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Microsoft Launcher beta gets new icon gestures and family controls

Microsoft Launcher beta testers are getting a small batch of new features to check out this week with the app's latest update. Rolling out now, the update adds new custom gesture controls for app icons and folders, updates to the relatively new family card, and more.

The most notable addition is that of custom gesture controls for apps. To get started with them, you can tap and hold on an icon or folder as if you were going to edit it. From there, you can select an option to add an action to take when swiping up from the icon. Once set, you'll be able to use the swipe gesture on that icon to take the action you set.

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There are also some smaller tweaks tagging along here, including general UI and animation adjustments and full support for Android O. Here's a look at all of what's new:

  • Folder and app icon gestures (swipe to open or click to launch).
  • Choose how to use the last row of expanded dock: Apps, pinned contacts, folders, search bar or widgets;
  • Parents can enable web filtering through the Family card.
  • Folders in the app drawer are now sorted alphabetically.
  • UI improvements: Animation adjustments; blur effect as an option; App badges in the app drawer;
  • Fully support Android O and remove support for 4.0.X and 4.1

If you're enrolled in the Microsoft Launcher beta, you should be able to grab this update now as version 4.12. If testing goes well, we should see these features hit the release version relatively soon.

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  • Add the option to get the Google feed to the left of home screen like on Pixel, Nova or action launcher, then it'll be my daily driver launcher. Unfortunately never going to happen ☹️ And no I don't want to add a widget instead.
  • Gestures for apps/folders is THE last thing I was missing from Nova Launcher. Very exciting, MS has been really on their A-game with this launcher and improving it rapidly. Just tried this out and it works perfectly, very similar to Nova. You can do shortcuts, launch specific apps, or various launcher functions like launch the 1st app in the folder, open app drawer, and a bunch more. The only thing I'd like to see is the icon change to the first app when the "first item in folder" option is chosen. You can do this manually by changing the folder's icon, but that's a little bit more work. Highly highly recommend this launcher, now even more so after today.
  • Yes - Microsoft has really made a serious impact with their launcher - they have spent some quality time developing it - Much more than Google has with theirs. I have Nova as a primary launcher - with Microsoft as a alternative. And the Gap is closing... fast.
  • Awesome update that added the last 2 missing features for me. Firstly the option to change the quick toggles in the dock to another row of apps, contacts or search bar and secondly added optional icon swipe shortcuts. That's just made Nova completely redundant to me. MS Launcher is pretty much perfect now
  • I miss Windows Phone but it is good to see Microsoft still making positive contributions to mobile software.