Microsoft has been trying hard to gain success in the smartphone world. But, it’s recent efforts in Windows Phone with Windows 10 isn’t bearing satisfactory fruits. It has only 2.8% market share in the US. It’s probably dead. Well, some have already declared it’s dead. But, one area where Microsoft is booming already is Android. Their Office suite Android apps have been downloaded over 50 million times with great ratings.
Apart from these Office apps, they have launched other several Android apps that are dubbed under the name ‘Microsoft Garage Projects’. So, let’s see today some of these Garage projects by Microsoft that very few people know of and are worth trying. Let’s dig in.
1. Hub Keyboard
Few days back Microsoft released its first Keyboard on Android called the Hub keyboard. It has nothing to do with Microsoft Hub. But, there are some fine features with this keyboard has that I’d like to mention.
Firstly, the UI. It has a professional feel and no visual lag while typing. The keyboard is built in such a way that you can easily access information from different Microsoft services or Office apps. You can easily share a file to OneDrive or Office365 with built-in share options. You can also share a contact from your phone using this keyboard. Also, there’s a nifty little keyboard specific clipboard to let you easily manage your copied text. The last interesting feature is to translate what you write in different languages.
2. Arrow Launcher
Arrow Launcher gained much hype when it launched. All because of its simplicity and productive approach that would let user complete their tasks. The most used apps and contacts come up on the front page. You get a nifty little widget to add tasks that you got to complete.
The UI is eye pleasing and you can actually download the Bing wallpapers from the launcher settings and add it to your screen. Another plus point of using it is that it’s lightweight. I had used it for a week. But, eventually moved back to my old Nova launcher because Arrow launcher didn’t provide enough customizability.
Having problem picking the best Android Launcher? Here’s a complete guide that will help you pick one.
3. Next and Picturesque Lock Screen
Yes, Microsoft couldn’t resist. They even built a lock screen app. In fact, two apps. First, let’s talk about Next lock screen. If explained in one sentence – It’s a lock screen through which you can do most of the basic smartphone stuff like calling, texting, checking the weather, view upcoming events, etc. All of it, right from the lock screen. It’s made for busy professionals that don’t have much time to unlock the screen and actually perform these tasks with dedicated apps.
Picturesque lock screen automatically downloads beautiful Bing wallpapers and adds it to your lock screen. Apart from that, you get a universal search for your phone through which you can search apps, contacts and events. That too right from the lock screen.
4. Microsoft Hyperlapse
Well, they didn’t leave the Camera either. Microsoft Hyperlapse does as the name says. It lets you time lapse your videos. It can be said that it’s a “yet another Android app” providing Hyperlapse functionality. But, there is one cool feature very few apps provide. It’s the ability to create GIFs from those videos. You get to speed it up to 32x and you can also take selfie lapses.
5. Mimicker Alarm
Now, this is an interesting concept by Microsoft with Mimicker Alarm. If you feel you’re having a bad time waking up in the morning then this app can help you. In fact, it will force you to wake up. Whenever the alarm rings it will give you a task to complete. If you don’t complete it then the alarm will continue ringing.
Tasks include taking a selfie with specific expression, tongue twister and color capture where you have to take a photo that matches the specified color. After you complete the task you can share it with your friends and show them how you woke up. A must-try app.
6. Kaizala Chat
Kaizala chat is a business chat application comparable to Slack. Well, it’s not that similar. You can create a team, assign jobs and also track the location of a team member. You can send bills and reports about the job and track your employees. You actually have to send a request if you want to know some team member’s location.
Well, the app hasn’t got much exposure. On the Play Store, it has been downloaded less than 1000 times. But, it has whooping 4.9 rating! So, it must have that potential of a business chat application.
Are you a Slack user? Here are some shortcuts that will make you a power user.
7. Connections – Call Notes
Connections – Call Notes lets you create notes for specific contacts. Whenever the person contacts you, the note will pop-up during the call that will help you remind of the stuff you need to talk. You can also set timely reminders about a contact that you have to call. You can also categorize contacts in different channels for ease of use.
Are they Worth Using?
That’s it with the list of apps by Microsoft that you must try. The team behind these Garage Projects is really doing a great job. So, big thumbs up to them. If you tried any of them then let us know your experience.