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Microsoft Launcher brings new gestures and more to beta testers

Mircrosoft Launcher
Mircrosoft Launcher (Image credit: Daniel-Rubino/Windows Central)

A fresh Microsoft Launcher update is now available for beta testers, bringing a handful of small tweaks to check out. There aren't any major new features to check out here, but the update to version 4.9 does include some quality-of-life updates to help keep things more organized across the board.

At the top of the list of improvements is probably option to sort apps alphabetically in folders. You can also now display the names of apps and folders in the dock, and there are some handy new gestures to check out. Here's the full loo kat what's new in Microsoft Launcher beta 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

Microsoft Launcher has been gradually improving with several big updates over the past several months. Prior to today's update, beta testers got access to some Cortana improvements, along with newly supported languages and more. That update is also now available to the public as version 4.8. Here's a refresher on what's new for non-beta users:

  • Support app sorting for Korean/Japanese/Russian languages in app drawer ;
  • New first time experience for mobile connected users from Windows setting;
  • Cortana integration improvements:
    • Improve app launch experience;
    • supports more device settings like WiFi, flight mode, etc;
    • support navigation query;
  • Bug fixing, code clean up, crash fix and performance tuning

If you're enrolled as a beta tester, you can grab Microsoft Launcher version 4.9 now via Google Play. Otherwise, you can sign up to become a beta tester or just wait for the new features and fixes to make their way to the release version. These updates have typically moved through the beta process relatively quickly, so that process shouldn't take long.

See at Google Play

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.

6 Comments
  • Hi, since 4.8 (production), the option to set a lockscreen wallpaper has disappeared. I used to set the bing daily picture for the lockscreen only (like on W10M) ; is it back in this 4.9beta?
  • Hello, I'm on 4.8 (production) and I still see the option to set a lockscreen wallpaper. Found it under Change Wallpaper -> Select a Wallpaper -> <Select your Photo> -> Set -> Then you are presented with the option to set on Home Screen, Lock Screen or Both. If you set one on the lock screen it won't interfere with the home screen photo rotation if you have that set.
  • Thanks for your response. I had that UI before the 4.8 update, it's weird. Maybe I'll try to reset the app then. EDIT: no luck. Even after uninstall and reinstall, the lockscreen option has vanished from within the app o_O
  • Thanks but no thanks. It is a good launcher but, I prefer the pure Vanilla Android experience of the Essential Phone instead.
  • I'd like to display app names within folders (and the folder name itself aswell), if names on the home screen itself are being hidden. Hope Microsoft will implement that in the future.
  • How about adding Live Tiles? That was one of the best features of Windows Phone!