Microsoft's next Android app is Arrow, a Windows Phone-like launcher

Following in the footsteps of Nokia, Microsoft has an app launcher for Android. Called Arrow, the software is available through a private, invite-only basis for now.
Written by Kevin Tofel, Contributor

Microsoft has a new app for Android phones and unlike many of its latest cross-platform efforts, you won't likely see this be supported on iOS. Over the weekend, Microsoft News noticed the company debuted Arrow, a custom app launcher for Android.

Arrow is technically available only through an invite-system on Google+, where I submitted my access request. However, the .apk, or installation file, is directly available for download without an invite here on OneDrive. Note: Since I don't know who uploaded the file and what it contains, I'm waiting for my official request to be accepted.


Once installed and set as your Android launcher, Arrow splits your phone's home screens into three distinct panes.

The main screen shows your four most recently used applications and another handful of frequently used titles. Swipe to the left and you'll see a People pane with icons for frequent contacts. Swipe right and you'll see a screen dedicated to Notes & Reminders.

Across the bottom of all three panes, you still have a dock with four dedicated apps such as the browser, phone app, messages and camera. Arrow can be optionally set to download a new wallpaper each day from Bing images as well.

When you want to see a list of all installed apps, you're greeted with a screen that reminds me of Windows Phone. Apps are sorted alphabetically and you can scroll through letters to quickly get to a particular section of apps.


Although I haven't installed or used Arrow yet, it appears to be very basic and bare-bones. Given that its in a private beta, that's not terribly surprising.

I'd expect Microsoft to continue adding features and tweaking Arrow to make it more full-featured, perhaps even highlighting Microsoft's own apps and services such as Office and OneNote or by integrating Cortana and her contextual notifications.

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