Microsoft may have its own mobile platform to worry about, but that hasn’t stopped the company from launching products that work with other (competing) platforms. In September they launched the Universal Mobile Keyboard, an accessory that not only works with Windows Phone, but also Android and iOS. Now, Microsoft has just launched three new apps that work for Google’s mobile operating system.
Microsoft has officially launched a trio of new apps through their Garage initiative (a way for Microsoft employees to work on varying projects, like Android apps); two of which are meant for the main Android operating system, while the third is built for Android Wear. The latter is called Torque, and it’s designed to let you bring up Bing for a quick search query without having to say anything to your wrist to launch the app. Instead, you simply twist your wrist adorned with an Android Wear-based smartwatch, the app will open up, and then you speak your query. As noted, this does replace Google for Bing, so keep that in mind.
One of the Android apps is called Next Lock Screen, and it does exactly what you would imagine. Microsoft’s custom lock screen replacement is a feed of calendar appointments, and also works as a quick app launcher to get to what you need faster, when you need it. What’s more, the apps will change depending on your location. The functionality goes deeper, with the ability to launch the Phone app right from the Next Lock Screen just by sliding on a calendar appointment that has a phone number as part of the description.
The final app is called Journeys & Notes, and as Microsoft puts it, it’s an app for “the space between an origin and a destination.” The app is something akin to Foursquare, but instead of focusing on the destination and then checking in, it’s more about the trip you take, including where you start. So, as noted by The Next Web, if you take a trip on the Eurostar from London to Paris, you can use the app to outline your trip, and once you’ve checked in it will populate notes and comments/tips from other users who have taken the same trip.
Each app is available now, and they’re all free.