Microsoft is building an Android launcher

Arrow Launcher
There's not much to it, but it's pleasantly simple

Microsoft has made a surprisingly large number of apps for Android, but it's now working on a launcher, which could be its most significant Android app yet.

It's called Arrow Launcher, and it's currently in closed beta, so you can't get it without requesting and waiting for an invite from the Google+ community, but Microsoft News has been able to try it out and reports that it's a basic but promising offering.

The launcher includes three main pages, a People page, which displays your phone and email contacts, a main home page which displays apps, split between recently installed and frequently used and a Notes & Reminders page, allowing you to add notes which are never more than a swipe away.

It's called Arrow Launcher for a reason

At the bottom of each screen you'll see a dock which you can place apps on - and as a handy extra there's an arrow which you can swipe up to reveal another set of apps and links to the Settings, Wallpaper and Feedback pages.

It sounds like a pretty limited launcher with just three screens and minimal customisation options, but that keeps things simple, just like Windows Phone does. So if you want a mix of Google and Microsoft it could be worth a try, either now while it's in beta or once it launches on Google Play as a finished product, though sadly it's not clear when that will be.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.