Forget beta testing; you can test out alpha features for Microsoft Launcher with this preview app.
What you need to know
- Microsoft released an early access version of Microsoft Launcher Preview.
- The app includes features like landscape mode and is built off a new codebase.
- This version of Microsoft Launcher aims to use less memory and battery.
Microsoft released an early access version of Microsoft Launcher Preview (via MSPU). The app allows people to test out early-stage features such as landscape mode. This version of Microsoft Launcher is separate from the beta version that was already available.
Microsoft points out in the app’s description that it built this version of Microsoft Launcher off a new codebase. This allows features like landscape mode to work and also improves performance over previous versions, including low memory utilization and battery optimization.
While this version has features that the public and beta versions of Microsoft Launcher do not, it’s also missing some features. Microsoft states that “this version only contains a subset of the standard features from the main app.” Having a subset of features at this stage makes sense as Microsoft built the app of a new codebase and will need time to add a full feature list. Also, an alpha app like this might not require all features to fulfill Microsoft’s purpose for it.
The launcher feels largely similar to other versions of Microsoft Launcher, with landscape mode seeming like the most noticeable difference at this time. When you rotate your phone, the apps rearrange to landscape mode, and the dock flips to a column for easy access to docked apps.
Microsoft Launcher Preview (Early Access)
Free at Google Play Store
This early access version of Microsoft Launcher allows you to test out features like landscape mode. It’s also built of a new codebase, so it should use less memory and battery than other versions of Microsoft Launcher.