Microsoft is no stranger to Android, having released apps like Office for Google’s mobile platform, and today the folks in Redmond release three more Android apps. What’s interesting about these new apps, though, is that they’re made by employees in their spare time.
Microsoft Garage is Microsoft’s effort to promote app projects that are made by its employees in their extra time. The first app that’s being highlighted by Microsoft is Journeys & Notes. The app allows users to check in to locations on their journeys, write notes about your trip that others can read and read tidbits left behind by other people that’ve conducted the same journey.
Next up is Next Lock Screen, a lock screen replacement that aims to make it easier for you to get things done. The app will display notifications and upcoming calendar appointments on your lock screen and allow you to jump into conference calls without unlocking your phone. Also included are app shortcuts that you can change depending on whether you’re at home, at work or just on the go.
Finally, we’ve got Bing Torque, an Android Wear app. Bing Torque will provide you with answers to your questions that you’d normally search Google for. You can ask things like “What’s the weather like?,” “How tall is Obama?” and more. To initiate Bing Torque, you twist your wrist and then ask your question.
All three apps are now available for download from Google Play. Microsoft does note that while Bing Torque works properly on Samsung and LG Android Wear devices, it has “sensor reliability issues” on the Moto 360.
It’s great to see Microsoft promoting the apps that its employees create in their spare time. You never know what kind of apps will catch on with consumers, and while these workers could certainly release the apps themselves, the apps will get much more attention thanks to Microsoft’s backing.
You can download all three apps from Google Play using the links below.