Tech

Microsoft Reveals Arrow For Android

By Paul Pajarillo , Oct 30, 2015 03:14 AM EDT
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There are a thousand ways to modify an Android smartphone. Unexpectedly, Microsoft has developed an Android launcher known as Arrow that was discovered by a group of Google+ beta testers.

An unfinished version of such Android launcher was being developed by Microsoft known as Arrow and was found out by launcher testers from Google+. While it may look surprising to see a software tech giant building a tool that enables smartphone users to customize their Android phones, it may be a strategy of the company to embrace cross platforms instead of locking everyone to its own services and software.

Microsoft's Android launcher offers a different interface for android, more of like an iOS feel on it. The launcher makes it easier for smartphone users to access frequently used applications as well as settings, messaging and even taking down notes. Also, the interface somewhat mimics Apple's Siri based on search suggestions.

In addition, the Arrow launcher organizes apps based on its usage, meaning the apps that user access the most will appear like a top 10 list of applications. Also, the dock can be customized with a swipe, like an iOS Control Center.

Another useful feature of the launcher is that it enables users to quickly find people and giving options either sending an SMS, email or a voice or video call. It also lets the users create reminders and notes in the quick find feature. Similarly to other Android launchers, Arrow rearranges the smartphone's home screen, use and organize screen widgets, icons, themes, and so on. The only prominent Microsoft amalgamation is the addition are its Bing wallpapers.

Though Microsoft has a Windows phone, the Arrow strategy could be similar to Yahoo's Aviate. Aviate is Yahoo's move to get a position in the mobile market where it only has software applications with no platform of its own. Although this would only represent a small percentage on the tech giant's overall smartphone market, it is a move to embrace cross platforms like Android and iOS. In other words, this is an experimental project. But if the launcher engraves its popularity, Microsoft could take advantage of this by recommending its own apps and services like Bing search, OneDrive cloud storage and even MS Office to the Android community.

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