Category: Microsoft Arrow Launcher

[Update] Microsoft Arrow Launcher Beta Adds Tablet Support

[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.

Microsoft Arrow Launcher Gains Customizable Icons in Latest Update

Microsoft has once again pushed out another big update to their Android launcher app, Arrow Launcher.  The update is in the Play Store now and has a number of improvements and new features.  In fact, there are three big features that users of the launcher will likely enjoy immediately.  First is the ability to customize the icon and name of individual apps.  All you have to do is long press the icon and it will pop-up a menu that gives you these options.

Next is an all new backup and restore feature.  This gives you the option to save your app layout and settings and restore them if you need to reinstall the launcher.  This is a huge win as you no longer have to recreate your home screen layout if you delete and reinstall the app.  This is something many other launchers do so it is great to see Microsoft bring the feature to Arrow Launcher too.

Microsoft Updates Arrow Launcher with Performance Improvements

Microsoft has pushed an update out for their Android phone launcher, Arrow Launcher.  The update to the launcher doesn’t bring a lot of new features but focuses on performance improvements and bug fixes.  In my How To Microsoft your Android Phone article, I pointed out that Arrow Launcher is a great launcher alternative for those of you who are heavy into the Microsoft ecosystem.  It allows easy access to recent files and contacts, your apps and photos.  Even if you aren’t a heavy Microsoft user, check it out.  It’s pretty good and continues to improve.

This updated version of Arrow Launcher, version 2.9.1 for those keeping score, brings a couple of changes.  First, Bing wallpaper is now an icon on your home page.  You can tap that icon to change your wallpaper instead of having to dive into settings on your phone.

How to Microsoft Your Android Phone

One of the biggest benefits to Android as a platform is its flexibility.  Google, much to their credit, has made it very easy for developers – including companies that compete with them – to produce apps for Android to sell or give away.  Microsoft, much to their credit too, has taken advantage of this openness.  The Redmond, Washington company as certainly competed with Google and more directly Android but equally, have produced great apps that allow you to stay within the Microsoft ecosystem without too much pain.  In fact, really no pain.

If you are new to Android but your personal and/or work life is surrounded by Microsoft applications, take heart.  You will find that Android is more than capable of giving you a rich, powerful Microsoft experience without the sacrifices in other areas.  I’m of course referring to Windows Phone.  Clearly the Microsoft experience on Windows Phone was outstanding but even the apps on that now all-but-dead platform lacked when you compared them to those for Android or even iOS.

In this How To I’m going to highlight some of the key apps from Microsoft that will make your Android phone (and in most cases tablets) a solid performing and excellent user experience for those who have their digital work or personal lives in Office 365, OneDrive and other apps.  While those apps are expected, it is the other apps that Microsoft offers that may be a surprise to you.

Microsoft Arrow Launcher Update Brings Improved Searching

Microsoft has rolled out yet another update to their Android launcher, Arrow Launcher.  The update, version 2.4.0 for those keeping score at home, brings a handful of changes and improvements including a much improved search function.  Now within the launcher you can search not just the web but also apps and contacts on your phone.  This brings Arrow on par with other launchers that have similar functionality built into them.

This update also brings some needed performance improvements.  This has been an area that Microsoft has been working on the launcher for some time and every update it gets a little bit better.  This 2.4 update really made big strides.  Performance is noticeably faster, particularly when swiping from one page to another.  It also opens apps much faster than the previous build.

Microsoft Updates Arrow Launcher with IM Support

Microsoft has rolled out yet another update to their Android launcher, Arrow Launcher.  The update marks the third significant update to the launcher over the course of the past three weeks as the company continues to improve the performance and information in the app.  This latest update, version for those keeping score at home, brings a handful of changes with the most notable being IM support on the Recent tab.  Now that tab will show you recent Instant Messages that you have received from Facebook Messenger, Skype and other messaging apps.  Now you don’t necessarily have to open each app to see your latest interactions on those apps.

Microsoft Rolls Yet Another Update Out for Arrow Launcher

Microsoft continues to listen to their users when it comes to their apps and the latest update to Arrow Launcher is solid proof.  The update to Redmond’s Android launcher app brings fully customizable home pages to the launcher, a feature that many users of the app have requested.  Frankly, this was one of the key reasons I never stuck with Arrow long term as I couldn’t customize it the way I wanted like I can with the Google Now Launcher.  Now you can easily and freely setup the home page on the launcher the way you want with the apps you want.

Microsoft Arrow Launcher Sees Further Enhancements

Microsoft has released another update to the Arrow Launcher for Android as they continue to address issues and add new, user requested features to the launcher.  The latest version, build 2.1 for those keeping score at home, has extended the notification badge for more apps.  Support for the notification badge now includes Facebook, WhatsApp, WeChat, QQ, and Skype.  This mans that if you get a message from one of these apps, you will get a visual notification within Arrow Launcher like you do with email and other apps.

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