The version 2.0 update to the Arrow Launcher, originally released in November through The Microsoft Garage to simplify your relationship with your Android phone, adds Office 365 integration through the introduction of a new Documents page. Now, when you are signed into your Office 365 account, you will be able to easily access, modify and share your documents from the cloud.
“You no longer need to email important documents to yourself to be accessible on the go,” says Daniel Chu, a Beijing-based leader on the Office Experience team that helped develop the app. “We have also added several performance tweaks to make Arrow consume even less battery power, and be more responsive and faster than ever.”
Arrow is a streamlined launcher that learns what you use most on your device and makes it easier to get to it, and then get back to what you were doing. Your favorite apps are automatically arranged based on your usage, so you can easily find and keep in touch with the people who you contact most often, and quickly get back to your recent photos, downloads, apps and contacts.
Chu says the team has learned a lot about the app’s users in the months since its release.
“Performance and smoothness matters,” he says. “Using Arrow makes them feel like they’re upgrading their phone – without having to buy a new one. Second, providing users with open and direct access to us (the developers) is a key part of our growth story. Every engineer, designer and program manager on the team is tasked to monitor user feedback and answer them within 24 hours. Everyone is listening directly to our users instead of through a customer feedback report. Through this kind of close interactions with our users, we continue to learn how best to solve their problems and build a product they love.”
They’ve also stayed focused.
“It is critical to have a ‘True North’ on the product,” Chu says. “From the beginning, we have not changed from our mission of being the launcher that simplifies your life for you, and makes you more productive on the go. And this is a major factor why we continue to connect with our user base.”
Users have rated Arrow 4.3 out of 5 stars in the Google Play store, with the most previous release before this one – v1.4 – receiving 4.7.
“Our users feel invested in the mission of the product, and are constantly giving us constructive feedback on how to make Arrow better,” Chu says. “It’s a great feeling to have users participating as key members of your product development team.”
Arrow is one of many apps and updates released through The Garage, the outlet for Microsoft teams around the world to get experimental apps and projects out to the public, such as Next Lock Screen, Sprightly, Kaizala, News Pro 2.0, Hub Keyboard and Fetch!.
“The Garage has played a key role in helping us spread the word about the product,” Chu says. “As we are associated with the Garage brand, users understand that we adhere to the spirit of experimentation and rapid delivery, and that we look to the community for feedback.”
Microsoft News Center Staff