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...
Today Microsoft has announced its Wireless Display Adapter, a Chromecast-sized dongle that plugs into the back of your TV, monitor, or projector and enables you to mirror content from any Miracast-enabled device. It's not the first product of its kind on the market, but Microsoft's offering is a small and sleek option, and it just so happens to be compatible with Android devices.
Most cloud storage apps have a few things in common these days. One: free online storage measured by the gigabyte. Two: an Android app. Three: a feature that automatically uploads new photos taken on your phone or tablet to the service. Microsoft really wants you to take advantage of that last one, and to encourage users to do so, they're giving them even more of the first one.
According to this blog post, Microsoft is doubling its already generous 15GB storage allowance for free users if they enable the "camera roll" (automatic photo upload) feature.
In another gesture that shows Microsoft's increasing willingness to play along with its competitors, the company has launched a OneNote Android Wear app into the Play Store. However, this release oddly requires users to have this separate app installed alongside the standard Android one in order to interact with OneNote on their smartwatches. It's awkward, but hey, it's better than nothing. With this new integration, people are able to dictate words to their wrists and have them appear among their notes.
As someone who spends all day in front of computer screens, I'm somewhat picky when it comes to input devices. I prefer Logitech mice, but their keyboards are always too mushy and over-designed for my taste - I'll take a chunky, clicky Microsoft keyboard every time. This being the case, I more or less ignored Logitech's admittedly cool K480 universal Bluetooth keyboard, which is designed to work seamlessly across Windows, Android, and iOS.
Last week a Wall Street Journal report suggested that Microsoft and Mojang were considering an acquisition worth upwards of $2 billion, and a Reuters article later stated that an announcement would come today, revealing an agreed price of $2.5 billion. Now it's official. Mojang's Chief World Officer Owen Hill has taken to its blog to confirm that the two and half billion dollar acquisition is definitely happening.
Speaking for Minecraft's creator, Hill says in the post that it was never Markus Persson's - known as Notch - intention for the game to get this big.
Microsoft's latest app is the type of enterprise-targeted product that's been traditionally associated with the company. Dynamics NAV has the kind of name that makes general consumers shrug. In short, it's enterprise resource planning software that businesses use to manage finances, operations, and other work-y stuff. I have no use for this app, and neither will most of the people reading this post, but I know there are more than a few suit and tie-wearing Android Police readers out there.
It's estimated that the build-your-own-adventure sleeper hit Minecraft has sold over 50 million copies on various gaming platforms, including more than 5 million of the Pocket Edition on Android. How much would you say that Mojang, the Swedish developer co-founded by Markus "Notch" Persson, is worth? If a recent report from the Wall Street Journal is to be believed, Mojang and its properties are being acquired for a staggering two billion dollars by Microsoft.