Microsoft Launcher beta 4.13 is out with new Read text message aloud feature for Cortana

Laurent Giret

Microsoft has just released a new beta version of its Microsoft Launcher today, which brings some UX improvements as well as new features for the built-in version of Cortana. Microsoft integrated the digital assistant to its Android Launcher earlier this year, and with this latest release you can now ask Cortana to read your incoming text messages and find the location of your kids. “We’re working on some big things and these next few months are going to be exciting times,” wrote Microsoft’s Product Manager Ezra Park on the dedicated Google+ community:

Here are the full release notes for Microsoft Launcher version 4.13:

  • Now you can drag and drop widgets to and from the Launcher Feed. Widgets also no longer have card headers when placed in the Feed.
  • Updates to the calendar card let you add a new event with one click when you no longer have any more events for the day.
  • Tuning fixes for new app drawer animation.
  • Parents can now ask Cortana for the location of their kids via voice (ex. “where are my kids?”)
  • Cortana can now read incoming SMS messages and now supports en-IN.

This new beta build is still rolling out on the Google Play Store, so you may not be able to download it immediately. If you’re not a beta tester yet, you can still sign up on this page.

Microsoft Launcher
Microsoft Launcher
Price: Free