Microsoft Launcher Preview, a sort of an Alpha test version of the next version of the app was announced back in January. The version tested in the preview brings major changes to the launcher and is built on a completely new codebase that brings features such as landscape view. However, some capabilities and functionality from the current version were notably missing in the preview, likely due to the build being based on new code.
Now, a few screenshots from Twitter user Alessandro (spotted by XDA Developers) show some features that will likely make it to the Launcher which is currently being tested. While a recent update brought back the ability to manually switch between light and dark modes, it looks like the more granular settings for themes will make its return with an update to version 6. These include the ability to set the amount of blur and opacity for the UI through a slider in the ‘Themes’ settings. This feature is currently present in the stable versions of the Launcher.
#Microsoft is working on bringing back the Themes option in Microsoft Launcher v6 👀— Alessandro (@alex193a) April 14, 2020
The UI is slightly different from the old version and only Dark and Light modes are currently available. pic.twitter.com/uQuzXJUFuN
Additionally, it looks like another feature that is making its return is the ability to backup and restore settings. The company hasn’t made it clear as to what the progression of the preview builds will be and has stated that pre-release builds in this channel may eventually make it to the stable version. The addition of these features might hint at a possible preparation to release version 6 to the Beta or even stable channels.
Those that wish to try out the Launcher Preview can head to the Play Store here to download the app. It will be interesting to see how the next version of the Microsoft Launcher shapes up. With the Redmond giant reportedly planning to launch its dual-screened Android-powered Surface Duo as early as this summer, it wont be surprising to see the Launcher evolve to adapt to dual screens so as to be used on that device.