Microsoft started branching out in mobile a few years ago when it became apparent Windows Phone wasn't going to work out. One of the apps that came out of the so-called "Microsoft Garage" program was Arrow Launcher. It was a reasonably popular app in the Play Store, and now Microsoft is giving it renewed focus and a new name. It's the Microsoft Launcher now.
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.
I say it's only slightly surprising because Microsoft has been releasing a staggering amount of Android apps of late. But I digress: Next Lock Screen attempts to combine an agenda view sourced from your phone's calendar with a quick launcher system, accessible with a swipe up from the bottom of the screen.
"OK Google, what is Microsoft Garage?" Well, Rita, it's an idea incubator for Microsoft employees who like to dabble with things non-Microsofty in their spare time, like Android for example. They have a crush on us, but they still can't completely deny their allegiance to the quad colors of Redmond so they indulge by mixing in some Bing bangy bongiddy features. "Ah, thanks Google. Can you give me an example?" Sure Rita, that Bing Torque app they just released, though if you ask me, they need a copy editor for their Play Store listing: "It is like to have Microsoft’s Cortana running on your smart watch." That was a direct quote and it is like to read a torturous story for me.
Prime "Day" and its 48 hours of sales are now upon us. Deals are coming and going almost faster than they can be mentioned, but we'll do our best to keep this list up to date over the next two days. We're still in the process of adding items to this list — we have a lot to go through and piles of coupons to test — but in the meantime here are many of the current Prime Day promotions.
I have heard an absolute heap of unpleasantness about the rebranding of the Android Market today. Google Play is childish. It's unprofessional. It makes Google look less than serious about its content business. The logo is weird. The name is ambiguous - play what? It reminds people of Sony products. There are endless gripes and, let's face it, there always will be when a company rebrands a popular product.
Tomorrow, countless analysts and "experts" will weigh in on whether the move was a good one, hawking over Google's stock price like a cardiograph readout. Some will say it was terrible - what was Google thinking abandoning the Android branding of their content hub?
Way back in January 2011, we were all gobsmacked at the recent announcement of 300,000 Android activations per day. That looks cute now, doesn't it? A year later and it's more than doubled, now we're up to 700,000 per day. That's just incredible. Android could hit a million activations per day by the end of the year.
Last Year's Predictions
Tablets: The New Netbook - Netbooks definitely died.
It's that time of the year. The most corporate and commercial of holidays, Black Friday, is upon us again. As ever, we've got our eyes and ears out for the best deals we can find. For your convenience, we've put all the best stuff we've spotted into a single list, saving you time as well as money. Let's get started.
The Microsoft Garage team has graced the Play Store with more than a few interesting apps recently, some of which are actually useful. The latest project from the Garage is a note taking app called Parchi. It's designed to be quick and easily searchable, but odds are it's not available in your country yet.
The Microsoft Garage has given birth to a myriad of interesting apps with limited utility, but everyone needs a home screen, right? Microsoft made Arrow Launcher available as a beta over the summer, but now it's available in the Play Store for everyone to try. It'll take some getting used to, though. This isn't just another AOSP re-skin.
The keyboards we have on Android are already pretty good at what they do. That's not to say they're perfect, but any new entrant into this market needs to have a good angle. Microsoft's new Android keyboard is here, and it's called Hub. What does Hub do? It's a "hub" (get it?) for all your Office 365 content in keyboard form.