Microsoft last night launched a new version of its Arrow Launcher for Android which it describes as its “biggest release yet.”
As you might recall, I’m a big fan of Arrow Launcher. This solution replaces the stock Android launcher, or home screen, and is a key component of a Microsoft fan’s Android experience.
Microsoft first launched Arrow Launcher in late 2015 and has updated it at a rapid clip since, adding many improvement and features based on feedback. Arrow Launcher 2.0 arrived in July 2016 with Office 365 commercial compatibility and improved performance, and version 2.2, also a major release, sported much-improved customization. A 2.3 release from September provided further refinements.
For Arrow Launcher 3.0, Microsoft is touting the following new features:
New Utility screen. A new Utility screen lets you pin utility cards as individual pages, and customize them as you wish. This replaces the Google Now screen on Android phones, and you access it the same way, by swiping to the right.
Apps screen scrolling. You can now configure the Apps screen to scroll vertically or horizontally.
Major performance improvements. According to Microsoft, Arrow Launcher is now 10 percent faster than before and uses 15 percent less battery, and 20 percent less memory.
I’ve switched my Google Pixel XL over to Arrow Launcher and will be using this as my home screen experience again moving forward. That new Utility screen will be a big focus, of course.
Arrow Launcher 3.0 is now available for free from the Google Play Store. It is available worldwide and is translated into all major languages, Microsoft says.
<blockquote><a href="#70571"><em>In reply to Vitor Canova Weingaertner:</em></a></blockquote><p>Sub-optimal use of real estate is unfortunately part of the deal with the Arrow launcher.</p>
<p>Last time I tried Arrow, it was a memory hog.</p>