Not a fan of passwords? Microsoft yesterday announced a new feature for users of the Microsoft Authenticator app that allows the sign-in process on Microsoft accounts to be done using a phone instead. Users can link their phone with an account and receive an interactive notification after entering their username, allowing them to bypass the need to input a password. Read More
Fans of Microsoft's Outlook will be pleased to hear that last year's most useful new feature is now coming to the Android app. Outlook Groups has had its own distinct app for a while, but after introducing the smart collaboration tool to the desktop email client it was just a matter of time before it was included in the Android Outlook app proper. That time is now. Read More
People love Minecraft, and Microsoft loves that people love Minecraft. Still, wouldn't it be nice if Microsoft could make some more money? That's where the new Minecraft Marketplace comes in. It's a marketplace (duh) where community creators can list content for sale, and Microsoft gets a taste of the action. Read More
Earlier in March, Cortana got updated on Android to version 2.5 with one important feature: optional lockscreen integration. This allowed users to swipe from their lockscreen to reveal their personal feed including calendar appointments, news, and contextual information they might need. However, it didn't include the ability to interact with Cortana or ask it questions.
With today's update to v2.6, that is now possible. You can ask Cortana questions, set reminders, and more without unlocking your device first. It's more about convenience and less about security I presume. There are also improvements to the way the Cortana home feed is displayed on Android, easier ways to set reminders and lists without using voice, and a few other enhancements. Read More
SwiftKey updated its beta app with a new flow experience more than a week ago and has since started rolling that to stable users (though not everyone seems to have it just yet). But unlike many updates, this one has loyal users up in arms and hating every single bit of the change. As a result, the SwiftKey Support forum is full of complaints and the feature has been downvoted to -39 (minus 39) points, the Play Store listing is overflowing with people revising their reviews and giving it 3 or 5 stars, and the most loyal of users are either uninstalling the app or threatening to do so. Read More
Microsoft Personal Shopping Assistant was originally released last year as a Chrome extension, and has slowly expanded to more web browsers since then. It has gained a somewhat unpopular reputation, due to Microsoft recently displaying ads for it in Windows 10. Still, if you happen to use it, you'll be happy to know that an Android version is in development. Read More
Microsoft has announced a global, general availability for its Slack competitor, Teams. The internal chat service released in a preview form back in November for Enterprise/Business customers. It is deeply integrated with Office 365, which is perfect for organizations mired in the Microsoft ecosystem. Read More
The Skype app for Android isn't great - it's often slow, with somewhat-awful call quality and the occasional crash. Back in December, Microsoft released Skype Mingo in beta, a new lightweight Skype client designed as a hub for all your communications. Now the app is out of beta, and it's called Skype Lite. Read More
Last November, Skype unveiled its Skype for Insiders closed beta program, where registered users would be able to try a test version of the Skype app that would get new features first, then send feedback and suggestions to the team to help improve it. The goal of the program was to enhance the ease of use and reliability of Skype.
Today, the Skype for Insiders app has been published on the Play Store, though still under an unreleased beta state and with a new name: Skype Preview. Read More