Microsoft’s Arrow Launcher for Android has slowly but surely becoming a solid launcher for Android devices. The company, through the Microsoft Garage project team, has continually been adding features, improving the stability, and the performance of the launcher.
Back in June, in the 3.5 update to Arrow Launcher, the introduced a new feature, Arrow Hub. Arrow Hub allows you to easily sync photos, documents, videos and anything you have in your Android device’s clipboard to the cloud which you can then get to via the web or OneDrive. It is brilliantly simple and is an effective way to get files from your phone to your PC, Mac or Chromebook.
So how does it work and how do you get to your files? In this How To I will outline how the feature works on your Android device and how to get to those files.
Prerequisite: This How To assumes that you are running Arrow Launcher on your Android phone. If you are not, you can download it free from the Play Store. It also assumes that you have a Microsoft account that you can use with Arrow Launcher, OneDrive, etc.
Microsoft continues to tweak and incrementally improve their Android launcher app, Arrow Launcher. The latest beta of the launcher has hit testers this week and with it comes a handful of refinements. None of the new features in the version 3.8 build are major changes but collectively, there are a lot of small touches & improvements to the launcher to make it a more personalized experience and visually, more satisfying experience.
On the personalization front, your Microsoft account avatar is now shown in the settings of the launcher. Linking your Microsoft account to Arrow Launcher has been there for some time but now you will see your avatar and can quickly launch into your account settings from Arrow.
Microsoft has a new update rolling out to Arrow Launcher in the Play Store that is bring some nice improvements to the launcher. The update is version 3.7 for those keeping score at home and this build has been in beta for a few weeks with testers. The update has some good improvements around contact management (or as Microsoft calls it, People) as well as some other fixes.
The People card on the Utility page in this update will now allow you to choose between multiple actions for contacts and Arrow can now deal with merging and de-duping of contacts within the contacts on your phone. The multi-action feature is a long requested one of the launcher.
Microsoft Arrow Launcher has yet another update rolling out in the Play Store. The update, version 188.8.131.52513 for those keeping score at home, brings a number of UI tweaks and improvements to the launcher. Many of these tweaks are just that: Tweaks. There are, however, some new features to be found in the update too.
One of those new features is the ability to hide the system status bar at the top of your phone. The system status bar is where you see things like your mobile signal indicator, Wi-Fi indicator, battery and notification icons. Now you can hide it from view for a cleaner look to your home screens. To view the status bar, you can just swipe down from the top of your home screen. This new feature is found in Settings>General settings>Keep status bar.
Microsoft’s continual updating of Arrow Launcher, the company’s Android launcher app, has been impressive and for the most part, have been significant updates. That’s no different with the latest update, version 3.6. This update to Microsoft Arrow Launcher brings a handful of refinements and improvements to the launcher. Perhaps the most interesting one for the majority of users is the ability to hid or show the system status bar.
The System Status bar is the bar at the top of the display where you see your clock, Wi-Fi indicator, battery indicator and so forth. Arrow Launcher now gives you the option in Settings>General Settings to turn this on or off. This is a great feature if you want to have a more clutter free view of your home screen.
The Microsoft Arrow Launcher is one of the most useful launchers in the Google Play Store right now, particularly if you are a heavy Microsoft apps user. I’ve reviewed this launcher in the past and Microsoft continues to make big strides in improving it on a seemingly monthly basis. One of the features that came with the last major update was the ability to add widgets to the Utility page in the launcher.
For clarity, the Utility page is a single page that you swipe right to get to from the Home page. There you can see your recent contacts, your calendar, documents and so forth. All of this content is tied to your phone or to your Office 365 (personal or business) account to get you these files and information at a glance. You can turn this page off in the settings but once you get it configured the way you want, it is actually quite handy. Think of it, in a way, as the Microsoft version of the Google Now page.
If you are using the latest version of Arrow Launcher, you can add other app widgets to the Utility page. This will free up space on your Home pages but also give you the ability to at glance see a bunch of widgets in one place. It is quite handy.
Earlier this week I posted a review of the Nova Launcher for Android. In that review, I pointed out that if you are looking for a launcher that has a whole load of knobs to turn, it is the best option for you. But for those of you who aren’t interested in turning all the knobs or, more particularly, are deep in the Microsoft ecosystem, there is a solid option for you too. The Microsoft Arrow Launcher.
Arrow Launcher doesn’t have the configurability of Nova Launcher nor does it pretend to have them. Instead, Microsoft has taken this launcher and focused it on productivity. Contacts, apps and documents are easily accessible from the launcher, getting you editing that Word file quicker and with few taps than opening the app itself. But it also does all this with speed and battery friendliness that makes it a great option even for those who don’t necessarily use the Office apps.
I’ve been running Microsoft Arrow Launcher on my Nextbit Robin for the past few weeks and I have no problem giving it a thumbs up. It works great, has enough configurability for those want to tweak a little bit and gets you deep into the Office apps without having to fuss with it. Here’s my review and thoughts on Arrow Launcher.
Last month I told you about the latest beta of Microsoft’s Arrow Launcher bringing support for Android tablets. That support is now official. The latest update to the popular launcher is rolling out in the Play Store now and with it comes support for tablets along with a handful of other updates & tweaks. The support of tablets is something that long time Arrow users have requested of Microsoft as it gives a uniform experience across their devices.
Along with with, Arrow Launcher also supports horizontal layout for your apps page from the app drawer. This is primarily aimed at tablets and it is an option that needs to be enabled. The backup & restore feature also has more backup options available. It still backs everything up to OneDrive but you can now have it save things like SMS messages too.
The utility page, something that was introduced in the last update to the app, can also be configured in this new release. You can show it or hide it as well as chose if you want the card to be transparent or white. For those who may have tried Arrow Launcher in the past, the utility page is now where you find things like your recent contacts, your recent documents and other information. These all use to be separate pages in the launcher so having them all in once place makes life a bit easier.
If you have Arrow Launcher installed on your phone, you should get the update to the latest build over the course of the next few days. Unless you are in the beta, you will need to go to the Play Store to install it on your tablet.