It’s been pretty clear that Microsoft would rather work on building apps and services for Android and iOS instead of pushing their own Windows Phone platform lately, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Windows Phone lacks a decent market share, so if Microsoft wants people to use their services, they’ll have to continue to rely on other platforms. Samsung’s partnership with Microsoft for bonus OneDrive storage and preloaded Microsoft apps is a pretty good indicator or this.
While Microsoft already offers apps for some of their own apps, like Skype, OneDrive, OneNote, and all kinds of other things, their next step looks to be creating a standalone launcher for Android phones. The launcher, called Arrow Launcher, sticks to Microsoft’s design language pretty closely, although in its early stages its seriously lacking any customization, which is a big selling point for many Android launchers. Read more
Microsoft has announced the latest creation to come out of their Microsoft Garage unit, a new app called Send. The app is meant to serve as a tool for “brief, snappy communications” where an email is overkill but use of an IM or SMS app may not be feasible. Initially Send will work for users who have Office 365 business or school email accounts, although Microsoft expects to make it more widely available to other Office users in the coming months. Read more
Skype has received a new update–version 5.6 up from version 5.5–from Microsoft, making the communications application more user-friendly through a refreshed design and a minor improvement to the recent conversations tab.
Google wants you to make documents with Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Microsoft wants you to make documents with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Then, when storing those documents or any other files, the two companies are split between Drive and OneDrive. Among the benefits of sticking with one company’s services is how everything works seamlessly. Google, however, wants Microsoft Office users to enjoy the benefits of Drive despite using a competing service.
We reported to you back in may that Microsoft’s Hyperlapse was now available in a closed beta, but now it’s available as a full fledged app. The app allows users to shoot time-lapse videos. You shoot a long video, but speed it up into a time-lapse that is very smooth to watch.
Microsoft has just released an update for its Xbox Music app for Android. The app allows you to stream music from the OneDrive cloud storage and the update now lets you load music for offline playback, and lets you use the app without having an Xbox Music Pass. Read more
There’s still a few months to go until Halo 5: Guardians launches on October 27th for the Xbox One. Until then, you can immerse yourself in the Master Chief’s universe by downloading and installing Microsoft’s Halo Channel app on your phone and tablet.
It seems to be a perennial issue for groups of friends or family – making a decision about when to get together and what to do or where to go. You are probably familiar with the dynamic if you have ever asked the question, “where do you want to go eat?” Invariably the responses come back as a bunch of “I don’t care” or “whatever” responses and if anyone ever makes an actual suggestion, the objections start to pour in. Microsoft is trying to come to the rescue for these situations with a new app called Tossup from their Microsoft Garage unit. Read more
Information from an internal conference that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella had with senior Microsoft employees regarding the future of Windows Phone leaked this week. Details included expanding further into Android by making apps that could potentially replace some Google services like Maps, Search, and maybe even YouTube.
In a transaction confirmed by both companies, Uber is buying a portion of Microsoft Bing that focuses on image collection data and activities. As part of the transfer of that portion of Bing, Uber will be adding around 100 employees moving over from Microsoft. Read more