When it comes to software development, there are two very distinct camps on the subject of tools: those who prefer to keep it simple with just a text editor and a compiler, and then those who go straight for a fully-featured IDE with all the bells and whistles. For more than a decade, the undisputed champion of IDEs is Microsoft with its assorted versions of Visual Studio. Having come from years of work on Visual Studio, nothing pained me more than the first (several) times I started up Eclipse.
It is rare for Microsoft to invite another company to play in its sandbox, but let's face it—most people don't use OneDrive. Microsoft would probably prefer you did, but Dropbox is the king of online file storage right now. That's why the companies are getting together to add Dropbox files to Office. So what does this have to do with Android? Well, those Office apps in the Play Store are getting an update.
I'm not sure there's ever been a time I found myself needing access to Internet Explorer on Android, but now I'll be prepared if that ever does come up. Microsoft's new RemoteIE preview program lets you access a remote version of IE running in the cloud on almost any device. All you need is a Microsoft account and an app.
There was a time when it was difficult to imagine Microsoft Office becoming available for anything other than Windows. Now the suite, excuse me, service is available to Android users directly in the Play Store. That's no longer new or news. Here's what is: Microsoft has decided to give Office 365 subscribers unlimited storage space for their files.
While this OneDrive expansion is being bundled with Office 365, the space is available to more than just documents.
Now that you can put widgets on your lockscreen, there's a whole host of things you can do even before unlocking your phone. and if that's not enough, there are a few alternative lockscreens that will let you do even more. Today we're getting another one from a slightly surprising source: Microsoft. Say hello to the Next Lock Screen, an app from the company's Microsoft Garage internal team.
I say it's only slightly surprising because Microsoft has been releasing a staggering amount of Android apps of late.
Microsoft released a remote desktop app for Android just over a year ago, but now there's a new separate beta version of the app listed in the Play Store, and it makes some big changes. Of course, this still uses the RDP protocol, so you'll need a Pre version of Windows to use it. It's pretty robust if you've got the support built-in.
Microsoft has launched its Bing Rewards app into the Play Store, and if you're expecting an experience akin to Google Opinion Rewards, don't. This offering is even easier, assuming you can handle using Bing as a search engine. This may be painless for some folks, but Microsoft apparently wants users enough to pay them. People can win points just by searching for things and eventually redeem them for gift cards and other prizes.
Fun fact: Microsoft was working on "smart watches" a solid decade before the current craze. Microsoft partnered with Fossil and a few other watch makers to release SPOT Watches, which received information updates via FM radio broadcasts. I don't want to say that SPOT watches were terrible, and I don't have to, because this Cnet review does it for me. Maybe Microsoft is trying to capture the not-so-glorious days of early 2000s smartwatches, because the company's research division has just posted an experimental keyboard for Android Wear.
There are no fewer than one zillion ways to share photos. There are social channels like Facebook and Google+, NFC, Email, and more. Xim from Microsoft Research makes it easy to share photos without actually sharing them at all. Just pick the photos you want to share, and invite people to view them on their device. They don't even need to have Xim installed and the files don't go anywhere.
Considering the competitive nature of the mobile market, it's actually pretty surprising that Microsoft supports Android as well as it does, at least for its own services. The company has released over 30 apps for Android, including a free and official version of Microsoft Remote Desktop, the official RDP client for Windows. Today's update brings support for KitKat's handy immersive mode, which makes a lot of sense for a remote computer viewer...