Earlier this month, Microsoft launched a new version of its Microsoft Launcher application for Android. Moving to version 5.0, the update brought plenty of new integrations and features. However, Microsoft has more planned for the Launcher, with version 5.1 now available to beta users in preview.
With this latest release, Microsoft Launcher is getting a digital health feature. Users will be able to see screen uptime, app usage, and information such as when the device was unlocked. Microsoft Launcher will display stats from 24 hours or the last week, depending on user choice.
This feature represents another step of functionality for the Launcher as it increasingly becomes a one-stop-shop for Android users. Users may recognize the functionality of the digital health feature as it closely resembles Apple's iPhone Screen Time or Android's Digital Wellbeing services.
Digital information is displayed on the Microsoft Launcher 5.1 in cards that appear on the right of the feed. Users can expand the cards to seem more detail on app and device usages.
Launcher 5.1 will also bring integration with Microsoft's Sticky Notes feature. This is a service the company has been spending a lot of time on this year. That love has transformed something of a gimmick service into something very useful.
When Microsoft Launcher 5.1 arrives, it will bring Sticky Notes to Android users for the first time. Microsoft has discussed bringing the feature to Google's platform, but we are not sure if this is that integration or whether a full Android Sticky Notes app will arrive later.
In terms of Launcher releases, version 5.1 will be the last major feature roll out of 2018. We guess Microsoft will send out improvement updates, like the one rolled out this week. However, in terms of new tools, version 5.1 is the last feature list of the year.
As mentioned, this update is currently available in preview, but will come to the Play Store in the next few weeks.