Microsoft Launcher beta picks up new family feature, Edge improvements

Microsoft Launcher is shipping out another new set of features for beta testers to check out on Android. And like other recent updates to the launcher, this one focuses on a new family feature and some smaller tweaks here and there.

One of the biggest pieces of this update is the ability for parents to now choose which kids to show or hide on the family card. This builds off of the foundation of a relatively new family safety feature Microsoft recently added, which allows parents to keep an eye on their kids' activity on Android phones running launcher, along with Windows PCs and Xbox consoles.

Microsoft Launcher

Other new bits include general improvements to reading news articles in Microsoft Edge, support for multi-turn SMS and calling with Cortana, and more. Here's a look at all of what's new:

  • Family: parents can show/hide kids in the Family card;
  • Improvements to reading news articles with Microsoft Edge browser;
  • Toggle to hide page indicator on home screen;
  • Cortana: support multi-turn SMS + calling;
  • UI improvements: welcome page, settings page, widgets & context menu;
  • Support for removing screens in overview mode via drag & drop

If you're enrolled as a beta tester, you can grab all of what's new in Microsoft Launcher version 4.11 now on Google Play. And if you aren't yet giving the beta a go, you can sign up to become a tester (opens in new tab). Otherwise, version 4.11 should be rolling out to the general release for everyone soon, is testing goes well.

See at Google Play (opens in new tab)

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

  • Pardon my ignorance on this, but what the heck is 'multi-turn SMS'?
  • I was thinking the same
  • I want to know as well...
  • I can guarantee, the author doesn't know and didn't bother to find out.
  • That's SUPPOSED to be the ability that we have enjoyed on Windows phones from the beginning. We can respond back and forth via txt as well as have multiple sentences (e.g. "Send it, add more, or try again?"). Sadly, none of this is completely hands-free. Which is one of the biggest reasons I'm sticking with Windows phones until the bitter end.
  • As a former Windows Phone user, I can certainly see your point. On Android, I suggest an app called Drivemode. Works great, and does what Cortana used to do on Windows Phone, and more.
  • It only does a small portion of what Windows phones do. I need Cortana to be hands-free, ALL the time, regardless of whether I'm attached to a Bluetooth device. This is where ANY other platform fails.
  • As a former Windows Phone user, I feel your pain. Drivemode in the car, however, does what Cortana used to, and more. It allows integration of multiple texting apps, not just SMS. You can use it with Slack, Skype, Whatapp, whatever. It will allow you to listen, reply, etc. It works great. I suggest you try it, as opposed to immediately discounting it. I'm not affiliated with them, but I searched for along time to replicate the WP car experience. Drivemode is great.
  • DRDiver that makes at least 2 of us using windows phones in our cars hands free until the bitter end. ;-)
  • If you have used Windows Phone 7/8 or Windows 10 Mobile then you should know what multi-turn SMS is.
  • Why is that? I have, and I have no idea what it is... And DRdiver's reply didn't help either - still drawing a blank.
  • Seriously, Manus? I don't believe you've used Cortana in a full hands-free mode. It's impossible that you've done that and NOT experience the joy of 100% voice-only texting.
  • Of course I haven't; I'm not from the States - nothing Cortana-related works around here...
  • Actually no - but after explaination above it was clear.
    Only one of the many features W10m had over Crapdroid.
  • Is there anything that forces a child/teen to continue using MS Launcher on Android?
  • Parents? Or am I being naive?
  • No. not that I can think of. Perhaps you can lock down the store from them.
  • Due to horrible to non-existent user management in Android - no.
  • Can we pin specific OneNote pages yet? I can't believe a simple feature like that can only be done in the pixel launcher to date
  • In squarehome i can do this also.
  • Cool. I might give that a try then. Thanks
  • Who lives in Worcester? Is windowscentral written from Massachusetts?
  • Can someone explain to me how to turn on the Multi-Turn SMS option in the launcher? I cannot find this setting anywhere.
  • Had to uninstall Microsoft Launcher after ongoing notification badge issues with Messages and other apps. I miss some of the Cortana/neat UI elements of MS Launcher, but I certainly like my app icons working like designed as well.