Turning a Andoird phone into a Microsoft productity device

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Ok.  I will admit my family and I have been using Windows OS on our phones since WP7.  The not much happening in this area for personal phone use I decided to start my investigation of using inexpensive Android device as a replacement.  I found the BLU HD1 at Amazon a really snappy phone with expandable storage and unlocked and works on most LTE/GSM providers such as T-Mobile for me. 

The painful part is getting all the software up and running from MS but using their Microsoft Apps app does get you started.

 I think Paul published this article a while back:  https://www.thurrott.com/mobile/android/65952/android-windows-guy-choose-right-smartphone  but I think its a bit dated and could use a more focused one on being Microsoft app centric.

 As I work thought this phone (it’s for my wife).  She will be the test case to see how seamless the experience transfers over. 

I will try to cronical my experience but if anyone else has done this can you point to any good reference sites?

 

Thanks

 

 

 

Comments (6)

6 responses to “Turning a Andoird phone into a Microsoft productity device”

  1. 677

    I have already started 2 posts relating to this type of experience.

  2. 2

    I will look into this. Also, as Shane notes, his experiences are good info.

     

  3. 185

    So far so good.  By disabling or removing various Android / Google applications and making sure the Android System WebView is up to date,  most of the Microsoft apps provide very good integration with the stock android on the BLU HD R1 from Amazon.  They chose the lightweight "Launcher 3" as their Android launcher which is very light weight and functional. 

    All contacts in outlook.com synced just fine into to the native address book and when you use the contacts in outlook.com it does ask if you wish to use Skype or your carrier. OneNote even has a floating badge that hovers over the page to bring up quick notes at any time.   Also when you install the Bing app the search bar is no longer Google but changes to Bing which is a nice touch. 

    As for apps I left on the phone from Google it's just the play app and system controls.  You can't delete the Amazon apps but you can disable but since we are prime members I put them into a folder on the second home screen.  I put all the office productivity apps, word etc, into a folder on the main home page.

    I would say that 99% of the phone is now Microsoft centric with a few apps to help with her daily drive such as Waze and Here maps, LastPass, and Dolphin browser.

    I did have a battle when launching the MS apps for the first time due to a message that overlayed apps must be disabled for first use.  There wasn't any real guidance here but a quick search showed that OneNote's badge is using overlay and temporarily disabling in settings allowed for the launching of all MS office apps for the first time then turned OneNote overlay back on.

    One strange thing happened over night.  A update to the Google keyboard disabled SwiftKey keyboard and made gboard the default again.  I know people get really upset when MS software resets defaults but come on Google why do you assume that your updates need to be the default.

    Lets see how the week plays out for my wife as she uses the new phone.

  4. 9698

    Even though Shane has a fairly vibrant (and quality) post on this topic, I hope you nevertheless report back on your experience.  It would be interesting to see how the experience you have with the Blu compares to Shane's with the OnePlus.

    The phone Shane switched to is a higher-end device, while the Blu R1 HD is decidedly on the lower end.  A report on your experience has something to offer to those in the forums who may not be willing to spend $300 and up on a phone.   

  5. 185

    Well here is one thing I found out this week.  Paretnly controls / PIN was put on the Google play store so when my wife lets the kids use the phone they don't purchase anything or install anything.  Google doesn't seem to have real central way of managing family's like Amazon and MS does.  But from what I can find but thought this would be a first line of defense. 

    Within minutes I was able to defeat the parental controls by just going into the system and resetting the app's data. Bam parental controls gone and if the kid had his own Google play account they would be able to log in a download anything.

    Am I missing anything in Android that would provide robust controls? 

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