Microsoft Launcher beta updated with first family safety feature

Since its launch last year, Microsoft has been quick to roll out new features to Microsoft Launcher for Android. With the latest update headed out to beta users, the company has now turned its attention to parents, adding its first family safety feature.

If you're a beta tester, you can now download Microsoft Launcher version 4.10, which includes a way to keep track of your kids' locations and app activity if they are running the launcher on their phones. The feature requires you to add family members to your Microsoft account to work. But once set up, it acts as a handy way to keep tabs on the kiddos from the main launcher feed, accessible with a right swipe from your home screen.

Here's a look at the official release notes:

Microsoft Family on Launcher: Parents with Launcher can now view last known location and app activity for their children's Android phones running Launcher! (Requires Android 4.4+ for parent devices and 5.0+ for child devices)

Microsoft also labels this as "phase 1." The company is planning to roll out more family features soon.

Beta testers aren't the only ones picking up a new set of features either. A new update is also rolling out to the release version of Microsoft Launcher with new gestures, the option to alphabetically sort apps in folders, and more. Here's a look at what's new with version 4.9:

  • Improved Home screen import logic
  • Sort your apps alphabetically in folders
  • Display names of apps or folders in your dock
  • Customizable gesture for pressing the Home button from the Home screen
  • New gesture option that lets you quickly lock your Home screen

If you're enrolled as a beta tester, you can pick up Microsoft Launcher version 4.10 via Google Play now to test the family safety feature. If you'd like to enroll, you can sign up to become a beta tester as well. Otherwise, version 4.9 is available for everyone now.

See at Google Play

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