Microsoft Announces Arrow Launcher for Android

By Money Times

Nov 02, 2015 08:14 PM EST

Microsoft officially anounced its Arrow launcher for Android. A customization application that enable Android users to modify how their device look and behave. The application is now officially available for download in Android Google Play.

Arrow is a product from Microsoft Garage, a software division in Microsoft consist of everyone who have ideas and wanted to make them, even the wildest ones into real projects. Some of the projects do not even run on Windows operating system, and Arrow is one of them. Android users have been able to find and test beta version of Arrow since July this year in a Google+ community. However, the app has not been officially launched until two days ago.

Although it is surprising to see Microsoft creates tools for other operating system, according to TechCrunch, it is reflective of the company's new strategy to embrace cross-platform development instead of trying to lock everyone into Microsoft's own software and services. Microsoft under Satya Nadella has shifted focus from PC operating system into cloud business supported by mobile technology. 

Time Magazine reported how Microsoft with Arrow aimed to make it easy for users to find the apps they use most frequently and arranging apps accordingly. One example is Arrow's application prioritization, that knows when the user opens Facebook more than Snapchat each day, Facebook would appear higher on the list. There's also a shortcut that allows users to access their most frequent contacts with a single swipe. Time Magazine also highlighted the indicative of Microsoft's broader strategy to expand into mobile by creating apps and services for popular platforms outside of Windows Phone, such as iOS and Android. Previously, Microsoft has launched Android apps called Picturesque, and Microsoft's popular services like Outlook for iPhone. 

Distinctive features to show the most used apps, contacts, and files on the home screen is also noted by PCWorld, that mentioned it as one of the main differences between Arrow and standard Android launcher. PCWorld noted how Arrow relies on algorithms to decide which apps, contacts, and files it shows on the home screen, with a feature called Recent screen. Microsoft says, the more you use it, the smarter it gets. Such concept was also available in another high-end Android launcher like Aviate launcher and Z Launcher, made by Yahoo and Nokia respectively.  PCWorld also said that Recent screen is the most interesting feature of Arrow.

Microsoft Arrow Launcher is a free download apps from Google Play and available since October 28. Up to now, it has been downloaded and installed in more than 5,000 devices with 4.2 stars rating.

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