Microsoft testing out its own Android home launcher

Another sign Microsoft is giving up on Windows Phone?

If Android wasn't already spoiled for launcher apps, Microsoft has stepped into the fray with its own take, dubbed Arrow Launcher.

The launcher is, for the most part, clean and uncomplicated, with three different home screens. For the main home screen, there are four app rows with the top row accommodating the most recent apps while the rest are for apps used frequently.

A menu drawer can be accessed via a swipe up from the bottom, revealing recent contacts and shortcuts. Frequent and recently contacted people show up on the left home screen, while the right will have space for notes and reminders.

Four apps fit neatly in the dock, with an app drawer key in the centre. Daily Bing wallpapers can be set if you so wish, from the settings that allow for wallpaper changes.

You might well wonder why Microsoft is dipping its toes in Android's waters, given that it makes a rival OS. Some might say it's because, given that Windows Phone isn't particularly popular, Microsoft is getting used to developing for Android in case it decides to ditch its own platform altogether. Others might say that Arrow allows Microsoft to collect usage data from Android users in order to make improvements to the Windows Phone UI. Microsoft also has services that it can push to Android users (OneDrive, Office etc.) and may be looking at new ways to do that. So don't necessarily read this as any sort of death knell for Windows Phone.

Currently, Arrow Launcher is in private beta, which means you'll need an invitation to try it out. Your best bet is to join the Google+ community dedicated to the beta and try and request an invite from there.

[Source: GSMArena]