Microsoft Launcher is among the company's most successful applications on Google's Android platform. As such, the company ensures it is evolving with regular new features. Today, Microsoft is rolling out a new beta release for the Launcher, making some interesting changes to the app.
Version 4.12 (beta) of the Microsoft Launcher brings a couple of new features and some general improvements. For example, Cortana is now available to users in the en-IN (English Indian) market.
Microsoft says there is a caveat with this availability. This en-IN Cortana integration is still very much in testing and will not be rolled out in the full release of version 4.12 in the next few weeks. End users not beta testing the app will have to wait a little longer for the support.
It is worth pointing out that Microsoft Launcher is also cutting support for some Android builds. Through version 4.12, the app will no longer support Android 4.0.x and 4.1 (Ice Cream Sandwich and early Jelly Bean builds).
Version 4.12 Changes
With that cleaning out of the way, Microsoft Launcher is scoring some new features through version 4.12. Users can now set their own app and folder gestures. From the settings screen, configuring a swipe or click to launch a service is now available.
The last row of the expanded dock is now more customizable with the ability to add widgets, folders, apps, or contacts.
In terms of interaction and navigation, the launcher now has more animation fluidity when dragging applications. A blur effect as been added to the home screen, although users can deselect this option through settings.
Finally, application badges are now visible in the frequent app cards and app drawer. The latter now displays apps alphabetically.