Microsoft Launcher has netted a significant update on its beta ring, pushing the version to 4.13. It brings improvements to Cortana, calendar, animations, and more, presenting a more refined experience.
Still, Cortana is the main focus here. The digital assistant has received a couple of new features that will be particularly helpful to parents or drivers. In 4.13, you can ask Cortana to read incoming text messages aloud, which will be a huge help if your hands aren’t free or you have vision issues.
This SMS feature actually debuted on Android a few months ago, with Microsoft working on slowly bringing most of the assistant’s functionality to its launcher.
Users can also ask Cortana, “where are my kids?” to find their location via the launcher’s tracking. The child just needs a phone with Microsoft Launcher installed and a link to their parent’s account.
Full Microsoft Launcher 4.13 Changelog
Joining it are several smaller quality of life improvements and tweaks to widgets, which no longer have headers in the launcher feed. Here’s the full list:
- “Now you can drag and drop widgets to and from the Launcher Feed. Widgets also no longer have card headers when placed in the Feed.
- Tuning fixes for new app drawer animation.
- Updates to the calendar card let you add a new event with one click when you no longer have any more events for the day.
- Cortana now supports en-IN.”
For the unfamiliar, ‘en-IN’ refers to Cortana support in India, which has been a long time coming. As mentioned earlier, you’ll need the beta version of the app to use these features. There are usually a couple of bugs, but you can sign up here if you’re interested.