This week, Microsoft issued a major upgrade to its Arrow Launcher for Android, offering integration with the commercial versions of Office 365 and improved performance. As always, Arrow Launcher seeks to simply the Android user experience with unique personalization capabilities.
I first wrote about Arrow Launcher when it launched last October, noting that it offered a unique if somewhat controversial take on the Android launcher by automatically arranging apps according to usage. But the real innovation here, in a way, will be familiar to Windows phone fans, at least conceptually.
That is, Arrow Launcher also lets you quickly access the people who matter most to you, your reminders, and recent photos, file downloads, app installs, and dropped calls. In other words, Microsoft is thinking well beyond the “whack-a-mole” UI that Android (and iOS) saddles its users with. So Arrow Launcher is a key component of Microsoft’s strategy to offers its fans a way to take over Android and create a more Microsoft-centric experience.
Arrow Launcher has other niceties that Windows phone fans, in particular will appreciate—especially its ability to dynamically change the wallpaper every day to the Bing picture of the day—but I was interested to see the changes in version 2.0. So I installed the launcher on my secondary Android phone (an old Nexus 5) to see what’s up.
Aside from some new wallpapers, the big news in this release is Office 365 (commercial) compatibility. Which means that you can sign-in to your Office 365 work or school account—Microsoft account and, for some reason, Wunderlist were previously available—and then access your contacts, calendar information, email and so on. So there’s really not much to say other than this release makes Arrow Launcher a much better match for those using a commercial version of Office 365.
Arrow Launcher is free and available from the Google Play Store. If you are a Windows guy who’s made the move to Android, I strongly recommend checking it out.
Tagged with Microsoft Garage