Arrow Launcher_1Microsoft launched its Arrow Launcher beta for Android yesterday, and Microsoft have gone for quickness. While the app is in a “private beta” on G+, Microsoft have also released the .APK to the masses – if you’re not into beta and getting posts about it popping up on your phone then the .APK file will be better suited for you.

Arrow Launcher is not unlike the HTC interface on the Desire 626 with its Sense 7 (which we will be releasing a review in a week or so, with its Work, Home and Out pages,) Microsoft have three screens at the centre of the software: People, Apps, and Notes & Reminders. From here you’ll find yourself cramped in – in a good way.

Arrow Launcher_People1aArrow Launcher_apps1aArrow Launcher_notes1a

In the centre you’ll have your Apps. Helpfully at the top you’ll find four of your most recent apps, followed by a  frequent apps. As with most launchers, you can also access your full collection of apps with an app drawer shortcut. Here you will find Microsoft have set it out similar to Windows Mobile 10.


To the left you’ll find People. Here you’ll also find a shortcut to your dialer for phone use. On the righthand side you’ll find Notes & Reminders.

The Notes & Reminders section acts as a simple checklist that deletes list items when checked off. You can also set local reminders at certain times of day. This system does not connect to Bing or to Google.

Arrow Launcher also includes a dock available with a pull up from the bottom of the screen which they call “hotseat”, just about the the 3 dots, you see the first row at the bottom of the screen. Here you can add apps you need access to quickly, although at the moment only two rows are available, whether more will be added we will have to wait and see. Also at the bottom right corner of the hotseat, you’ll see icons for Settings, Feedback and Wallpaper. Very neat and simple, like it should be.

Arrow Launcher_quick1a

In a way of a bonus, Microsoft have included fourteen wallpapers as well as a connection to a “daily Bing wallpaper” that downloads images to your device at the start of each day.

The downside to Arrow Launcher, is that you can’t have a clean and empty home screen, as some users like. But if your a busy person then the quickness of getting to the apps you require is super easy. It seems to me that Microsoft have designed this launcher for those users that fly through a wide variety of apps throughout their day.

If you’d like access, here is the .APK file for download. You can also participate in the beta by signing up at Microsoft’s Google+ Page.


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Dave Thornton

Senior Editor

Senior Editor
Been involved in technology for many years, more than I care to remember. Live in Dundee, Scotland. I like Android, Windows Phone OS, BlackBerry OS and iOS, and love writing about all things techie. Currently have a Honor 6+, Elephone P6000, Nexus 5, Chrombook C720, HTC One M7, Nokia Lumina 625, Microsoft Lumia 435, Blackberry Q10, HTC Hero and iPad mini