Microsoft Launcher is the big M’s app launcher for Android mobiles. That app enables users to sync their mobiles with Windows desktops and laptops. Now the big M has released a new Microsoft Launcher 6.0 alpha version on Google Play.
The early access preview of Microsoft Launcher 6.0 has sprung up in Google Play with its own page listing. As it is an alpha version of the app, it is not entirely stable. Microsoft Launcher 6.0’s Google Play page includes a warning that says:
This is an alpha version of the Microsoft Launcher so as such some features may not work properly, or the experience may be unstable.
Nevertheless, the app is freely available and provides a glimpse of some of the new features Microsoft Launcher 6.0 will include. The app’s page states:
This version of Microsoft Launcher has been rebuilt on a new codebase to make new features possible – such as Dark Mode, Landscape Mode, and numerous performance improvements (speed to load, low memory utilization, battery optimization and fluent animation). Additionally, this version only contains a subset of the standard features from the main app.
The most notable new features in ML 6.0 are its Dark Mode and Landscape Mode. The Dark Mode is a new dark theme for Microsoft Launcher 6.0. It will add dark background to the app as shown in the snapshot directly below.
The Landscape Mode is another big new addition to Microsoft Launcher. Landscape Mode enables users to utilize the app with a horizontal mobile orientation. That mode will suit a lot more tablet users who usually hold tablets horizontally.
This is a big update for Microsoft Launcher in a year in which the big M will re-enter the mobile device industry with the Surface Duo. That is a foldable 2-in-1 smartphone and tablet based on an Android OS. However, Microsoft might refine the Android UI design a little bit. The Surface Duo’s home screen might be based on Microsoft Launcher 6.0.
Microsoft has not confirmed when exactly Microsoft Launcher 6.0 will move out of alpha (and then beta). For now, you can click the Install button on the Microsoft Launcher Preview page to try out the early access version. Alternatively, you can add the current version to your mobile by clicking Install on the Microsoft Launcher page.