Microsoft has launched a brand new, Android only app over the weekend. And this latest addition comes in form of a custom Android launcher called Arrow.
The launcher brings a touch of the Windows and Symbian UI to the custom Android interface. The home screen for example, consists of 3 different panels. In the centre pane are the most used apps while swiping to the left gets you to a People pane, with your frequently accessed contacts (e-mail as well as call). Swiping right on the other hand, gets you a screen dedicated to Notes & Reminders.
The bottom of the screen has the customary docket with space for 4 applications such as Browser, Phone, Messages and Camera.. The dock also includes an arrow, which can be swiped up to reveal apps and links of Settings, Feedback and Wallpaper pages.
The app drawer for Arrow is quite similar to Windows with apps sorted alphabetically, which while handy, can quickly get boring. The launcher can also change your wallpaper every day using the Bing image search engine, which is pretty neat.
However, considering the fact that the app is still in Beta, it does has some pretty important flaws, the chief of which is a near total lack of anything resembling customization. For one, you can’t choose a custom icon pack or change the size of the icons. Adding apps of your choice to the Frequently used apps section on the homepage is similarly, not allowed. Also, Microsoft for reasons best known to itself, hasn’t put in an option to add or remove the pages on the home screen.
All in all, the app is pretty simple and to the point, reminding one somewhat of the good old Symbian as well as current crop of Windows Phones. While it could certainly do with some customization freedom, many would prefer to download and use it the way it is due to the no hassle approach it offers.