Arrow Launcher 3.1 for Android Adds Tablet Support, More

Posted on March 15, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Android with 16 Comments

Arrow Launcher 3.1 for Android Adds Tablet Support, More

Microsoft’s excellent Arrow Launcher for Android has received a major update that adds tablet support and many other improvements.

As you must know, I’ve long recommended Arrow Launcher and recently included it as a key way to “Redmondize” your Android handset. But it seems like development of this neat home page (“launcher”) replacement has picked up in recent days: This is the second major update to Arrow Launcher in the past month.

Here’s what’s new in the latest update.

Tablet support. According to Microsoft, this has been “a very popular request since Arrow’s first release,” but it’s available now for anyone with an Android tablet. (I have yet to find a good Android tablet, so I’m currently without.)

Horizontal layout option for All Apps. Arrow Launcher already let you switch between horizontal (landscape) and vertical (portrait) views on the Home screen, but now it sports a similar toggle for All Apps. To enable this, display All App, press the Menu button (the ellipsis in the top right) and choose “Horizontal layout.”

More Bing wallpapers. One of the nicest things about Arrow Launcher is that it lets you personalize your Home screen and lockscreen backgrounds with gorgeous Bing wallpapers automatically, or on the fly with the press of an icon. This release brings a bunch of new Bing wallpapers.

Improved backup and restore. The Arrow Launcher Backup & Restore feature now provides “more backup options,” Microsoft says. I’m not 100 percent sure what those new options are, but I like that the backups are stored in your OneDrive account so they are easily accessible on a new device or reinstall.

Hide headers. A new “Keep page header” toggle determines whether pages in Arrow Launcher display headers.

Utility page configuration. Arrow Launcher’s Google Now page replacement is called the Utility page and you can now configure various options for this view, including whether it’s even available. You can also toggle whether the home screen background is white or transparent; the latter will let through more of the home screen background.

Carousel scrolling mode. I’m not clear on what this refers to: I don’t see a related option in Arrow Launcher settings, and I’m now wondering if this might be a tablet-only feature and work similarly to the carousel views in Amazon’s Kindle apps. I’ll keep looking.

You can download Arrow Launcher for free from the Google Play Store.


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Comments (16)

16 responses to “Arrow Launcher 3.1 for Android Adds Tablet Support, More”

  1. Rcooper81

    Carousel scrolling mode is, when you disable the Utility Page, the home screens will come all the way around. So if you scroll to the last page on the right, you don't have to go back to the left, just keep going right. This feature was in the original release of Arrow but was removed when the Utility page was added.

  2. mmcpher

    I installed the Arrow Launcher yesterday for the first time, and felt an immediate up-tick in my tolerance for Android. My daily driver remains a Windows Mobile, but I have a few Android phones and they are or were a complete mess. I couldn't easily find what apps I owned and downloaded. I lacked the will to straighten it out. But Arrow Launcher pointed me in the right direction.

  3. obarthelemy

    For a nice midrange Android tablet, I'm currently recommending the Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Plus (not the underpowered plain Yoga Tab 3, not the overly expensive and gimmicky Yoga Tab 3 Pro either, but the "Plus").

    It has:

    1- a wonderful design that everyone likes (built-in stand, nice battery and loudspeaker in that fat edge, easy to hold)

    2- a Good Enough (TM) CPU: dual A72 Qualcomm 650, too many tablets are still on A57 or even A53.

    3- nice enough everything else and no glaring fault

    4- a low-ish price, got mine for$300-ish (then it got hijacked by my nephew ^^)

    The design in particular is a winner. My brother just called me back to emphasize how much he loves the stand and the easy handling.

    If not that one, either a very premium Samsung Galaxy S3 (but I wouldn't bother unless you are really fixated on Android or a specific feature: at that price, just get an iPad ?), or a rock-bottom Chinese clunker. Once you get past the... modest... battery life, dual-boot tablets from Cube (8" is $100, etc...) are good-not-great (and don't expect OS updates). I get my Chinese stuff from , they exchanged 1 failed phone and fixed another one, so I'd rate them as "excellent", that's better than what Sony did for me ^^

    /proselytism off

    • dimadiall

      In reply to obarthelemy:

      What Android tablets would you recommend that have an embedded stylus or pen?

      I use Samsung Galaxy Note 5 because of the stylus to take notes in meetings (OneNote is great for that), however I want to replace it since last summer because battery doesn't last even half a day anymore. Couldn't buy the "explosive" Note 7 and the Note 8 is still far away, so perhaps a small tablet would be a great option also because of larger writing surface.

  4. jmeiii75

    Really loving Arrow. Still hoping for the ability to add a Cortana card to the Utility Page.

  5. Freezal

    I use SquareHome2 as my launcher was the closest thing I found to my beloved Windows Phone.  The Arrow launcher still suffers from the dirty Android feel. to much junk scattered across 2 many pages.

  6. wolters

    I am still holding on to Arrow on my Moto Z Force Droid. I love the utility page and yes, I agree with JMEIII75, want to see more of Cortana baked in. Would love to try an "almost all in" Microsoft experience with my devices again.

  7. Waethorn

    I think the most-promising Android "tablet" experience one can expect will come from a convertible Chromebook. At least then you get a clean OS and software updates, not to mention that you'll also get a keyboard included for free.

  8. wolters

    I'm kind of lukewarm on tablets myself here lately. My workplace did purchase a Samsung Tab S2 for me and I guess, for what it is, is may be the best Android Tablet until the S3 comes out. After having pure (or near pure) Android on a Pixel and Moto Z Force Droid, I do tire of Samsung's "skins" but I am thrilled to say Arrow finally works on it and it looks and acts great.

  9. Dan1986ist

    Are Intel based tablets running KitKat included on the compatiblity list for Arrow Launcher 3.1 or are newer Android versions required?

  10. wright_is

    What I really miss, since swapping to Android is Cortana. I could tell my Windows Phone to play Audible and it would do it. Google Now just says she can't find any results... :-S

    Any news on when Cortana for Android will be made available outside the USA?

  11. Aric Wilisch

    I've checked out the Arrow launcher a few times and it works fine. I always wonder though why they don't essentially make it look like a Windows Phone interface? Seems they would want people to get used to and comfortable with their live tile interface, even if the live tiles don't work.

  12. JBWild

    I have been using the Arrow Launcher for several months. Wish it did not look like Android. It could have had rectangle ICONs with rounded corners just to be unique and different. Did not expect it to be 'live' tiles. Also it still has some bugs. The 'unread' notification badges are intermittent. Does not work on the Outlook App at all, go figure. Using a Samsung S7. Was a very long time Windows Mobile fan. Traded in a L950. Sad day. Arrow is a start and hope they don't abandon it like other 'garage' ideas...

  13. Brian Hodges

    I would be more enthusiastic about using it if it didn't disable the long-press app shortcuts in Nougat.