A couple of days ago, Microsoft pushed out a beta version of a new Android launcher out to testers. Arrow Launcher aims to give you all the most important people and apps as efficiently as possible. Apps are on one screen, notes and reminders on another, and contacts on a third.
It’s still in its early beta stages, but Arrow Launcher reminds me a little of Yahoo’s Aviate launcher. It’s not the most customizable launcher ever developed, but it does seem efficient and I can see, with time, it’ll be really productive. I’ve put together a quick video to give you an overview of all the features of Arrow Launcher.
Like many learning products, it’ll almost certainly take time before this is as useful as it can be. The main screen splits apps in to two categories: Recent and Frequent. The former shows just a handful of the most recently opened applications, while the latter is a grid of 12 frequently used ones. So far in testing, they’ve not been terribly reliable, but the concept is there and it works. Sometimes.
The same can be said for the People screen which similarly has your contacts arranged in to Recent and Frequent groups. Quick access buttons let you text or call a contact within second or two.
Of course you can still get access to all your apps by hitting the app drawer button. The app drawer itself helpfully organizes apps alphabetically and gives you the option to search for specific apps, or quickly scroll through the entire list. The last screen is the Notes and Reminders screen which does exactly as the name suggests: Gives you somewhere to quickly jot down notes or set reminders.
The last feature that needs mentioning is the pop-up, quick-access drawer. It’s essentially a layer that glides over the top of any of the three home screens with shortcuts to your most necessary apps and contacts. It’s also where you get access to the launcher’s settings, just in case you fancy changing your wallpaper.
It’s a pretty limited launcher and doesn’t even have widget support yet, but it might suit those who just want to get in and out of a few apps and don’t have many friends. Essentially, people like me. If you want to download the launcher, you can grab the APK here. Or if you want to go for a more official route, you can ask to join the beta testing community on Google Plus.