Microsoft announced a new update for its popular Android Launcher today, just a couple of days after the version 4.10 became available for beta testers. Today's update is actually the phase 2 of this "major release," and after adding a Microsoft Family integration last week this latest version brings several new features including Visual Search, Microsoft Rewards integration, a new wallpaper experience as well as a new App drawer layout.
We’re not seeing this update yet on our own Android phones, but Microsoft’s Gorden Lin shared all the details about this release on the dedicated Google+ community:
- Microsoft Family: Parents with Microsoft Launcher can now view the last known location and activity report for their children across their Android phone, Windows PC and Xbox console! (Requires Android 4.4+ for parent devices and 5.0+ for child devices)
- Search: Introducing Visual Search. Use the camera function through the Launcher Search bar to capture images and intelligently recognize celebrities, landmarks, items, apparel and more!
- Microsoft Rewards (US only): Now Microsoft Rewards customers can see their Rewards balance in the Launcher Feed and earn points for using Bing Search through Microsoft Launcher;
- Wallpaper: UX improvements and bug fixes;
- UX improvements:
- support deleting documents through Documents card;
- welcome animation enhancements;
- Improvements to folder naming experience
- Additional crash/bug fixes
If you want to try these new features, you'll need to install this version from the Google Play Beta store. If you’re interested in testing the new Microsoft Family integration, we remind you that you’ll need first to set up your own at account.microsoft.com/family.