Microsoft's Build conference is about all the things happening in the company's wide range of products and services, but that includes Android apps these days. At Build yesterday, Microsoft announced there's a big change coming to one of its apps soon-ish. Microsoft plans to add notification mirroring support to Windows 10, and it's going to be powered on the Android side by Cortana. Read More
Microsoft has been steadily marching towards getting familiar desktop features onto their mobile apps. Most recently, that meant support for versioning, auto-save, and live collaboration. This time around, all three get the ability to export to PDF, something we take for granted when using the full versions of Office. They also get a new feature allowing users to insert images directly from your camera, which of course is a feature more unique to mobile. For its part, Microsoft Word for Android can now open RTF files, which falls into the "I didn't realize it couldn't already do that" category for many of us. Read More
Microsoft is rolling out big updates to all three of its major Office apps for Android, with several overlapping improvements. The highlight is the addition of auto-save, a staple on desktop versions and frankly overdue on mobile with so many more opportunities for lost connections, unexpected battery drains, and other interruptions. In the same vein, Word and Powerpoint get real-time collaborative editing support, similar to what is available in the web apps and Google Docs.
I took a test drive with the collaborative editing on Word and it wasn't exactly seamless. The browser version says I was editing while offline, which is a decent way to describe the way it worked. Read More
Microsoft's Work Folders, which is for organizational accounts, allows you to sync work files across devices and access them while offline. For important internal documents, having employees using their own computers and phones to access them is a bit of a security nightmare. Work Folders is a compromise, adding some more protection—and convenience—to allow people to work with potentially sensitive information that is stored on an organization's server.
While this feature is well-integrated into Windows (as you might have expected), this is its debut on Android. If you do not have an account with access via your employer, it won't do you any good; this is a subscribers-only feature set. Read More
We get it, some of you don't like Microsoft's apps. But there's no denying that the company has been doing a real kickass job on Android lately, updating its different applications and adding new and interesting features that either put it up to par with Google's offerings or make it leapfrog it by a few miles. I mean... did you hear that Microsoft Translator can now translate Klingon?
Well, here's a new feature that OneDrive is adding where it's just playing catch-up with Google Drive: the ability to scan a document or whiteboard and upload it directly as a PDF. The option shows up under the + FAB icon in OneDrive (image above) and opens the camera to let you take a photo before immediately uploading it as a PDF. Read More
Your keyboard knows more about you, your language habits, your weird infatuation with the pile of poo emoji, and your eccentric words than you could ever imagine. SwiftKey knows even more, not only because it's been available for years and has been collecting your data for as long as you've used it, but also because it can scan through your entire email and social accounts to learn more and more from your typing behavior.
Now SwiftKey is ready to turn that knowledge into infographics (because those are cool) to let you in on the secrets of your own language and typing habits. Read More
Have you ever wanted to chat with your buddies at work but were afraid of what your boss might say if they caught you slacking off? Then you're in luck, because Microsoft has got your back: Skype is now fully integrated into OneDrive, so you can finally gossip and send emoji and still look entirely professional while doing so.
Of course, that's not really the point of having a Skype sidebar built into your company's revenue spreadsheet for last quarter: Microsoft is selling the concept as a means of boosting productivity and letting coworkers collaborate in real time on documents. Each chat history even stays connected to its respective document, so it's always easy to search back and find what you were looking for. Read More
Hyperlapse is Microsoft's fancy name for smooth time-lapse videos. The Android app can shoot new scenes or import your existing videos and stabilize them, remove the shaking, and either keep them at the same speed or fast-forward them up to 16x for a more adrenalin-pumping effect.
The app received an update to add two important features when you're dealing with video. First is the ability to shoot and export edited video in 1080p, and second is the option to save videos to the SD card. Both options can be found and activated in the app's settings, but they're only available on devices that support them. Read More
Microsoft has had trouble getting developers to make apps for the Windows Store, so at last year's Build conference, it announced four ways to port apps from other platforms to Windows 10. Three of them are still available to developers—Web (Westminster), Win32 (Centennial), and iOS (Islandwood). The Android-to-Windows Project Astroia, however, is officially dead. Read More
Microsoft makes a lot of apps for multiple platforms. It also makes a lot of tools that are used by other developers to build apps for multiple platforms. It only makes sense then that the company would be interested in buying Xamarin, one of the leading platform providers for mobile app development.
While you may not have heard of Xamarin, its solution counts as one of the invisible threads that play a role in running the Internet nowadays. The platform helps developers use a shared codebase in C# to build, test, and monitor native apps for iOS, Android, and Windows, all with the same IDE, language, and APIs. Read More