Microsoft Launcher beta gets new icon gestures and family controls

Microsoft Launcher beta testers are getting a small batch of new features to check out this week with the app's latest update. Rolling out now, the update adds new custom gesture controls for app icons and folders, updates to the relatively new family card, and more.

The most notable addition is that of custom gesture controls for apps. To get started with them, you can tap and hold on an icon or folder as if you were going to edit it. From there, you can select an option to add an action to take when swiping up from the icon. Once set, you'll be able to use the swipe gesture on that icon to take the action you set.

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There are also some smaller tweaks tagging along here, including general UI and animation adjustments and full support for Android O. Here's a look at all of what's new:

  • Folder and app icon gestures (swipe to open or click to launch).
  • Choose how to use the last row of expanded dock: Apps, pinned contacts, folders, search bar or widgets;
  • Parents can enable web filtering through the Family card.
  • Folders in the app drawer are now sorted alphabetically.
  • UI improvements: Animation adjustments; blur effect as an option; App badges in the app drawer;
  • Fully support Android O and remove support for 4.0.X and 4.1

If you're enrolled in the Microsoft Launcher beta, you should be able to grab this update now as version 4.12. If testing goes well, we should see these features hit the release version relatively soon.

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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

  • Really love this launcher 👍
  • So do I... @Hans Can't wait for timeline to be integrated
  • Same here about Timeline!
  • Finally got the 3rd row of apps in the dock that I've been nagging about for over a year. Bonus that they added the icon swipe shortcuts. Couldn't be happier with MS Launcher now.
  • I made the switch to Android three weeks ago, very impressed with the OS and especially the Microsoft integration. I like the launcher but have nothing to compare it to really... as it was the first thing I installed. :D And today Waze was finally added to Android Auto (which I didn't use because it didn't have Waze)!
  • Give Squarehome a try ... so much better as a launcher. It fixes some of the information lack of all the other Android Launchers.
  • I'll check it out this weekend, Thank you @Urbautz
  • Launcher10 is the launcher which most closely matches Windows 10 mobile... I alternate between this and Blackberry Launcher on my KeyOne...
  • Have tried last several versions and found MS Launcher drains battery about 50% faster than when it is not installed. Also found Cortana voice integration very annoying, it would activate while the phone was not in use and tell me " I didn't get that" for no reason. Edge though is much faster than Chrome on Android because of ad blocking being built in.
  • Well, to be fair, that's pretty much how Cortana works on Win Mobile as well. I seem to spend half of my time these days closing out Cortana when it launches for no apparent reason. Hence, why I just ordered an Android phone and am going to make an attempt at switching.
  • Does the traffic of the comments section here reflect the interest in this product?