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Microsoft is finishing up an Android launcher to seamlessly connect to your PC

By Greg S ยท 9 replies
Oct 5, 2017
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  1. Previously known as Arrow Launcher, Microsoft is aiming to create a more fluid experience when switching between Android and Windows 10. Microsoft Launcher allows continuity for editing documents, sharing photos, and provides the ability to pin contacts to your home screen.

    A personalized feed is also included in the launcher to keep you up to date on calendar events, news, and changes to documents or contacts. The feed is able to be selected as your home screen instead of a regular page full of apps.

    Another useful feature included is gesture customization. If your current Android skin does not support the commands you want, Microsoft Launcher likely does. Double tapping to lock your device and swiping up for an app drawer are key inclusions. Admittedly there could be a few more gesture options available, but I had no problems with the choices provided. A minor inconvenience that I ran into while using the app drawer is that it is easy to accidentally open an app on the regular dock while trying to close the app drawer.

    One of the features that I miss on my Galaxy smartphone is that live wallpapers were removed. Microsoft provides wallpapers through Bing that can be refreshed daily. This is not unique to Microsoft Launcher, but it is worth mentioning. I chose to disable the feature in the end and keep a static wallpaper since some of the images used made it difficult to read app names and other text on the home screen.

    Microsoft Launcher is available in preview form on the Play Store. There is no official timeline for when the preview tag will be dropped from the title, but with the upcoming Fall Creators Update for Windows 10 on October 17, it would seem reasonable that Microsoft may advertise their own launcher at the same time or shortly thereafter.

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,286

    I have the Windows UI on my desktop and that more than enough for me so won't be taking much notice of it when it finally becomes official. The last thing I want on any of my Android devices is a MS style launcher with some MS functionality.
    "One of the features that I miss on my Galaxy smartphone is that live wallpapers were removed".
    Yeah, I remember someone once pointing out the 'feature' to an uninterested me on one of my older Galaxy's, and to be honest, I would never have noticed that it was discontinued, until it was again pointed out to me... by this article.
     
  3. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,781   +1,166

    The picture shows much more than just a launcher but this is not covered anywhere in the topic, is this an error on the picture selected?

    Other than that, I will probably give it a try as the stock one is not that awesome.
     
  4. treeski

    treeski TS Evangelist Posts: 1,006   +249

    What do you mean by "more than just a launcher"? If you're talking about the Calendar, Recent, etc. cards, those are things you access by swiping right.

    Anyway, the launcher isn't going to change the way you use your phone drastically, but it's worth a try.
     
  5. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,781   +1,166

    If you look at the picture, you can see it talks about seamlessly connect your phone to the computer, but is mentioned like a secondary function with a line in the news.
     
    Tanstar likes this.
  6. Deevo324

    Deevo324 TS Rookie Posts: 21   +11

    I've been using the Arrow Launcher for at least the last six months, and I'm more than happy with it. No way am I going back to standard Google launchers. MS has out-androided Google as far as I'm concerned. At this rate MS may well take over the Android experience from Google for a substantial number of users. They're making Android look, feel and operate like a serious OS rather than the toy interfaces Google offers.
     
  7. seefizzle

    seefizzle TS Evangelist Posts: 419   +290

    I tried this out. It is awful. Changes basically everything on your phone including the search to Bing. I understand why they made this but no way am I changing over like that, nor taking the time to fix everything that sucks.
     
  8. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,781   +1,166

    Oh come on! I do like Microsoft (check at my posts) but you are talking crazy man. If they had the ability to do so, the windows tablet would not be such a pain to navigate and type on, or the Windows Mobile would have never died.

    They may have one or two things that are working really well with Android (Outlook for Android ftw), but that's like a 5% of all they've developed for the platform.

    Uhm... I thought that was the whole idea behind changing the launcher... maybe I'm wrong.
     
  9. Just so people know, you can change the default Bing search to Google quite easily. There were also several other choices for search, which I can't remember offhand
     
    JaredTheDragon likes this.
  10. JaredTheDragon

    JaredTheDragon TS Guru Posts: 617   +394

    Really frustrating to see Microsoft working more on a toy phone OS, when they should be working on WinPhone 10 instead. WinPhone was already so far ahead of Android and iOS back in the 8.1 days, but then they abandoned it for... why? Hell, Android and iOS still use ICONS. In 2017, for cryin' out loud. It's pathetic.

    They could have been a contender, instead we see them catering to the NSA's needs instead of Langley's. Guess one pays better than the other.
     

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