Category Archives: Microsoft Launcher

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Microsoft gives parents peace of mind with new family features across devices – Windows Experience Blog

We live in a time of both great opportunity and great responsibility. Our children have access to more information, entertainment and more ways to connect than ever before, but with that comes plenty of new things that parents like you and I need to worry about and new ways to distract their attention. Today, we are excited to introduce new features that make it easier and safer for families to interact with technology and, each other, across devices and platforms.
Creating tools and features that empower both parents and kids has always been an important part of our work and is becoming increasingly vital, not only to us as a business, but to us as individuals – parents, aunts and uncles, siblings and friends. As a mother to a young and curious daughter, I deeply understand the need for tools to help balance the use of technology in the home as well as out of the home. It’s especially near and dear to me as leader of a team building experiences for mobile devices. We emphasize the idea of transparency as a guiding principle for these new experiences. Today, I am happy to share new features that will help create greater transparency between parent and child, as well as between Microsoft and parents in what to expect from our tools.

We’re bringing new features to the popular Microsoft Launcher app for Android with two new mobile experiences, currently in preview, that give parents more peace of mind for their family and a look at your child’s activity across their devices – Windows 10 PCs, Xbox One devices, and now their Android phone.
With Microsoft Launcher installed on your family’s Android devices and a Microsoft family group of accounts set up, parents can:
Stay up to date on kids’ whereabouts. At home and on the go, you can use Microsoft Launcher to get an update on your kids’ location and rest easier knowing they are safely where they should be. You can see your child’s (or children’s) last known location and time.
Be aware of which apps your kids are using. Check in on your kids’ app activity on their Android device, including which apps are accessed and time spent on each app. With Xbox One or a Windows 10 PC set up in your family portal, you can also view their activities on those devices through Microsoft Launcher.
Microsoft Launcher is the only launcher that gives parents this visibility across Android, Windows 10, and Xbox One devices. Children and parents always have the option to toggle features off and on at any time and, best of all, it’s free. If you have a Microsoft family group, you can install Microsoft Launcher on your family’s Android devices. If you don’t have a family group set up yet, it’s easy – here’s how.

With Microsoft Edge, the ability to allow or block websites has always existed on your PCs. Now, we are extending this feature to you and your family’s Android devices. If you have set up a Microsoft family group, any websites you have already tagged as allowed or blocked for your kid(s) will carry the same settings as they try to access websites in Microsoft Edge on their Android devices. The update will begin rolling out today.

We are also excited to announce MSN Kids, currently in preview, a curated news site created specifically for children in the elementary and middle school age group. We saw a need for a place for kids to learn about the world in a safe, trustworthy and fun environment. The site offers editorially curated, age-appropriate news and features from partner publishers such as Time for Kids, Popular Science, Sports Illustrated for Kids, National Geographic, and USA TODAY.
MSN Kids brings curated, kid-friendly news to the web
Content is kid-friendly and helps children find things of interest to stay engaged, learn, and have fun – with no sponsored content or advertising. Kids can learn about animals, the world around them, kids like them doing interesting things around the globe and more. When using Microsoft Edge, kids can also use pen and read aloud to engage with puzzles or assist with reading articles. Check out the preview today at msnkids.com.

These new experiences are the next step in a long history of creating products, features, and settings with families in mind, spanning gaming to mobile to PC and the web.
Family safety settings in Windows 10 and Xbox One:  With families today owning more personal devices than ever, including kids at increasingly younger ages, we’ve invested in family settings that work across devices and platforms. A core set of family safety settings – including the ability to block mature content and apps, set screen time limits, and review kids’ purchase requests – have long been available for Windows 10 PCs and Xbox One devices. These settings help parents keep kids safer, while also fostering independence and letting kids do homework, research, and be creative, using technology as a powerful learning tool.
Safer online spending with Ask a parent:  One especially useful setting, called Ask a parent, lets parents avoid surprise spending on Xbox or the Microsoft Store by receiving notifications when kids want to make a purchase. Parents can decide whether to approve based on the maturity level, cost, and whether it fits within screen time allowed. From the kids’ perspective, it’s a good way to let Mom or Dad know what cool new game they want. From the parents’ perspective, it’s a good way to help kids manage temptations (such as in-app purchases) and make good choices.
Shared family notebook in OneNote: Earlier this month we released the new family notebook in OneNote. We know families are busier than ever and with a family notebook your whole family can stay in sync and organized – from shopping lists to vacation planning, the whole family can share, edit and access information in one place.
These are just some of the many great features across our devices and services that empower families with peace of mind, tools to learn, grow and, of course, have fun. More information can be found at this page. Please download Microsoft Launcher and Microsoft Edge for Android and give the new features a try. We look forward to hearing your feedback so we can empower you with the best tools to create the safest, most productive and fun experiences for our families.

Microsoft gives parents peace of mind with new family features across devices
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Announcing Microsoft Edge for iOS and Android, Microsoft Launcher

You’re standing in line at a coffee shop. Your right thumb is stre-t-ch-ing to drag out words on your phone’s keyboard while you squint to read the text on the web form you’re filling out. It’s amazing what’s possible today—but don’t you wish your phone could magically send that task to your Windows 10 PC where you could luxuriate in a big screen and hardware keyboard?
With the new preview apps we’re launching for iOS and Android – you can. Introducing Microsoft Edge for iOS/Android and Microsoft Launcher for Android, two apps designed to make it easy to move what you’re working on between your phone and PC.
We are excited to continue the work we announced at Build to make Windows 10 PCs work great with your phone. Microsoft Edge for iOS is available starting today in preview, with Microsoft Edge for Android available soon in preview. And, Microsoft Launcher is available starting today in preview as well. Continue on PC functionality in both apps comes with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.

Microsoft Edge for iOS and Android
One of the most common requests we hear from people who use Microsoft Edge on Windows 10 PCs is “we want our browser experience to move to our phones”. You spoke, we listened.

Microsoft Edge for iOS and Android brings familiar features like your Favorites, Reading List, New Tab Page and Reading View across your PC and phone, so, no matter the device, your browsing goes with you. But what makes Microsoft Edge really stand out is the ability to continue on your PC, which enables you to immediately open the page you’re looking at right on your PC—or save it to work on later.

 
Beginning today, iOS users can test the preview app via Apple TestFlight, and Android users can sign up to be one of the first to test the preview app which will be available soon. Go here to sign up to test the Microsoft Edge for iOS and Android preview apps.
A few more details about the preview: Initially Microsoft Edge for iOS and Android will launch only in US-English, but we’ll ramp to other countries/languages as we expand the preview. And some features—like roaming passwords and support for iPads/Android tablets—aren’t available at preview launch but will come in the future.
Microsoft Launcher for Android

Android phones have a feature that iPhones don’t – they allow customization of the “launcher” that’s displayed when you push the phone’s home button. How nice! Today, we are also launching a preview release of our new Microsoft Launcher for Android. We think it’s the most beautiful (based on Fluent design), customizable, powerful launcher available. With Microsoft Launcher, your recent photos, documents and more can all Continue on PC as well.
And – just like on Windows 10 – with Microsoft Launcher you can put icons of your favorite people right on the home screen so they’re quickly and easily available.

The Feed: Info at your Fingertips. With just a quick swipe-to-the-right, Microsoft Launcher offers a tailored feed of your important events, top news, recent activities, favorite people and most frequently used apps.

Beautiful and customizable. Launcher has wide-ranging ways to let you personalize your phone, it’s easy to set colors of backgrounds—and our new ‘gesture’ support will let even hard-core customizers create the environment that makes them most productive.

Continue on PC. And of course, Microsoft Launcher has been designed to make it easy for you to seamlessly continue what you’re working on – whether it’s photos, documents and more—on your PC.
Microsoft Launcher represents the “graduation” of the 4.6-star rated “Arrow Launcher” project that was developed in our Garage – we’re making a big update to Arrow and changing its name. Everyone on the Arrow Launcher beta will automatically get the Microsoft Launcher today, and any other Android users can join the preview of Microsoft Launcher beginning today as well.
Go here to access the Microsoft Launcher preview. 
We hope Windows Insiders will try these preview apps alongside their Windows 10 PCs and provide feedback and ways to make them even better. As has been our approach with Windows 10, we’ll continue to try new things, learn and build the best experiences possible. We look forward to bringing these experiences more broadly to you later this year.