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Occasional Contributor

Hi Microsoft Launcher users!

 

Today we're releasing a Microsoft Launcher "Preview" to the Google Play Store. You can call it an "alpha" version if you will. This version is a Microsoft Launcher that's built on an improved codebase and has several new features that we're looking at bringing to market (plus perf benefits!). Some of these features (like landscape mode) are very core to the Launcher experience so we're looking to get early feedback from brave fans that are OK with installing a potentially unstable version on their phones. You can file bugs through the app itself or you can share here!

 

MICROSOFT LAUNCHER PREVIEW FEATURES

Give your phone a new look
• Personalize your apps with custom icon packs, and use adaptive icons to give your phone a consistent look and feel.
• Enjoy Bing daily images as your wallpaper, or use your own photos.

Dark Theme
• Microsoft Launcher supports Dark theme for your viewing pleasure. Select dark theme for comfort of use at night or in low light environments. This feature is compatible with Android phone’s dark mode settings. 


Landscape mode
• Microsoft Launcher now supports vertical and horizontal orientations to enhance your viewing preference.

 

For those ready for an adventure, please go here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.microsoft.launcher.zan

 

We'd love your feedback and we thank you for your support!

28 Comments
Frequent Contributor
@weizhong_xue I tried installing the Preview, but it keeps crashing Samsung Galaxy A8 (2018) Android 9 The Preview (Early Access) Launcher is installed beside the Beta of Launcher, 5.11.2.56323. App info indicates the Preview is 6.0.200101.73373. When I first started the Preview, it seemed to be starting the setup process, but once it crashed, it does not usually get past the Welcome screen. Once I was able to go through the setup process, but it crashed shortly after that and keeps crashing now. 1) During the short period where it worked, I could not find the Launcher settings. Normally, I could access Settings by pulling up the drawer and clicking on the gear icon that was exposed. There was no visible gear icon. 2) I was not able to find a way to select the Bing daily wallpaper, which was also mentioned by @HotCakeX. 3) Since I could not find settings, I pushed and held on the home screen to try to add pages, but did not see things like the Frequently used apps page. I was unable to send feedback through the app, since it keeps crashing, so I am posting these items here.
Occasional Contributor

@ms4132 Thanks for trying the preview build! I am sorry to hear that you ran into this issue. We've seen some similar issues reported and we are currently investigating the root cause. Please look for an update soon. 

Esteemed Contributor

@weizhong_xueHi, sticky notes written using hand writing on the new Microsoft launcher preview do not appear on the Windows 10 sticky note app (latest Windows update), Android 9.

 

they did finally appear and got synced after 1 day

 

 

 

Visitor

Installed it last night, and used it today for the first time.

Interface looks Good, but I miss some features already available in the 5.x versión (e.g. accessing the WiFi, plane mode, bluetooth, etc in the same way as in 5.x. I guess  that this is what betas are for :smile:

Haven't had a chance to play much with it, but interface looks fine, and pretty smooth and stable, altough it seems to have a higher battery cosumption than my previus launcher, but I need a few days in normal use to confirm it.

 

I come from a Motorola Moto G4plus with Android 7.0 and Google Now launcher, and it seems so far a pretty straightforward transition from one to another. Fluency is pretty similar to the Goggle Now. I May change to a non stock Android smartphone soon, and Microsoft launcher would give me (I hope) a seamless user experience regardless of the make of the new phone

I miss a good weather and time widget, but I solved it by downloading my old Google one.

Contributor

A bit clunky but what's expected from an Alpha build. Some of the features I'm missing /that I would like to see soon or that need fixed.:

  • Backup/Restore: I would like to pull the back up from he stable build to format my home screen/folders/layout etc
  • Folders in App Drawer are missing in the Preview build
  • Pull down gesture interferes with the pull down for notifications feature that is built in. It does not do this on the stable version
  • Pulling up the dock is cumbersome. Have to place your finger in an exact spot
  • New dark theme is great...but would like to see transparent theme as well.
  • Time line works! It has been missing in the stable version on my device for a long while. Even after a clean re-install
  • When sorting apps int he app drawer with the alphabetical list. Can you add the alphabet on the side so we can jump state to a letter section we want instead of scrolling?
  • Would be nice to have the option to add the widgets in dock. Like Bluetooth, wifi, brightness etc like the stable version. 
  • Under search settings, selecting where you want the search bar (top, bottom etc) does not force the search bar to lock in to the area selected
  • It would be nice to have a search settings option pop up when Tapping and holding on the search bar.
  • Multi select is missing when tapping and holding an icon. Multi select makes it so much easier to create folders quickly. 
  • The ability to individually format icons is missing in the alpha build.
  • The ability to add swipe and tap actions to folders is missing as well. Very useful feature. 
Occasional Visitor

Seems pretty smooth. 

 

No option for selecting Bing live wallpapers though that I can see. Only One Time Wallpaper option. 

 

Is the option to hide apps in the app drawer gone, or am I just overlooking it?

 

Great work. Been a fan since Arrow.

Occasional Contributor

@HotCakeX Thanks for reporting. I've just forwarded your issue to sticky notes experts on our team, and we'll investigate. Keep the feedback coming!

Occasional Contributor

@Exfat Thanks for trying the preview app! We are working hard to light up more experiences in upcoming updates. Keep the feedback coming.

Occasional Contributor

@Chef31684 Appreciate your detailed notes and using nearly all aspects of the app! We are working to light up more experiences. Stay tuned for upcoming updates! 

Occasional Contributor

@seven58o thanks for being a Microsoft Launcher fan! The hidden apps feature is in progress with some nice design improvements. Stay tuned for future updates. Keep the feedback coming our way.

Occasional Visitor
I really like the interface, pretty neat. What I really miss is the compatibility with the new navigation gesture of android 10
Occasional Visitor

Seems like the alpha is missing a few features available in the previous version of the launcher:

 

- while adding widgets it seems the variety of widget options  has been reduced.   i.e. - There are widget options that I used to have on the previous version of the launcher that have disappeared on the alpha version.  (Different sizes of widgets for instance)

- I also don't have the ability to resize and adjust padding on the widgets ---When adding multiple icons to a folder the apps are not sorted alphabetically... in fact I'm not sure what sort order they are in,it making it extremely difficult to find apps

Frequent Contributor

It says early access programme is full on play store

Frequent Visitor

Inking on sticky notes is "jagged" using note stylus, and a little rough, but it works. Keep up the good work!

 

Occasional Visitor

I can't reteive the backup made using  the previous version

 

Occasional Contributor
Tablet support please!
Esteemed Contributor

@PaulP1635I'm not surprised, because the code is different and everything is almost built from the ground up so it's normal the backups are incompatible at this point. plus there are many features missing so a backup of the previous launcher wouldn't be much useful :)

Esteemed Contributor

@Marc_Sjust out of curiosity, what happens when you try to install it on an Android tablet? it shows an error?

Microsoft

@mark , Tablet should be supported already, feel free to try it on a tablet.

@PaulP1635 , the backup restore feature is not available in the new alpha version yet. 

@Toddgutierrez we are still fine tune the Sticky Notes card, good to know you like it. 

@Maan2003 stay tuned for the vacant

@Favsob yes, there are still several feature missing in this Alpha version.

 @losaro glad you like it, Android 10 gesture is not open to 3rd party Launchers yet.

keep the feedback coming in, also feel free to ping us a post on our reddit community: https://www.reddit.com/r/microsoftlauncher/ 

 

 

 
Regular Visitor

Started using the preview as my main launcher a few days ago, I'm liking it and understand it's early days but just a few things I miss from the other version and things I've noticed.

 

Not having the vertical scroll option for home screen.

 

Not being able to edit individual app icons

 

The "M" and "W" in the alphabetical app drawer are cut off slightly

 

Adding a widget to the glance page, for me I added Google Calendar, and resizing it only works temporarily before it resorts back to its original size, possibly after restarting but not sure. 

New Contributor

Hello guys!

A suggestion for the new versions. How about, instead of adapting the colors of the icons when the user chooses the option to "leave the icons in the same shape", leave everyone with a white background?
Leave everyone in the same shape, but don't change the background color... some icons simply change completely when this option is applied. The dominant color of the icon becomes the background color and with this the format practically disappears, mixed with the background color. Leave the white background, as in microsoft or google apps.
So they're going to create a visual identity...

Occasional Contributor

I love the simplicity (with a steep relearning curve) of this newer launcher. Sadly Microsoft is approaching this wrong. Instead of getting the good stuff from the old launcher and porting it to the new design of the new launcher, they started from scratch.

Take for example, the bing wallpaper.

I understand the need for just two screens, but why give a blank vanila screen as the only other option? Why do you assume everyone wants that standard android homescreen? I love the timelines and feeds screen but the other screen is useless quite frankly.

On the old app we had as many as 8 screens to choose from! Why not bring back all those screens as options so that a user can pick which two they want?

You brought back the settings problem. Every time I update, the app, it forgets that it is the default launcher! The older version even in beta never had that problem.

For goodness sake, please learn about code reuse. You are the same company! This is going to become the onenote for Windows vs onenote 2019 debacle all over again! Get with the program. Learn design thinking. Find out what worked before and port it over.

Just because the new launcher now has landscape means it has a completely different codebase? That just shows me how bad your coders are not how difficult the app is. 

Regular Visitor

Also noticed that the last digit on the clock widget sometimes disappears for a little while.

 

And yes the launcher forgetting its default status is a little irritating 

Microsoft

@Tomlikescars , we are evaluating the user feedback on feature parity of V6 and V5, stay tuned. thanks for your feedback

@ggomes thanks for the suggestion, there is no change on the adaptive icon feature compare to V5, but your suggestion will be considered, thanks. 

@James Makumbi , can you have a screen shot about your 8 screen and blank vanilla screen suggestion ? for default launcher issue, we will investigate. 

@Tomlikescars , for the default launcher settings issue, can you share the device model and the android version? 

New Contributor

from the feed clicking on calendar entry doesnt load outlook

no wallpaper icon to change background

not getting notification badges for messages (other apps work fine)

Regular Visitor

@Gorden_Lin The default launcher issue happens on my Pixel 4XL running Android 10

Occasional Contributor

@Gorden_Lin 

Screenshot_20200124-102330.png

This is the screen selection of the previous version of launcher. Note the wide selection of preconfigured screens.

Screenshot_20200124-113125.png

Then note the travesty above where there are no screens. We can stick to two displays but let us have the functionality from the old version. 

Occasional Contributor

my timezone is CET +1 (Amsterdam). I use the 24 time notation. In the agenda feed time notation is 12. Is there a way to change this to 24h notation?