Microsoft has been surprisingly generous when it comes to apps for Android, a platform it's technically still competing against. (Sort of.) Today the company launched an entire suite of Android apps to support its MSN/Bing web platform. All six of them tie directly into existing services: MSN Food & Drink, MSN Health & Fitness, MSN Money, MSN News, MSN Sports, and MSN Weather. They're all free to download in the Play Store right now.
In a move that shows Microsoft's interest in improving its products for rival platforms, the company has acquired Accompli, a developer whose email client is available for both Android and iOS.
Accompli, as the app is also called, triages your inbox, giving priority to the messages that may be the most important. It combines this with filters and other features geared towards giving you control of your mail.
Accompli currently sits in the Play Store with somewhere between 10,000 - 50,000 installs, but the number of users impacted by this acquisition will be much higher.
The Office mobile app just got an update, and for once it's bringing something you might care about. The latest update adds the Dropbox integration that was announced early this month. You can now open, edit, and save documents in Dropbox using the Office app.
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 afewalternativelockscreens 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.
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.