[Update: Version 3.1 has officially been released!]
The Microsoft Garage team behind Arrow Launcher for Android have had a busy few weeks. Last week they released a major update, version 3.0, to the public channel which brought a significant number of changes to it. While performance and stability improvements were the hallmark of the release, the new Utility page which shows your frequent contacts, apps and recent documents on one page was the big new feature. Right on the heels of that 3.0 release, the 3.1 build has hit those in the beta program with further refinements. The big news though is support for tablets.
Arrow Launcher on tablets works the same way as it does on phones with the ability to customize the launcher as far as icon size, rows and columns and some included widgets. It also supports app notifications (for apps that support it) and works in both landscape and portrait viewing. It is also incredibly stable. Those who visit often know that I generally shy readers away from betas because of bugs and stability issues. This beta of Arrow Launcher however is pretty rock solid in the couple of days I’ve been running it on my Nexus 9. Obviously proceed at your own risk but I’m happy with it so far.
There are other improvements in this beta as well. The Utility page now is a semi-transparent so it looks much nicer to the eye when you swipe over to use it. Also, for recent notifications on the
page, additional IM apps are now supported and this list will likely grow. Nice feature that Arrow Launcher introduced in 3.0 is the ability to backup and restore your configuration of the launcher to OneDrive (or to your local device). That backup and restore process has been refined a bit with the ability to also backup reminders and contacts when you do the backup.
If you are looking for a solid launcher alternative, Arrow Launcher is one to consider. Even if you go with the 3.0 build on your phone and bypass the beta, it is a solid option that provides a lot of content and easy navigation. Frankly, given the rate of development from Microsoft on this app, the 3.1 build will likely be out in a few weeks anyway.
Arrow Launcher is free in the Play Store.