Dragging apps into folders on home screen

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Regular Contributor
I have terrible trouble dragging app icons into folders on the home screen pages. Every now and then - maybe 1 time in 8 - it works well and easily, but most of the time it's a nightmare. Dragging the app icon it's as if it was a same magnetic pole, and the moment it comes close to the folder, the folder shoots off as if it was being repelled, often shoving other apps and folders out of position as it goes. Then I'll end up chasing the folder all round the screen with it bouncing away each time I drag the app over to it. Sometimes after many, many tries the folder finally doesn't jump away and takes the app inside itself; but often, after literally minutes of trying, I end up giving up, opening the folder and using Choose Apps from its menu instead ... followed by then having to delete the app icon from the home screen and drag all the other app and folder icons back to where they are supposed to be from where they ended up being bumped to by the repelled folder.

I don't think it's just me. In all the other launchers I have tried I have either had no trouble at all or sometimes had the folder repelled from the dragged app just once or twice before swallowing it. It is only Microsoft Launcher that gives me a real problem with this to the point of giving up and using the folder menu.
7 Replies
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I've had the exact experience you did, "All the other launchers I have tried I have either had no trouble at all or sometimes had the folder repelled from the dragged app just once or twice before swallowing it." I hope they quickly get that functionality into Microsoft Launcher, too.

Ann Yao just contacted you at
https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Microsoft-Launcher-Beta/Microsoft-Launcher-5-4-0-is-ready-for..., I recommend trying the beta build they provide. If it's the same one they just gave me this morning, then it makes dragging into and out of folders extremely easy. It's one disadvantage is that on full screens with no empty spaces, it is almost impossible to rearrange icons -- rather than pushing icons around, it is almost impossible to get it to push icons around instead of creating a folder.
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For myself and my way of doing things, I'd be very happy if they removed the whole thing of icons of apps and folders being bumped aside by an icon that's being dragged - or made it an optional behaviour that I could turn OFF,

 

If I'm wanting to put an app icon in a place where another app icon or folder is already located, then (unless I'm getting rid of the app whose icon is in that place, in which case I'm deleting it anyway) clearly I'm going to be moving the app/folder that's there to somewhere else in a reorganization, and I'm quite happy to shuffle the icons around to create that space and get everything that's being changed to the new locations, like those old sliding letters or numbers in a frame games. In fact that's what I prefer to do and try to do, and I find it very annoying when dragging one icon sends other icons flying as it passes.

 

In any case, my normal home screen arrangement is:

 

1 Default home screen page: large time (not OEM, Google or Microsoft) widget and search widget, plus two rows of main default apps above other main apps in the dock. No space, no folders. No new apps will be going here unless I decide to change e.g. the default phone and message apps for alternatives like I've already changed and replaced on this page or in the dock the default email, browser, calculator and weather apps. If I do change any of the apps whose icons are there now it will be a straight app for app replacement where I'll be deleting the old app icon or moving it to a folder on a different page, which will create the space for the replacement app of the same type. And I won't want any of the other icons bumped out of position.

 

2 Second page mostly folders with a few apps, two rows at top, two rows at bottom, one deliberately empty row in the middle. Newly installed app icons will always appear on the left in the empty row on this page - so I always know where to find them - from where I will immediately drag them to wherever I decide to keep them (often one of the folders). The empty row means I always have space to put things temporarily while rearranging - and is also handy as it gives me a place to swipe sideways to the first or third page without accidentally dragging an app or folder icon instead, which I otherwise have a tendency to do.

 

3 Third page, a few folders and more app icons, all in the upper half of the page with nothing below. Again, plenty of space to put icons temporarily while shuffling the arrangement, and a large clear area for swiped back to the second page without risking accidentally dragging icons instead.

 

If I find the need to add more folders and apps not in folders (not likely in the immediate future, but possible eventually), the third page will be arranged like the second page: folder and app icons in the upper two and lower two rows with a blank row in the middle. And so on if it ever gets to needing a fourth page.

 

I'm sure many/most people wouldn't like this arrangement, but it works for me and I do like it. And it leaves me with absolutely NO need or use for dragged app or folder icons repelling other icons out of the way during the drag - the only thing it contributes to me is annoyance and complication. For me the best update would be having the drag-icon-repelling feature changed to an OPTIONAL feature (default on or off, don't mind), which I would then immediately turn OFF and forget about it.

 

Of course the other thing I would like is dealing with the problem that I do not get the setting in the ML settings to auto create a home screen icon for newly installed apps. I put a request for that in the 'ideas' section here, but was then told by someone that they DID have that setting in their ML settings, leaving me mystified as to why I don't. Perhaps I should start another thread about it in this 'Report An Issue' section, as nobody from the ML team appears to have seen the thread in the Ideas section.

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@DavidGB, I agree it's not unreasonable to make it an optional behavior which can be disabled. You've noted this behavior doesn't slow you down in other applications since you can easily drag icons to empty spots on the home screen, and have no trouble dragging icons on top of each other to create folders. But if Microsoft Launcher is going to have a buggy implementation, then they should have an option to disable that "feature" that breaks basic functionality. 

 

On another note, I have the option to automatically create home screen icons for newly installed apps. Have you tried scrolling down under Settings > Personalization > Home screen? There's no scroll bar, so I could easily someone not realizing it's possible to scroll down here. On my phone that icon is poking out from the bottom, but if my screen just a little shorter I might have no clue there's no icon down there.

 

Screenshot_2019-04-30-20-12-29_edit.jpg

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@NukmicahYou said that I said I 'have no trouble dragging icons on top of each other to create folders'. That's not so. That is my big problem. About the only time I manage it is by accident when I didn't mean or want to and have to drag the icon back out again. I have spent literally minutes trying and trying and trying to drag one icon either onto another to create a folder, or onto a folder to put it in the folder, and the target app icon or folder just keeps bouncing away any time I drag the app icon I'm trying to put into a folder anywhere near it. I very often give up and have to add the app to the folder from the menu in the opened folder, then remove the old icon still outside the folder. It is such a pain that if I was still trying to do it every day I would have just given up on ML Launcher. Luckily I'm now only adding new apps very occasionally - but it still has me nearly giving up on this launcher every time I do have to do it. It is, for me, the single worst problem I have with ML.

 

On the matter of having an app icon automatically made on installing a new app, the user who told me the option was in his ML settings when I posted in the ideas section already suggested the New Apps setting might be off the screen on my phone and I should try scrolling. As I said then, I actually have quite a big screen - 6 inch 2k 18:9. There's room for at least two more items to show up below the actual items before scrolling would be necessary. It's just not there on my phone.

 

settinghomescreen.jpg

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OK, so I have been trying ML 5.4.0.51486. It is better, in that I can mostly get the app icon into a new (by dropping it onto another app icon) or existing folder by dragging on my first or second go (where one 'go' can include some wiggling the icon around while still dragging). So it is better and ... liveable with.

 

BUT I not think that just 'liveable with' is really good enough for a brand like Microsoft. For an app made and maintained by some teenager in his/her bedroom, yes; for MICROSOFT, no.

 

I think I would like to make two points:

 

1

 

First, the user experience should be comprehensible and consistent. The app should be designed so that how apps are added to folders can be clearly explained and easily understood, so the user knows exactly how to get the wanted effect, and how not to get unwanted effects. Currently I do not believe this is so. I have found no such explanation anywhere, and for the life of me cannot work out exactly how it currently works. When I go to drag an app icon to drop it on anther app icon to make a new folder, or to drop it onto another folder, any one of four things can happen, and I have no idea why or what to do just to get the one consistent result, When I do it, either (a) the icon I drag moves to the target app or folder icon, no other icon moves during the drag including the target icon, and at the end of the drag the UI indicates it's in 'create/add-to folder ready to drop; or (b) while I am dragging the icon, the other icons are sent flying out of the way like magnets repelling, but when I reach the target spot the other icons, including the target, snap back to their former places, and it then indicates it is in create/add-to folder mode for the drop; or (c) as (b) except the other icons including the target don't snap back, but if I wiggle the dragged icon around fractionally (with no idea which way it needs to be slightly moved) I suddenly seem to hit some magic position where the other icons, including the target do snap back, it goes into create/add-to folder mode and I can drop; or finally (d) as (c), but I have to give up wiggling and drag the moved icon back where it came from because my finger is getting cramp and I'm somehow just not hitting the position where it will work.

 

This is just crazy - and feels more like some funny computer game, not a serious piece of professional software. Despite a lot of doing it, I cannot figure out what the trigger is that makes other icons and the target one jump aside some times when I do it but not on others. What is it - the drag speed? The drag being within one degree of the exact actual line between the centres of the initial drag icon position and the target icon? What? I OUGHT to be able to reliably do the drag in control of whether the other icons and target will bounce out of the way or not; I OUGHT to understand what triggers the bounce aside so be able to get it or not get it as I wish. But I can't and don't. And similarly, if they do bounce aside, then when I get the drag to the target I OUGHT to know exactly what to do to get the moved icons, including target, to snap back ... but I don't, I just have to vaguely wiggle and sometimes they snap back, sometimes they don't and I don't know why.

 

I really do not think this has been thought out enough as a professional piece of software. You need to tweak - or re-design if necessary - so that the way it works, you can write a clear explanation, easily understood by the average user, so they know EXACTLY what to do and what not to do to get the result they want consistently.

 

2

 

While fixing it according to what I said above in 1 would be OK, I would like to make the case again for what I said up thread. PERSONALLY I would really REALLY like it if the whole icons bouncing out of the way thing was a PREFERENCE that could just be set to them NEVER bouncing out of the way. I would much MUCH rather have it so they do not ever get repelled by a dragged icon, and dragging an app icon on an existing app or folder icon always just enters create/add-to folder mode. And it would then be up to me to rearrange if I want to move one app icon to be where another already is. In fact, that is what I always do anyway if wanting to put one app icon where another already is. I NEVER deliberately use the icon bouncing away - as a 'feature' it is one I do not use, and just hate the fact that i can't figure out how to consistently stop accidentally triggering the behaviour. It is just a behaviour i find both frustrating and annoying, that gets in the way of what I want to do.

 

So PLEASE seriously consider making the icons-repelled-by-dragged-icon thing ( I don't even know what you guys actually call it) something that can be disabled in preferences, Have the preference ON by default by all means, but do have the preference choice.

 

Thanks.

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@DavidGB @Gorden_Lin Have you seen this screenshot? David is clearly missing the "New Apps" option, which seems like a bug. 

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@DavidGB  I'm experiencing the same issue. I think the OS is too sensitive. Hopefully they release a fix soon because I felt just as frustrated as you. I've basically given up trying to create folders until they release a fix.

 

I do like the new UI experience overall, and I'm looking forward to it's official launch once the bugs are worked out. :)👍🏻