Microsoft's attempts to create the perfect launcher replacement for Android continue with the release of yet another update for their own home screen application. This new update comes in the form of beta version 5.2 and is said to build upon a couple of usability-related things and it sure does to an extent, based on my testing. Furthermore, here is the official list with changes:
- Non-full screen folders for easier one-handed use and large-screen devices
- Microsoft Rewards daily deal card allows you to earn Rewards for using Microsoft Launcher and completing other tasks!
- Long-press shortcuts enabled on icons even when the home screen is locked.
- Customers can send a CPU profile through "Contact Us" in Settings in case of performance issues
- Launcher font size will now respect the system font size
Non-full screen folders
Enabling the non-full screen folder setting switches to a more traditional look used in other launchers as well. Folders are smaller, yet why they are easier to interact with with one hand. You can find the 'Open folders full screen' option inside the settings - Personalization - App folders section.
Daily rewards are going to be given to users for finishing tasks, though I did not get any, nor was able to find a hint in regards to them. I am guessing that they will get enabled server-side. Let us know if you have the feature on your device.
Shortcuts when the home screen is locked
If you happen to lock your home screen often so you or someone else does not mess up your set up by mistake, now shortcuts will work when the lock is on. The setting can be found inside Personalization - Home screen menu.
Send CPU profile reports
The last notable thing is the button for sending CPU usage reports directly to Microsoft, intended to help them fix the severe battery drain problems plagued users with MS Launcher's previous two builds installed. The option is located under the 'Help make Microsoft Launcher better' page in the Contact us section in the settings too.
Verdict: Microsoft Launcher v5.2 beta focuses on usability improvements as seen from the one-handed folder UI, shortcut access when modifying the desktop is locked and font size enhancements. You can apply for its beta right away from the links below and help MS iron out any quirks that have been left out.
Source: Google Play
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