Microsoft has a music app. No, really, they do! It may have escaped your notice with the launch of a new service from a certain other company and the continuing dominance of Spotify, but the Xbox Music service is still going strong. Sort of - apparently Microsoft didn't think that brand name was strong enough, so they changed it to Groove. That name hasn't made it to the official Android app, for some reason.
Do you like Halo? I mean really like Halo, like you've got a little light-up Cortana on your desk and you actually know the names of the various rainbow color versions of the Master Chief? Can you write me a 20-page essay on the leadup to and fallout from the battle of Reach? Then today is your lucky day, because Halo has come to Android... in the form of a video app with clips and guides and stuff.
Microsoft is striving to be more experimental and branch out to other platforms with the Microsoft Garage project, which means we get some interesting stuff on Android. Not all of it is probably going to last, but hey, some good short-term fun. The latest app from the garage is Tossup, which can be used to gather opinions from your friends so you can make plans quickly and easily.
Microsoft has been promising Chromecast support in the OneDrive app for a while, but only now is it making good. The new v3.2 update includes support for Chromecast streaming of images and videos saved to your cloud storage.
Microsoft decided a while back to stop jealously guarding its popular productivity software and create proper apps for Android and iOS. The Office apps first came to Android for tablets only, but a phone preview started a few weeks ago. Now phone support is live for everyone, so go grab your free Word, PowerPoint, and Excel apps.
There's no nice way to say this: May kind of sucked for new apps. There were a lot of notable updates to major existing apps (including a slew of Material Design updates), but the biggest news of the month came from Microsoft, of all places. Oh well - a short field just means it's that much easier to pick your bets. Here in no particular order are our top picks for the month of May, and a few runners up.
Office Lens, which was released in a semi-private beta in April, is now widely available through the Play Store. The app had been on Windows Phone for quite a while and, continuing their pattern, Microsoft decided they wanted it on Android as well. Office Lens uses your phone or tablet's built-in camera to scan documents or whiteboards and convert them to PDF or office document formats. Here's an example of how it's supposed to work from the app info:
Of course, lots of things will affect how well it works in your experience.
Microsoft said today in a blog post that they have added 20 new partners to their roster of those who will ship their software on Android tablets. This comes on the heels of the relatively recent stable release of Word, Excel, and Powerpoint for tablets running KitKat or newer. Just earlier this year, Microsoft reached a similar agreement with Samsung, Dell, and several other less-known OEMs. Today's headliners are Sony and LG, but many more are included.