Microsoft Garage's project keeps pumping up new apps and ideas for Android and the latest is Favorites Lock Screen. As the name implies, this is a lockscreen replacement app that puts emphasis on your favorite things. Unlike Microsoft's graduated Next Lock Screen, this one is still in its infancy and it shows. The icon is disturbingly low-res and the interface doesn't feel half as polished as Next. However, it could still be worth checking out if you'd like some news to go with your phone unlocking.
The idea behind Favorites is to have two screens: one has an HD image with a Bing search bar, camera icon, and quick access to Bing searches for the character in the wallpaper; and the second has a stream of news for your favorite topics.
Microsoft Garage pumps out new apps very frequently, and while some graduate to become full-fledged products, others stay just a "garage" project: neat proof-of-concept, but not more. The latest app from it is Outings, a travel discovery app.
Outings is personalized to your liking by first asking you to choose at least 5 topics you're interested in like landscapes, family activities, winter recreation, city life, history and culture, and more. Based on these, you will get a curated list of destinations and stories from travel blogs under the Discover tab, which show up as large swipeable cards . The Nearby tab has stories on places around you and the Search tab lets you look for specific topics and destinations.
Microsoft Garage's teams are bolstering with new ideas and different takes on existing ones. Every couple of weeks, sometimes even days, there's a new project being released under the Garage umbrella, and today marks the arrival of one of these: Trip Tracker.
It is built by the same team that brought us Arrow Launcher and Next Lock Screen, and uses a similar idea of contextual location. The app is a bit of a demo for the LOOP SDK (Location and Observation Platform), which is a Microsoft platform for Android and iOS that can grab location in a battery-efficient way. Trip Tracker leverages LOOP to gather data about your whereabouts and presents it to you in an easily digestible way.
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.
Are Microsoft Garage's resources infinite? I sure think so. The program keeps fostering and releasing new Android apps on the Play Store faster than Kairosoft can pump out simulation games. Sometimes, they're quirky apps that just want to make your mornings worse and other times they're interesting apps that grow to become useful projects like Next Lockscreen and Arrow Launcher. Today's new releases could be either: they're limited in scope but have what is needed to be very useful in their niche.
Sprightly caters to a limited audience of business owners who work on a small scale and want to manage their media communications themselves.
Wake up! Wakey wakey... It's time to rise and shine. Come on, wake up silly! I said wake up! Argh. It's like you're ignoring me on purpose. What's this ridiculous game we keep playing bruh? You ask me to do something for you every morning and I'm always up and at'em because you need me to. Then you're all about not even listening to me. And you have the nerve to hate me for actually doing my job! Ungrateful human. Oh wake up, please. Sigh. I hate this game.
I bet you don't do this to your other apps. They probably notify you and you're instantly all over them to see what they want.
One of a smartphone's core functions is to contact your contacts, so you probably have a bunch of them. Some, maybe even most, folks would consider the default contacts app on their phone sufficient, but Microsoft is working on a piece of software for people who would say otherwise.
Email is the digital version of sending out letters, but given that the metaphorical postal worker delivers these messages instantly, it's not uncommon for correspondence to grow increasingly brief. This email I'm about to send you doesn't contain four paragraphs. It's a single sentence, and I only want a one-word reply. Stat.
Under such circumstances, loading up webmail or firing up a bulky client can feel unnecessary. Why aren't we using an instant messenger? Couldn't you have fit that into a text? (I don't have your number, silly).
To address this particular dynamic, Microsoft Garage has developed Send. This experimental little app treats email like instant messaging.
Microsoft is striving to be more experimental and branch out to other platforms with the Microsoft Garage project, which means we get some interesting stuff on Android. Not all of it is probably going to last, but hey, some good short-term fun. The latest app from the garage is Tossup, which can be used to gather opinions from your friends so you can make plans quickly and easily.
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.