occasional Contributor

OK - another new 5.5 beta.

 

Any chance of a hint what's been done?

 

Last 5.5 beta release I wasted a load of time blundering around looking for anything new or improved, especially the issues that concern me most, to find nothing. Then finally I saw some posts here about how the time widget some people had been complaining about had been fixed. I don't use the ML time widget, I've always used the Digi Clock widget which never had a problem, so of course my hunt for improvements found nothing. If you ML dev group people just LISTED the areas addressed each release I wouldn't have wasted that time. PLEASE - you'll get much better, more focused testing if you will just post a list for each release of what areas have been addressed in that release.

Regular Visitor

When either the transparent or dark theme is selected and dock bottom row shows widgets, there is a problem with the visibility of their status. The difference of any widget's background colour between 'on' and 'off' state is minimal and the user can't easily see whether a certain widget is on or off especially in bright environment. 'Off' has light grey bg and 'On' has light grey with a very delicate greenish tone which is not distinctive enough from the other one. With the light theme, 'On' is indicated by bright blue background of widgets while 'Off' is the same light grey as with two other themes.

[Picture of the dock with transparent theme]

New Contributor

I'm really pleased with the new update! Most of the issues moving icons into/out of folders and long-pressing for a popup are gone. Now my only issue comes from long-pressing icons in the second row of the expanded dock (I don't use a third row, so this is my bottom row). I'll expand the dock, long-press an icon in the second row, and the popup menu appears for an instant but then the dock shifts up thinking I wanted to actually move the icon to the third row, when in actuality I never want to use the third row and personally wish there was a setting to lock the dock to "always XXX rows". If I put some apps in the third row, then this issue goes away. All apps in all rows behave as expected. But I just created that third row for testing, in practice I only want two rows of apps and never want to see that third empty row rear its ugly head (ugly to me, lol, but obviously not ugly to many others). 

 

My biggest gripe is still the introduction of empty space on the left/right of the screen, with no option to disable that. I have a few widgets which I used to be able to fully expand to the whole width of the screen, but can no longer do that and thus my Outlook and Todo apps don't show 1-2 fewer words. See the example screenshot below, where I have several widgets resized to the full screen, and then the "+ Padding" option selected, but there's still a few mm of empty space on the left and right of the screen. I hope the design team can allow this customization in a future update. Whether that's an option in the settings to remove the window border, or a dynamic "+++ Padding" option when Launcher recognizes that you have a widget resized to fit the whole screen or something else, I'd like options!

 

I love how you guys don't just set a look and force people to take the Microsoft Launcher way or the highway. It's so wonderful! That customization is the same reason I love Vivaldi as my browser!

 

A side note, I'm not using the adaptive icons as I personally dislike the look (and with an adaptive background color, some colors chosen e.g. for the Google Play Store icon are really poor (the red background completely blends into the bottom red part of the icon triangle). I did notice the Hertz app icon behaves wonderfully. There's no visible background border for it, it just changes shape naturally as one would expect from a differently-shaped icon. Obviously, this wouldn't work for an icon like Firefox's, which doesn't have a solid background color so can't be adapted at all (see https://www.reddit.com/r/firefox/comments/9v9813/how_to_keep_the_old_icon_on_android_81/, I'm happy to say I still get the old non-adaptive version and prefer it the way it is). I am ecstatic that the Microsoft Launcher team is adding customization options like this though, it shows they really want users to achieve whatever experience is best for them individually! 

 

Here's a screenshot showing gap on left/right edges of screen, even though the "+ Padding" option was selected. The lowest weather widget has the "- Padding" option selected, and thus clearly has more gap which is expected behavior. 

widget-not-going-to-edge.jpg

Microsoft

@Nukmicah several of the issues mentioned in your post we are already well noted and will be addressed in the new version of Launcher. stay tuned. 

Occasional Contributor

Due to there still being no list each beta update of what was addressed in that update, I don't know whether you ML Launcher team guys think you have dealt with the things I reported some updates ago. In case you do:

 

1) The dragging an app icon onto another to make a folder or into an existing folder is much better now. But I would still prefer an option in the settings to completely turn off a dragged app icon repelling other icons.

 

2) My biggest current issue remains just as bad. Many times when I tap an app icon to launch it or a folder to open it, the home screen jumps a page left as if I had vigorously dragged the screen sideways instead of tapping the icon (and the app does not launch or folder open); and many times when I tap an icon in the unexpanded dock to launch the app or open the app drawer, instead the dock extends as if I had dragged up instead of tapping - and quite often when this happens the app icons then get rearranged as if I had then dragged up on the icon that was then under my finger after the dock expands, even though all I did was one tap, not drag, on the unexpanded dock. It is SO frustrating, adn has me contemplating moving to teh Nova Launcher several times a day. And far too often, I press and hold on an icon, the menu does not appear, and when I jet go the hold the app launches as if I had tapped, even though I held for seversla seconds. Again, not always, or even 50% of the tim, but often enough to be many times a day and incredibly frustrating.

 

Something that I hadn't thought about before. Am I correct in thinking there's no way to assign a new icon to just one app that isn't in an icon theme? (The reason I'm asking is because an update to one of my paid apps has changed the home screen icon adding a coloured background that is, on my home screen, hideous; I've emailed them requesting they put the old icon back as an option in the icon Edit menu, but pending that - and I doubt they will anyway - I have a copy of the old icon as a png file and would like to assign it as the app icon. In Nova Launcher I can assign an image file as the icon for an app, but as far as I can see in ML I can't.) If not, could this ability be added, please?