The early release sports an interface reminiscent of Aviate, but appears less devoted to contextual recommendations. While the current version is fairly basic, the big ideas may still be on the horizon. The first thing I noticed is that Arrow replaced the stock icons for system apps like Phone and Messages, which isn’t in and of it self a bad thing but an unexpected behavior.
The main screen is divided into three sections. There is a row on top for recent apps, a larger area in the middle for frequently used apps, and the bottom row for user-selected quick access apps. One trick up Arrow’s sleeve is that you can swipe up from that bottom row, revealing more apps, folders, and recent contacts. It chooses all of these for you to begin with so that the space isn’t empty.
There is one page to the left and one to the right, each which serve specialized functions. You can’t add or remove pages at this point. Swipe right and you get a running to-do list, which is very simplistic but does offer the ability to add scheduled reminders. Let’s hope Wunderlist integration is forth coming. To the left is a set of shortcuts to recent and frequent contacts, in case the swipe-up shortcut wasn’t useful enough for you. Last but not least, the app drawer is similar to the Android M Google Now Launcher and many others with that style.
What is new with Arrow 3.5:
– New card: Arrow Hub card, your one-stop PC to mobile file transfer center;
– New card: MSN News card with category support;
– Support more feature on backup & restore: Widgets/icon pack and more settings;
– Voice input for Reminder & Notes
– Search experience upgrade (voice & QR)
– Option to turn off recent apps in app drawer
– Stability and bug fixes
[appbox googleplay com.microsoft.launcher]