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.