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Microsoft Launcher beta gets adaptive icons, hidden dock option, more

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

What you need to know

  • Microsoft Launcher version 5.5 is now available for beta testers.
  • The update brings new features like adaptive icons that can be matched in shape and size, along with the ability to hide your dock.
  • Other tweaks include adjustments for accessing shortcuts when your home screen is locked, faster Tasks card syncing, and more.

Microsoft today pushed out a new version of the Microsoft launcher beta for Android, bringing with it several new features. The update bumps the version number up to 5.5 and includes handy additions like adaptive icons and the ability to hide the dock on your home screen.

Adaptive icons are particularly interesting, as they allow you to assign one shape and size to all of your icons so they match across the system. Meanwhile, hiding your dock can save space while making it accessible with a swipe up from the bottom of your screen.

Here's a full look at the release notes for Microsoft Launcher beta 5.5:

  • Adaptive Icons- Choose one icon shape for all your apps.
  • Hidden Dock- It's back! You can set the dock to be hidden and still access apps and widgets.
  • UX adjustments for accessing shortcuts when the home screen is locked.
  • Get notification badges for calling and messaging apps without setting Microsoft Launcher as your default assistant. Set Launcher as your default assistant for better accuracy.
  • Faster Tasks card syncing for MSA and work/school accounts.

This follows an update Microsoft Launcher received in April that added several new features, including a new design for the weather widget, better Microsoft To-Do integration, and much more.

These updates are available now for beta testers with an update available on Google Play. If you're not already a beta tester, you can opt in from Microsoft Launcher's Google Play page to test them out. Otherwise, Microsoft has been fairly consistent with quickly pushing new features to the release version, so they should arrive for everyone before long.

See at Google Play (opens in new tab)

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Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to daniel.thorp-lancaster@futurenet.com.

13 Comments
  • So they took away the hidden dock? Here I was thinking that my phone messed up.
  • When Microsoft Will release landscape mode?
  • they should fix multi touch issues on Samsung phones. have to press on an app multiple times. frustrating 😡 😤
  • Don't have that problem with my S9+
    Have you tried a reboot?
  • I turned off the dock completely on my Huawei test device.
  • Finally, all-square icons! This Windows Phone diehard feels much more at home with this option. Too bad a lot of companies cheated and only have circular icons in their apps (Cortana, Dropbox, HERE Maps, Microsoft Teams, SwiftKey). Bring "live tiles" like Squarehome and I'm ready to make the jump for good.
  • I use Launcher 10, which I like a lot better than Squarehome. For me it's an exact mimic of Windows 10 Mobile, with swiping left to get to all the apps along with touching one of the letters to bring up the alphabet to quickly jump to a different letter. I wish they would come out with an App for contacts and music that works the same way.
  • I'm using Launcher 10 as well. I tried SquareHome. It's a great launcher with huge amounts of configurability but it misses out on some of the things that are just really handy for someone with reduced vision and giant hands. One doesn't realize just how tiny that alphabet thing SquareHome/contacts/etc uses unless you are used to something cleaner.
  • I hope that one they a phone will run with this launcher as basic launcher
  • About time they added the hidden dock back. I can finally (when they push it to public) use it again!
  • I've been switching back and forth between ms launcher and square home. Gotta say I like square home more. Love to see MSFT build a contacts app.
  • Adaptive icon! Yes!
  • I got Ask Alexa feature as well. or is it available already for others in previous updates or a region thing?