Microsoft Launcher 5.0 Brings Timeline Support, Other New Features

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By Kristijan Lucic November 09, 2018, 4:09am
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Microsoft has just started rolling out Microsoft Launcher 5.0. This is a rather large update which has been in beta for about a month now, so if you’ve used its beta version, you know exactly what to expect here. This update is now available to download via the Google Play Store, though as it’s usually the case, it may not be available to everyone this very second, as this is a staged rollout, same as with every other app in the Play Store, basically. In any case, the most notable change in Microsoft Launcher 5.0 is the addition of Timeline support. With Timeline, you’re able to see your activities on your smartphones via your computer, and from one of your Android handset, on other Android handsets, if you have more than one that is in use, of course. You do need to be using Microsoft Launcher as your main launcher, though, it needs to be activated, and you also need to be logged in with the same Microsoft account on both your PC and Android smartphone(s), that is understandable. The main reason behind the addition of this feature is the fact that you can now only see everything that you’ve been doing on each of your devices, no matter if it’s a smartphone or a PC, and that you can continue working exactly where you left off, so if you start editing something on your phone, you can continue on your PC without a problem.

Timeline is the most notable change in Microsoft Launcher 5.0, but it’s not the only one. In addition to that, Microsoft Launcher 5.0 also brings a new Feed layout to the table, which introduces separate tabs for News, Glance, and Timeline. The company is also allowing the users of Microsoft Launcher 5to access their Feed settings from the top of the Feed, for easier access. If you flip to the news tab, you will see content filtered by Microsoft News, and that tab basically replaces the old news widget that was in use for a while now. There are two additional changes that this update brings, it enables you to send e-mails with multi-turn emailing using Cortana, which can be useful if you’re using Cortana in general, while the company has also included a new family-related feature which will allow parents to see the location of their kids at all times, which can be quite useful if you have younger kids and like to know their whereabouts at all times. Those are pretty much all the changes that were introduced with the Microsoft Launcher 5.0, and we’ve also included a link to download this launcher / update via the Play Store, the link is included below the article.

Background: Microsoft Launcher 5.0 has been in beta for about a month now, and even though beta worked just fine once it launched, Microsoft wanted to iron it out by squashing some remaining bugs before pushing it to the stable channel. The Microsoft Launcher is a solid alternative to whatever you’re using on your device at the moment, as it offers a slightly different approach than any other launcher out there. You will still get your home screen, and app drawer, but thanks to this tabbed layout of the Microsoft Launcher, it will feel completely different, not to mention how useful this new Timeline feature is, especially if you’re often jumping from your PC to your phone, and vice versa. Microsoft Launcher is also quite customizable, it allows you to change your wallpaper, theme and accents colors, while it comes with support for both icon packs and gestures. You can personalize your feed if you want to, as it can show you a ton of info, including your upcoming appointments, contacts, documents, etc. This launcher also comes with a built-in search feature, and its search can actually search both your smartphone and the web at the same time, so no matter if you’re looking for a contact, documents, or something online, you’re good to go. Microsoft Launcher has been around for a long, long time, but it was not called ‘Microsoft Launcher’ from the get-go. If this launcher seems familiar, it’s probably because you used it at some point or another under the name ‘Arrow Launcher’. The company has decided to rebrand that launcher back in October 2017, so over a year ago, and since then, the launcher changes quite a bit in terms of functionality, as the company has pushed quite a few updates to it since then.

Impact: There are a ton of really good launchers for Android available in the Google Play Store, and Microsoft Launcher is one of them. If you’re looking for a somewhat different approach to your regular Android usage, Microsoft Launcher is a really solid offering, but there are quite a few that may attract your attention, launchers like the Nova Launcher, Action Launcher, ASAP Launcher, Niagara Launcher, Smart Launcher… and so on. All of those launchers are unique in some way, and offer their very own set of features. The Nova Launcher is quite probably the best-known Android launcher out there, and the most used one, while ASAP Launcher and Niagara Launcher are a lot newer than Nova Launcher. ASAP Launcher and Niagara Launcher, for example, offer a lot simpler approach than Nova Launcher or Microsoft Launcher. Niagara Launcher brings you a list of your apps on the right side of the display, and you can scroll through that list your right thumb, and that’s pretty much it. You can set some favorites on the home screen, on the other side of your home screen, that is, but other than that, it doesn’t really go into detail when it comes to customization, or anything of the sort. It all depends on what you prefer, if you like to tweak your phone quite a bit, launchers like Nova Launcher, Action Launcher, and Microsoft Launcher are for you, if not, then you should be on the lookout for some simpler offerings, such as ASAP Launcher, Smart Launcher, and Niagara Launcher.

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November 09, 2018, 4:09am
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