These little projects at Microsoft might get lost in the loudness of Windows, Office, and other Microsoft products – but these little things represent the biggest change at Microsoft; the ability to support an operating system such as Android demands commitment, and Microsoft seems to be delivering it.
The Arrow launcher for Android wasn’t released with much fuss – in fact, none at all, as the launcher wasn’t announced at any Microsoft official blog at the time; launched as a beta last year, it required people to sign-up for beta testing so they would understand the experiment they were getting into.
Today, of course, the launcher is in a much better shape – it has been more than a year of continuous updates to add features and improve its performance, and today’s update does just that as well.
The changelog for this update is quite short – but significant nonetheless. Here’s what’s new:
- A 10% improvement in memory efficiency – the launcher will now use less RAM than it used to.
- Search is now easier to find – just swipe down.
- Grid layout for the apps page is now customizable – 4×5, 4×6, or whatever you might have.
- The ‘recent’ page can now be customized to show the type of content you want.
- Numerous bug fixes for wallpapers, widgets, etc.
If you already use the launcher, you most likely know all of this already – for those who don’t, the launcher has quite a few deep integrations with the rest of Microsoft ecosystem.
The launcher has an inbuilt reminders experience, which integrates with Wunderlist, giving you access to your reminders and lists across all your devices.
The launcher also integrates the Office suite and shows the most relevant and recent documents – including the ability to easily share them.
Besides the obvious Microsoft integrations, some interesting features include the recent activity page that shows everything that you have recently accessed: from phone calls, to text messages, even file downloads and app installs.
There was once a time when you would have to sign up for a beta to access the launcher – no more.
The Arrow Launcher is available for Android via the Google Play Store and is completely free.