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Microsoft Launcher 5.7 beta introduces conversational UI for Cortana

Microsoft has consistently been rolling out updates to its Launcher on Android, and today, version 5.7 is being made available to users testing the beta version. The latest release includes a handful of improvements, most notably a new experience for Cortana.

The new look for the voice assistant seems to be inspired by the conversational improvements shown off back at Build, showing off more of the conversation between Cortana and the user. This is also seen in the Cortana beta app that showed up on the Microsoft Store a few weeks ago. The new experience is only available for users in the United States and only in English, a typical move by Microsoft.

In addition to the Cortana improvements, there are some changes to the Feed section of the launcher. The tabs, previously shown at the top and accessible via swipe gestures, are now at the bottom, and users need to tap each section to switch to it. This falls in line with the design language used by Google's own apps, including Phone and Files by Google.

The changelog also mentions improvements to the experience when dragging icons on the home screen, but we haven't been able to spot any changes in that regard. It is worth noting, however, that app icons have become comically small after the update, and settings to resize them don't seem to be fully functional.

Naturally, issues are to be expected with beta releases of any product, so you may want to leave the beta program if you find this hard to deal with. If you haven't yet, you can download Microsoft Launcher from the Play Store.

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