Microsoft would probably the spotlight this month if it unveils its dual-screen Surface Duo. If the disappointing rumors are true, it won’t be happening any time soon but there’s no reason fans can’t get an appetizer of that experience. And, no, it’s not via the official SDK emulator. Microsoft has just launched v6 of the Microsoft Launcher for all Android devices but especially for the upcoming Android-based Surface Duo.
Of course, the Microsoft Launcher has been around for quite a while now and at one point in time was even called the Arrow Launcher. Recent developments, however, seem to be geared towards making it a better fit for something more than a phone or just a tablet. Landscape mode, for example, will be great for a device that is practically a tablet split in half.
The new Personalized news panel is also something that was just recently demonstrated on the Surface Duo emulator. It’s definitely good news that it won’t be exclusive to that device and it can be used even on phones with only one screen.
Of course, there are tons of features that will work on any Android device, though that still depends on what version of Android you’re running. The dark theme settings, for example, is only compatible with phones running Android 8.0 Oreo or higher, which is hopefully what most Android devices run on these days. That said, Microsoft Launcher is compatible with Android 7.0 Nougat as well.
Microsoft also notes that some Android features may not work properly, like full-screen navigation depending on the phone model. There might also be some sync issues with Sticky Notes but hopefully, those have been synced to Microsoft OneNote. Microsoft Launcher v6 should be rolling out now but since it’s a public release, Microsoft warns it might take time to reach all markets.