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article imageMicrosoft unveils its own Android launcher that syncs to your PC

By James Walker     Oct 5, 2017 in Technology
Microsoft has announced Microsoft Launcher for Android, a new Android experience that's designed around customisation and productivity. It synchronises to PCs and uses elements of Microsoft's Windows Fluent Design. It's based on the older Arrow Launcher.
Microsoft unveiled the new app in a blog post today. The company has been developing Arrow Launcher for a while, steadily adding features to its own Android home screen. Today, it's aiming to broaden the appeal of the launcher by debuting new features and giving it a rebrand as "Microsoft Launcher."
The launcher's home screen offers a clean aesthetic that's fairly similar to stock Android. There's a dock at the bottom of the display, including a conventional app drawer, and a top-mounted search bar. The rest of the space is free for customisation with app shortcuts and widgets.
Microsoft Launcher for Android
Microsoft Launcher for Android
Microsoft
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The power of the launcher is contained within its Feed view. Accessed with a swipe to the right, the Feed shows your agenda for the day, links to frequently used apps and top trending news stories. It can also provide shortcuts to individual actions, documents, photos and people, forming a kind of centralised entrypoint for all your mobile activities.
Microsoft Launcher for Android
Microsoft Launcher for Android
Microsoft
Microsoft Launcher is part of the company's work to offer "seamless" switching between Windows 10 PCs and mobile devices. You can remotely open files on your PC or send them as notifications to review later. You can start writing a document or editing a photo while on the move and then continue on your PC when you get home or to the office.
"[We are] launching a preview release of our new Microsoft Launcher for Android," Microsoft said. "We think it's the most beautiful (based on Fluent Design), customizable, powerful launcher available. With Microsoft Launcher, your recent photos, documents and more can all Continue on PC as well. And – just like on Windows 10 – with Microsoft Launcher you can put icons of your favorite people right on the home screen so they're quickly and easily available."
Microsoft Launcher for Android
Microsoft Launcher for Android
Microsoft
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Launcher's not the only new Microsoft app unveiled today. The company has also announced it's bringing its Windows 10 Edge web browser to iOS and Android devices. Combined with other Microsoft apps, Microsoft Launcher and Edge allow you to convert an Android phone into an experience led by the company's products. It's possible a Microsoft Launcher-led Android device could one day replace Windows 10 Mobile.
Microsoft Launcher for Android is available in preview form from today. Existing users of Microsoft's experimental Arrow Launcher will be automatically updated to the new app. Everyone else can join the preview today using a special link. Arrow Launcher has already enjoyed some modest success, boasting a 4.6-star rating on the Play Store and over five million downloads.
More about Microsoft, Android, microsoft launcher, Apps, Pc