Nokia's Z Launcher for Android Earns First Major Upgrade
Nokia recently updated its Z Launcher for Android devices. The application replaces the home screen on smartphones and adjusts what it displays throughout the day based on the user's behavior. The update adds preliminary support for icon packs, which will allow for more customization. The launcher also gains an easy way to uninstall or hide apps with a long press, and improved handwriting recognition with the scribble tool. Nokia made adjustments to the user interface and the carousel widgets. The update also fixes bugs and resolves other issues. Nokia's Z Launcher for Android is still in beta, but is free to download from the Google Play Store.
Yahoo's Aviate Launcher Gains 'Google Now' Feature
Yahoo updated its Aviate Android launcher with a new feature called Smart Stream. As described by Yahoo, Smart Stream "assembles relevant information" and adjusts it throughout the day based on where the user is and what they're doing.
Microsoft Releases Edge Browser for Android and iOS, Launcher for Android
Microsoft today made a beta version of its Edge browser available to Android and iOS devices. The beta, available to registered Windows Insiders, requires users to initiate the signup process through a Windows 10 PC.
Microsoft Adds Parental Controls to Android Launcher and Edge
Microsoft today introduced new tools for parents that can help them manage their kids' use of mobile devices. The Microsoft Launcher for Android phones now includes location history so parents can see their children's last known location with a time stamp.
Sony Stops Development of Its Xperia Home Launcher
Sony this week said it putting its Xperia Home launcher, used on its mobile phones, into maintenance phase. The company said this means it won't add any new features to the launcher, though it will offer minor bug and security updates as warranted.
BlackBerry Improves Priv's Launcher, Camera, and Keyboard
BlackBerry has updated several apps for the Priv smartphone and added several compelling features along the way. The Priv Launcher now includes separate views of personal and work apps, allows users to remove shortcuts from the home screen via flicking gestures, enables pop-up widgets by default, and improves overlays so users can see more information about apps and other settings.