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Microsoft Launcher 5.4 beta adds Cricket widget, Android Work Profile and more

Microsoft Launcher cards
Microsoft Launcher cards (Image credit: Windows Central)

The Microsoft Launcher for Android has both a public release and also an ongoing beta – it's that latter one that today is getting a refresh with a few new features.

Version 5.4.0 is now live for those enrolled in the beta program and with comes a few new features worth calling out:

  • Try out our new Cricket widget to keep track of your favorite teams in the Cricket World Cup! (available in GB, PK, AU, and IN)
  • Improvements to Status bar and System Navigation to match the theme
  • Android Work Profile customers can view Personal and Work apps separately in the App Drawer.
  • Bug fixes and performance improvements

Besides the above, Gorden Lin, who works on the Microsoft Launcher Team notes (opens in new tab) "we are also experimenting with some new UI changes across different parts of Launcher, so you might see some of new UI in your own version of 5.4 when upgraded".

Overall, this is more of a smaller, tidying up update, but things like Android Work Profile improvements and a Cricket widget are welcomed additions, even if more niche.

If you're not part of the Microsoft Launcher for Android beta program, it's easy to get started.

Once enrolled and the system has added you the beta version will just come through the Google Play Store as a regular update to your existing Microsoft Launcher app.

See at Google Play (opens in new tab)

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

  • I really want to use MS Launcher, but it runs like cr@p on my Note 9. It regularly hangs and it's just sluggish. Giving feedback is, of course, a waste. I give it a try every once and a while, but when I switch back to Nova I realize how slow it was.
  • I have no issues running on my Note 9. Fluid and fast for me.
  • That blows, have an A5 and an S8 both run it really well, neither has the kick of the note, but be an incompatibility with that particular handset.
  • I am using the Huawei P20 Pro and it works like a charm!
  • It could be due to the Aggressive battery savings in the Note 9 that came with the One UI. Make sure you the OS isn't putting MSL to sleep. You may have to remove it from the Sleeping apps section.
  • MS Launcher is sometimes sluggish on my Note 5, much worse than Nova Launcher, which just flies. The battery saving is very aggressive but that's not enough to explain it.
  • One annoying problem I have is it keeps creating new start screen pages.
  • I HATE this!
  • I have the international version of Note 9 and it works very well. It has hanged on me but very few times. I tried Nova launcher but switched back to Ms launcher soon after.
  • Still using Roboto as main font? Then, big NOP for me.
  • They noted how the Roboto font saves them a few MB in data for the app package, part of the process of trying to keep Launcher lean.
  • Probably. But those few mb saved, is what made some people, including me, to stay with the last version with Segoe ui installed. Remembered to install the update that premiered Roboto as new font. I couldn't stand it. Home screen looked ugly, cold, unfriendly, and uninstalled the whole launcher 5 minutes after updated.
  • I have a lowly Moto G5+ and the launcher runs like a champ on it.
  • Everything runs like a champ on a Moto. But they don't cost $1000 and lack an Apple logo, so they're not very popular.
  • Works great on my Moto G4 Play also. Only time it ever appears sluggish is when a new version first installs.
  • I used to love it, being able to tap/hold the home key and tell Cortana to remind me of something. Now instead it creates a ToDo reminder. With that, I had a choice. Clear the Cortana reminder on my phone, my laptop, and my work PC, and then clear the ToDo reminders on my phone, my laptop, and my work PC... So I uninstalled the ToDo app from all three places, and now I'm stuck with reminders that don't remind. Why do we have to go backwards, Microsoft???
  • Roboto font is disgusting.
    Cortana voice assistant is still broken, crashing on startup. I have to use the standalone app.