Last year, Microsoft rebranded its Arrow Launcher for Android phones as Microsoft Launcher. Apart from the changing the name, Microsoft introduced some cool features as well.
This launcher wasn’t the only one that received a major update last year. Even Samsung rebranded TouchWiz Home, added new features and now calls it Samsung Experience Home.
But does the new TouchWiz launcher have all the cool features? And what exciting features does Microsoft offer? Should you replace Samsung Home with Microsoft Launcher? Let’s answer those questions in this post where we compare the two.
Let’s get started.
Samsung Experience Home offers a familiar home screen experience which is similar to the other launchers. You get the dock at the bottom where you can add up to five app icons. Above the dock are the other app icons. On swiping right, you get the new Bixby Home.
Coming to Microsoft Launcher, you get a similar interface with two additional goodies on the home screen: expandable dock and personalized feed (when you swipe right).
At the first glance, the dock in Microsoft Launcher may appear like any other dock but once you swipe up, you will find extra space for icons and various settings. For instance, if you don’t like the dock, you can disable it. If you wish to keep it, you can add up to 7 icons. Further, you can even hide app names.
On the other hand, Samsung doesn’t provide any customization for the dock.
The personalized feed on the Microsoft Launcher connects to your Microsoft account and shows you relevant information. On this screen, you will also get shortcuts for various apps and tasks. You can even check the latest news, recent files, and create to-do lists. And if you don’t like the feed, you can get rid of it from the customization settings.
On Samsung, you get Bixby Home where you can see upcoming appointments, weather, news, and much more.
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Home Screen Customization
One of the reasons why people switch to third-party launchers is customization. Very few pre-installed launchers support it. Yes, they let you customize a thing or two but not more than that.
Take the case of Samsung's launcher. The only home screen customization that it offers is the grid size. And even while it lets you change the grid size, the options are limited.
On the other hand, you can choose from many grid options in Microsoft Launcher. And it even lets you change the icon size. For people who don’t like to keep labels below the app icons and folders, this launcher allows you hide them too.
Both the launchers support making folders on the home screen or in the app drawer. Samsung allows you to color code the folders, while Microsoft only lets you change the folder shape. That's pretty basic, if you ask me.
The app drawer is available in both the launchers. However, you can disable it in Samsung's launcher only.
Now you might think that Samsung may have more to offer, but you are wrong. Apart from grid size, you don’t get any other app drawer setting. To be fair to Samsung, even Microsoft doesn’t offer much. All you get to choose is the drawer layout style.
You must have noticed the search bar at the top of the drawer. In Samsung, the search bar lets you look for anything located on the phone including the apps. In the case of Microsoft Launcher, you can only find apps.
Coming to Samsung, the only gesture that you get is the swipe down on the home screen to open the notification panel.
Want to have iPhone-like numeric badges on app icons? Guess what? Both the launchers support it. Not only that, you can even switch between the numbers and dots. However, none of them let you change the position or style of the notification badges.
Continue on PC
Microsoft Launcher comes with a cool feature that lets you send links to your Windows PC. Not apparent at first, the feature lies in the Share menu. When you share the links via the Continue on PC feature, they will open in Microsoft Edge browser on your computer.
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Price and Availability
Both the launchers are free. When it comes to availability, you can download Microsoft Launcher on any Android device. Samsung Experience Home launcher is restricted Samsung devices only where it is only used for updating the pre-installed app.
Microsoft Launcher offers more customization and extra features compared to Samsung's Experience Home. If you are looking for a simple yet customizable one, go ahead with Microsoft Launcher. But if you don't want to tinker around too much, Samsung launcher is a great choice.
What are the features that you look for in an app launcher? Share them with us so that we can compile some of the best launchers for you.
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