Microsoft updates Android launcher with dark mode, custom icons and daily wallpapers

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Microsoft has updated its Launcher app for Android to version 6, giving the software a great visual overhaul and performance upgrade in addition to its existing functionality.

Version 6 of Launcher has a new application icon, a dark mode, a daily wallpaper function (provided by Bing), customizable icons and it now also works in landscape orientation. There’s also a custom news feed that updates throughout the day, and general performance improvements, including faster charging and reduced battery drain, thanks to a new code base.

The app is available for download here from the Google Play Store, and you can read more about the changes in Microsoft’s blog on launch here.

The main purpose of the Launcher app is to ease the transition between tasks on Android and Windows devices.
Image: Microsoft

The Launcher app has always been an exciting experience for Microsoft, giving the company a position on the world’s largest mobile platform and a place to explore how Windows integrates with Android. But this latest update seems to set the stage for Microsoft’s most ambitious Android launch: the dual-screen Surface Duo.

Microsoft unveiled the Surface Duo last year and announces that it will launch the device, which runs on Android, in late 2020. The new Launcher app looks like a test for some of the device’s aesthetics , and the inclusion of a landscape mode makes sense for the Dual Screen Duo. If you want to get a glimpse of what Microsoft will do with its first Android device, the Launcher Update app is a good start.

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