Microsoft has added a Digital Health feature with Cortana support on the beta version of its Android launcher that will enable users to track app usages. With this, the Microsoft Launcher takes on Google’s own Digital Wellbeing initiative, currently available only for select Android Pie devices.
The Microsoft Launcher version 5.1 beta is an attempt to give users more control over how they interact with social media, Windows Central reported on Wednesday.
Along with the Digital Health feature, the new update integrates the To-Do list and Sticky Notes to enable users to sync their tasks and notes.
“The launcher’s ‘To-Do’ card now shows tasks from apps Outlook and Skype along with the ‘Notes’ card showing your listings from ‘Sticky Notes’ on Windows, Outlook and OneNote mobile,” the report added.
The new beta version is available for testers on Google Play Store and should be rolling out to all users in the coming weeks, the report added.
Apart from Google, major tech companies like Apple, Facebook, and Instagram have recently added features like “Screen Time”, “Your Time on Facebook”, and “Your Activity” respectively to alert users about their use of apps. As we mentioned, Google has now brought its Digital Wellbeing app to select Android Pie devices – namely Pixel phones and Android One smartphones. The stable version of the app, released this week, improves the Wind Down feature that now turns off at your selected time or the next alarm, whichever comes first. The feature automatically fades the screen to grayscale, enables Night Light schedule, and turns on the Do Not Disturb mode at a preset ‘bedtime’ to help users wind down and hit the bed. The latest Digital Wellbeing version also improves the back button behaviour.
In October, Microsoft announced that Windows 10 would soon fully embrace Android to mirror mobile apps on computers so the company has been aggressively updating its Android launcher over the past year.
Earlier this year, the tech-giant added family-focused location-tracking feature to the Android launcher app along with an activity report feature that maintains record of what apps are being used on a device and for how long.