I have been using Microsoft Launcher for over five months. Microsoft Launcher is one of the most downloaded launchers. An upgrade project of Microsoft Garage Arrow Launcher, it comes with a wide range of features, including Cortana, Feed, Dock, Daily Bing Wallpaper etc.
Within three years, over 10 million users have installed Microsoft Launcher, and with 4.6 ratings it competes with significant launchers out there. As I have been using Microsoft Launcher on my Nokia 8 for over seven months now and I think everyone should know of this launcher before installing. The blog post is the ultimate review of Microsoft Launcher on my Nokia 8.
Microsoft Launcher review
Table of contents
After installing and setting up the first thing we see is Home Screen. Let’s find out some info and how to navigate. On the Home Screen, we have a Google and Bing Search Bar. Some apps available to open on the screen, while swiping right until the end opens Feed menu. Swiping up opens Apps Menu while swiping down opens the Search menu where you can search for installed apps as well as the web. The small transparent line below the Bing search opens Dock Menu.
The feature I like is the Bing daily wallpaper. It changes your home screen and lock screen wallpaper every day. You can also download the latest wallpapers and select them as your home and lock screen wallpapers.
Like Bixby Home on Samsung, Microsoft Launcher comes with Feed. On the top, you can see your account info with weather, rewards and calendar events. Below account info, we have Bing search bar which also supports camera search. Camera search allows to take a picture of an item or scan a barcode.
Feed menu comes with three menus named Glance, News and Timeline. Glance contains cards including Calendar, Cortana. Recent activities, People, Tips and much more. You can also add and delete cards. The second menu is News, in which you can stay up-to-date with local and international news. The third one is Timeline, which tracks your activities and puts them all together. Feed menu comes in handy in checking events, news, favourite apps and timeline. You can enable and disable Feed in the settings next to the search bar.
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The best thing about Microsoft Launcher is it sorts the new and recent apps on the top. As you download new apps, the launcher places them on the top and the same with the recent apps. On my Nokia 8, the launcher brings old apps menu look. On the right, we have a column to choose the initial for the app which I barely use because of the search bar on the top. Search finds the app you are looking for instantly.
Other than that, you can change menu settings, hide apps, hide recent apps section and even select multiple apps to add to the home screen. Holding an app shows you extra options. Some of the apps support these options. The standard options like uninstall the app, find related widgets, add to home and select multiple apps options are hidden in that three dots menu.
The Dock is another excellent tool in Microsoft Launcher. On the home screen, you can quickly access favourite apps and settings by swiping up on the line below the Bing Search bar. Apps like Google Play, Phone, Messages, Camera etc. with settings like Wi-Fi, Airplane Mode, Bluetooth, Torch, Mobile Data etc. can be opened from Dock. The feature is similar to iOS’s Control Center, but the look and feel are different. You can customise Dock in “Personalization settings” menu.
Without the settings, Microsoft Launcher review is not useful. You can change themes in the launcher. It comes with Light, Dark, and Transparent theme options. With Light theme, you get a white coloured background, with Dark, you get black coloured, and with Transparent, the background is always visible. You can change the background blur, transparency, opacity, and the accent colour in the settings.
Smart Gesture is another excellent tool, which enables an advanced level of customisation options. With Smart Gestures, you can specify the tasks on touch, swipe, double touch/swipe, pinch tasks on the home screen. For example, in the above GIF, the search screen display on double touch on the home screen.
The launcher comes with excellent settings to customise. We can change the swipe gestures, Cortana, find the settings, personalise the theme, apps, Feed, and Dock. Other than that, Microsoft has managed to make it easier to connect the phone with PC. The tool Continue on PC syncs the data. For example, if you are working on a document, and tap/click Continue on PC it would open an app in the browser on PC, and you can continue working on PC. The technology is limited and only works with limited apps, but soon we can see cool apps connecting to PC quickly and without a cord.
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Watch the below video for more of Microsoft Launcher. The video covers most of the features of this launcher.
From daily wallpaper to personalisation settings, we have options to customise and personalise the launcher. I hope the post Microsoft Launcher review helped. Thanks for having a read. Which launcher do you use? Have you tried Microsoft Launcher? Please share your experience with us so we can discuss more.
Image information: Images used in this text are the screenshot of the app. A screenshot is most likely copyright of the app owner. The post was last modified by Madhsudhan on 7/Nov/2019.
Hello, my name is Madhsudhan Khemchandani. I’m a Software Engineer, graduated from UniSA, Adelaide. I’m the owner, author, and maintainer of this post and the site. Please contact me if you have any questions or feedback.