Microsoft recently added an interesting health focused feature to its Android Launcher. The Digital Health feature appears similar to the Digital Wellbeing section that’s inbuilt in the latest Android 9 Pie Operating System.
Microsoft has introduced its own approach to monitor app usage times and make users aware of the smartphone use. The feature comes with the Microsoft Android Launcher, an intra-OS navigation ecosystem that essentially replaces the inbuilt launcher. The feature is already available, but Microsoft’s methodology appears to be rather innovative as its backwards compatible.
Microsoft Android Launcher Gets Digital Health Feature
Microsoft recently updated its Microsoft Android launcher. It is a free and multifaceted replacement to the inbuilt launcher that ships with most of the Android smartphones. The Microsoft Launcher is currently on version 5.1. Incidentally, Microsoft Launcher 5.1 is available immediately to download on the Google Play Store. However, the latest version in still in its beta phase. Microsoft has indicated that the launcher’s final stable release will be rolling out to all users in the coming weeks.
The 5.1 update to Microsoft Launcher includes some interesting and practical features. They include To-Do and Sticky Notes integration. In other words, users can easily sync their tasks and notes that were previously separated in different apps.
Microsoft Launcher 5.1 has a built in Digital Health feature :O pic.twitter.com/J6mj97QS04
— Zac Bowden (@zacbowden) November 21, 2018
However, the most important feature Microsoft included in the latest update has to be the ‘Digital Health’. The feature sounds quite similar to the Digital Wellbeing feature that comes bundled with the latest Android 9 Pie update. However, Microsoft’s approach to the feature has a big advantage. Microsoft Launcher works on Android 4.2 and above. With the launcher itself sporting the feature, majority of the Android smartphone users, irrespective of the Android version their smartphone runs on, can benefit from the Digital Health feature.
The Digital Health works similar to the Digital Wellbeing feature. Users can easily tack screen-on time, dive into the app usage statistics, and even know the number of times they have simply unlocked the Android handset. Interestingly, Microsoft is even adding “Hey Cortana” support to launch the digital assistant from this Android launcher. In other words, installing the latest Microsoft Android launcher will surely increase the integration of Microsoft services and the Android ecosystem.
Microsoft Android-Focused Endeavors
Microsoft has been trying hard to enhance its presence and boost its products’ integration within the Android ecosystem. Needless to add, Microsoft no longer has an expansive mobile operating system usage base. Hence it is attempting to push synergy with the most commonly used mobile operating systems in the world: Android and iOS.
Recently, Microsoft indicated it wants to route calls from smartphones to the speakers that are connected to a desktop or laptop running Windows 10 OS. It is also developing Movies and TV app for iOS and Android platforms.
The Microsoft Launcher, which was previously known as the Arrow Launcher, is an interesting, capable and powerful launcher replacement for Android smartphones. Also, apart from offering fine control over several aspects of the smartphone, the launcher has several family-focused features. It even offers support for the popular Windows 10 Timeline feature that lets users resume their apps and websites across several connected or linked devices.
Incidentally, the Google’s Digital Wellbeing feature is available as a standalone app that interested Android smartphone users can download from the Google Play Store. Also, the app recently exited the beta testing phase.