Microsoft has now officially unveiled its latest mobile application for the Android platform – Arrow Launcher. The unfinished developer version of the app was earlier leaked on Google+ but now the app is out of beta phase and is available officially on Google Play Store.
Arrow is trying to make user’s experience with the phone a bit more streamlined. It offers quick access to apps that are being frequently used by the user, and also allows user to message or call friends faster.
There are a few features on the app which will, for sure remind you of the iOS 9 and Aviate launcher — sliding up reveals a quick settings menu, along with a list of frequently used apps. However, do note that it is not a clone of the iOS 9 or Aviate’s interface.
Like any other Android launcher, users can use Arrow to re-arrange pages, set pages as your home-screen, organize and use widgets, apply icon packs, and more.
As the application is coming out from Microsoft, we were expecting some deep integration with services and tools of Microsoft. But, to our surprise, the only notable Microsoft integration is the wallpapers from Bing.
Once the app gets traction, the company could take advantage by pushing updates with the integration of its own services like Skype, Bing, Office, Outlook, etc.
Arrow is still a project under Microsoft Garage, an internal R&D group which creates experimental projects to see if the project is worthy of further development or not.
You may be wondering why Microsoft is developing a mobile application for its rival mobile application platform? The answer is that the company is trying out its new strategy of cross -platform development instead of sticking with its own software and services. Microsoft is also going to launch its voice-based virtual assistant Cortana on Android as well as on iOS platform, as a part of its cross platform development strategy.
Last year, Yahoo acquired a popular Android launcher application – Aviate for around $80 million, in order to use Aviate’s technology to deliver its content in ways that are “smarter and more personalized.”