Microsoft has been recently more focused on providing Android users with their own apps and services instead of trying to make them switch to the company’s mobile operating system, which is still positioned as the third largest mobile OS, trailing Apple and Android. Microsoft strategy is pretty clear, attract more users to its own services , even if they use a different platform. Until today, Microsoft has released quite a few miscellaneous services such as a smart lock-screen, a special keyboard to be used with Excel, and their whole array of Office apps. Just recently, Microsoft revealed its latest application to make its way into Google’s mobile operating system, a unique launcher with several useful features, called Arrow Launcher. Currently the application is on a closed beta, which means that the company is testing the Arrow launcher, and users can only gain access to it by signing up for an invite to the program.
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Microsoft has been doing a great job of bringing Android users to utilize the company’s own applications throughout different platforms, but as several reports have stated, it appears that the company is no longer trying to convince users to switch to Windows Phone. This led the media into believing that Microsoft’s main focus was no longer the mobile platform but instead adding up as many users as possible. This is not a bad thing, as Microsoft is still gaining users that wouldn’t otherwise make use of their services if they require them to switch to Windows Phone. With the new Arrow launcher currently in beta and Cortana coming in the next few weeks, it is apparent that Microsoft wants to have more presence in the different mobile operating systems.
As for the launcher itself, Microsoft did a pretty solid job of creating a different experience to what Android users might be accustomed to. This is the company’s first Android launcher which means that it might not be as polished as other launchers, but still it does a great job replacing your current launcher, bringing some great and useful features of its own. The Arrow launcher has three main pages which cannot be added to or removed, as unfortunately, customization is quite limited at the moment. The first page of the launcher, is called the People page, and includes your contacts and email addresses that you might need to keep in touch with. The second page is where you will find all your applications, with a section dedicated solely to the recently opened apps and the ones that you use the most often. When swiping up from the app drawer icon, users will be able to change the launcher’s settings and wallpaper, which can be set to be the Bing wallpaper of the day. The third page is what makes Arrow launcher different from its competitors, as users can easily add Notes and Reminders without any major hassle, it is expected that Microsoft will integrate Cortana with the launcher to create a seamless experience throughout Android.