Microsoft is one of the most consistent at updating their apps for Android with the company’s launcher, Microsoft Launcher being no exception. The latest beta of the launcher is rolling out to testers and it shows that the Redmond company isn’t just updating their launcher, but listening to what users want in it.
The new beta build is version 4.7 for those keeping score and it brings an expansive change log with it. First, you can now get a new daily background on your phone. While you can do this today, it only can come from Bing daily wallpapers. Now, based on user requests, you can set up your own custom set of wallpapers to be rotated daily on your device. Oh, and those wallpapers can be set to be scroll-able.
Next comes badge notification changes. You can now control app notification badges for specific apps, not just across the launcher, in this update. As for your Lock screen calendar notification, you can now always have the upcoming calendar events show on your Lock screen. Now you can see at a glance what your next appointment is without having to turn on your device and unlock it.
This new Lock screen feature, in my view, all-but kills the Next Lock Screen app that Microsoft has in the Play Store. It is the only app that hasn’t been updated regularly. I think they are letting it die on the vine.
Finally, there are some UI adjustments in this update to Microsoft Launcher. Long pressing to get to the app context menu has been simplified and support for both move & clone when moving apps in app drawer to form a folder has been added. This again is a much requested user feature.
Given this is a beta build of the launcher, you could still run into bugs here or there. Anyone can join the beta – just go to the Microsoft Launcher page in the Play Store – but keep the bugs in mind if you decide to run it on your daily driver. If you want to wait for it to be released to the stable version, you probably won’t have to wait more than a week or two. Microsoft tends to turn these beta programs to stable pretty fast.