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New Microsoft Launcher beta brings more customization options, animation improvements

Microsoft has started testing a new version of its Android Launcher this week, and beta testers can now check out new customization options, improved animations and more. This 4.12 update is all about polishing the core features of the Microsoft Launcher while giving users a little more control over their Android home screen.

This new release also drops support for Android 4.0.x and 4.1, so if you’re still using this version of Android you’ll be stuck on the version 4.11 of the launcher going forward. For everyone else, here’s what’s new in Microsoft Launcher v4.12:

  • Set your own folder and app icon gestures (swipe to open or click to launch).
  • Choose how to use the last row of expanded dock. You can now place apps, pinned contacts, folders or widgets in place of the dock widgets.
  • Animation and app dragging improvements.
  • Parents can enable web filtering through the Family card.
  • Ability to enable/disable blur effect for home screens;
  • App badges now show up in the app drawer and frequent apps card/page.
  • Folders in the app drawer are now sorted alphabetically.
  • Removed support for Android 4.0.X and 4.1
  • Cortana: support en-IN market ( this feature will be only available in Beta user group for testing and will be turned off in public release build; );

This new update should be available soon to all users of the Microsoft Launcher, but if you can’t wait for the public release you can get the beta version today by signing up on the Google Play Beta Store. You’re also welcome to share your feedback about the Android launcher on the official Google+ community.

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What are your favorite new features in this new release?