Microsoft Launcher Beta (Arrow) Community Report 📲 Google Pixel XL 2, Android 8.1.0

Device: Samsung Note 4, Android 6.0.1

Application: Microsoft Launcher v4.5

I am not using this app frequently but it is always installed on my secondary device. This is the First TestingCatalog report for this app so there might be some duplications.

What's new for v4.5:

  • Running late? Now you can let meeting attendees know you’re running late straight from the calendar card.
  • Microsoft Intune integration. Employees whose enterprises leverage Microsoft Intune’s data protection policies can now use the Microsoft Launcher for viewing corporate data. Enterprise data protection policies now apply on all Microsoft Launcher surfaces.
  • Icon size: Adjust your icon size in the app drawer, dock and home screen.
  • More features: Set different wallpapers for your home screen and lock screen (Android 7.0+) Add blank Home screen pages in vertical mode; Enable recurring reminders; Support Android Oreo app/widget shortcuts creation;
  • Experiment features import from other launchers from Settings -> Backup / Restore; Reset your launcher from Settings -> Utilities / Reset Launcher;

Let's start with New features.

Running late? - I didn't manage to try this because my calendar is connected to the google calendar. It looks like you have to use MS calendar to make this feature available. Please let me know if I am wrong here.

Icon size - This one was easy to find. Launcher settings - Personalisation - App Drawer Icons - Disable "Use home screen size" checkbox. You will see a slider with 5 states where you will be able to choose the icon size from Smallest to Larges. You also can see an icon preview which is very cool! (Screenshot)

Add blank Home screen pages in vertical mode - Long tap at the home screen - press on the right page to add a new one. You will see possible 7 options. One of them is a Blank Page which will create a new page where you can add apps and widgets. This looks like a basic option so I am not 100% sure if it a completely new or if it is something "vertical mode" specific.

Reset your launcher from Settings - I tried this too and it was very straightforward. App hangs for several milliseconds and then you can see a Welcome screen where you can setup MS launcher from scratch.

Besides those several changes, I also noticed a couple of issues which I didn't see before.

Join Beta Program button opens a Google Plus community in a web view instead of a native intent

  • Steps - open Launcher settings - press Support us button - press Join Beta programme.
  • Expected results - The button should open a Google Plus app intent if Google Plus app is installed.
  • Actual result - App opens a web view where the user should log in to the Google Account once again.

Swipe on the dock gesture has a delayed animation if it's configured to open the app drawer

  • Steps - Open Launcher settings - press Gestures - press Swipe up on Dock - press Open app drawer - press Home button - Swipe up on Dock (slowly).
  • Expected - Home screen should become hidden immediately.
  • Actual - The user can see a home screen behind the app drawer for several milliseconds.

Both issues are small and not critical. Did you find anything else?

  • Winner of the 10 Best Android Launchers: "Arrow keeps all the info and apps you need in compact, context-sensitive pages." - Tom's guide
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