Microsoft has a treat for you power users this Halloween. Their automated actions service, Microsoft Flow, is finally out of beta. Flow is part of Microsoft's new "power trio," combined with the company's PowerApps and Power BI tools. While those are mostly only useful to companies, Flow has definite use for normal people. In fact, after just an hour of playing with it, I'm convinced it's better than the popular IFTTT service.
With Microsoft Flow, you can make Buttons (a user-triggered set of tasks) or Flows (automated set of tasks, much like IFTTT recipes). As far as I can tell, you can only create new Flows and Buttons from scratch on the desktop site - on mobile you have to start from a template.
We all have our own unique ways to read the news. Some like RSS apps. Some like Flipboard, or Yahoo News Digest. Others prefer to read the news direct on the website. There's yet another solution now: News Pro is a new app from Microsoft Garage, a department of the software giant that seems to have an unlimited stream of Android apps, and it aims to center the news around you and your profile, finding content that'll interest you.
By logging in with social network profiles (Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, alongside the customary email, are the options) News Pro will show relevant content that it thinks you'll like.
Millions of people use Microsoft Office every single day, from typing up a simple letter to making complex spreadsheets. For many, another fundamental part of the suite is SharePoint, which is used by organisations worldwide for a variety of different implementations and reasons. Until now, SharePoint hasn't had an Android app, but not any more: Microsoft's just released an early access version of the app on the Play Store.
The SharePoint app includes all the things you'd expect to find - managing team sites, document storage, Office 365 integration, and collaboration features with other team members. Documents can be edited with the Office Mobile apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote), making for easy updating on your Android phone or tablet.
The popular calendar app Sunrise was supposed to shut down permanently yesterday, but that didn't happen. Microsoft now says it has decided to hold off on killing Sunrise while it works to integrate more Sunrise features into the Outlook app. That doesn't mean Sunrise is alive and well, but it's not dead at least.
Microsoft has announced a series of upgrades to the calendar portion of the mobile version of Outlook. These are mostly borrowed features from the now-defunct Sunrise Calendar, which Microsoft acquired over 18 months ago.
In our Android circles, Microsoft isn't exactly the popularity king, but you'll often find users praising its OneNote service as a serious workhorse for saving and organizing all kinds of notes. The Android app is quite loved too, aside from one major asterisk if you ask our own Artem or any of the 1400+ users who upvoted this request: password-protected sections were kept out of reach.
Cyanogen, Inc has been partnered with Microsoft for a while now, bringing various mods to devices running Cyanogen OS. The company is launching the Cortana mod in India today, starting out with the OnePlus One. Cortana first came to the Cyanogen operating system in January this year, followed by the 13.1 update, which enabled more widespread mod support.
To get this update, your OnePlus One must be running the latest version of the operating system - the aforementioned 13.1. This enables the voice-activated assistant feature which behaves much like Google Now; Cyanogen says Cortana is deeply integrated into the OS, with a 'Hey Cortana' command waking her up.
Microsoft has long since abandoned the strategy of keeping its apps and services confined to its own platform. Windows Phone didn't really work out, so it's not like there's another option. Microsoft's Word, PowerPoint, and Excel apps are getting a nice update today on Android that makes them better at handling shared content. PowerPoint also gets some UI tweaks.
Microsoft is taking Android seriously, and that means more than sticking quality apps on Google Play. The tech giant is partnering with whomever it can to make its software the first you see when you power on your phone. Lenovo is the latest Android manufacturer to agree.
Microsoft's home-built (or home-bought) smartphone lineup may not be long for this world, but it looks like the development community isn't giving up on it. The Nokia Lumia 520 is an entry-level Windows Phone 8 device, announced back in 2013, and later succeeded by the Lumia 525 and 530.
A few days ago, XDA developer banmeifyouwant posted a video of his in-progress CyanogenMod 13 port to the Lumia 525. The video shows CM13, based on Android 6.0, booting on the device as well as opening and closing apps.
The developer only demonstrated the 525 booting, but he is currently working on kernel tweaks to allow the 520 to boot as well.