After being the owner of a Windows Phone for just over a year and hating it; I had to make sure Microsoft never had any involvement with a phone of mine ever again. That was until recently. Microsoft Arrow Launcher for Android was only launched for public from the BETA stage earlier this month, and in the short amount of time after it had launched I had read some incredible things about it. So I downloaded it. Then I also saw the matching Next Lock Screen on the Play Store. Naturally, I downloaded it as well so I could have the full package. The main concept of the two, is what you most use.
The main incorporation of this is on the home screen with the Arrow Launcher where it has your most frequently used apps.
It also shows the recent activities on your device on another page. For instance the apps you’ve just downloaded, the person you’ve just text, your missed calls, etc. There’s another page especially for the recent contacts you’ve called or text.
Also there’s a page made especially for those widgets everyone loves so much! Finally, there’s a page for your notes and reminders.
On the lock screen it, obviously, shows you your notifications, with support for Google Play Music control as well. Like the stock lock screens it has the option for Pattern and Pin Unlock (but none of the Trusted features at the time of writing), after you have turned the lock off of the stock lock screen. Finally, it’s kitted out with a swipe up for quick access to apps you have determined, and quick toggles; similar to the iOS Control Centre.
Both products are easy to use and although it involves lots of swiping, it is quite easy to get the hang of. They both look very modern and sleek, and, as you can see from the photos, it has come a long way since the BETA stages (header image), which is good because it means there are constant updates to them. It is very useful having pretty much everything you want on your phone in a typical day on the home page of you device, but it does seem a lot different to the stock home page because to access all your other apps you have to go into the App Drawer. This is not necessarily a bad thing, because the App Drawer looks a lot like Android Marshmallow’s with the vertical scrolling, and alphabetised categories, with the added features of recently used, and new apps at the top. You’ll also be pleased to know, that they’re both very simple to set-up!
I think that after using both of Microsoft’s new products, I can safely say I am going to keep on using them. This means a lot coming from me, seeing as I have never used alternative lock screens or launchers before because of the set-up hassle, and because I’ve been perfectly fine with the stock ones. I must say that I think you should go and download these for free now, because trust me, they’re useful as well as sleek looking.