A few days ago I decided to go all-in to test Microsoft’s suite of Android apps on my Moto Z2 Play. After letting things settle in for a couple of days, I’m back with some early observations:

  • The Microsoft Launcher is excellent. It is really one of the smoothest launchers I’ve used on an Android phone. Transitions and scrolling are just perfect. I’m getting used to the way it works and I’ll comment more on that in a later article. But, so far so good.
  • The lock screen replacement is worthless to me for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it doesn’t exist gracefully with a device PIN, which is required to make the fingerprint reader useful. Second, and more fundamentally, I never see a lock screen. Using the fingerprint reader to unlock directly to the home screen renders the lock screen irrelevant. I uninstalled the MS lock screen almost immediately.
  • Microsoft Edge is surprisingly good. It uses the Chromium rendering engine so it renders just as well as the Chrome browser I normally use. And I like the placement of some of the chrome on the browser. I just wish they’d give me the option to move the address bar to the bottom. And change the ugly icon.
  • Cortana has been sort of a mixed bag. Not being able to just shout out “Hey Cortana” has really limited my use of it thus far. I’ll dive more into this later.

So, things are humming along. I’ve had to adjust my usage a bit. It’s almost like having a new phone from a different manufacturer in some ways. I think another week or so will give me the chance to really see what works and what doesn’t. I’ll report back then. Thanks for reading.

Microsoft plus Android