While most readers know that Microsoft makes a ton of great Android apps, you probably don’t know that it also provides a way to keep up-to-date on its Android app innovations.
This is perhaps a bigger deal that is immediately obvious. As we transition the world of “mobility of experiences” as outlined by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, some Windows enthusiasts are feeling a twinge of guilt as they abandon Windows phone for Android. But this guilt is misplaced, as Microsoft provides a better mobile experience on Android than it does on Windows phone.
Back in April 2015, I wrote Microsoft + Android, which provided a rundown of the software giant’s Android apps. Obviously, a lot has changed over the past year, and while I’ve written many posts about new and improved Microsoft apps for Android, it’s hard to keep up with this kind of thing
Or at least it used to be. A few months ago, Microsoft released a free mobile app called—wait for it—Microsoft Apps for Android. At the time, it didn’t appear to be anything special, just a place for Microsoft to aggregate its Android-based apps in a single place.
But over time, Microsoft Apps has been updated. It provides more nuanced views of the available apps—with Categories and Popular views up front—for example.
But hidden in the Categories view is an interesting New listing, which displays both new apps and, intriguingly, new updates. That is, the latter view lists the apps that were just updated by Microsoft, in reverse chronological order.
OK, that’s useful. But even more useful is the app’s notification functionality. Now, when a new Microsoft app is released, or when enough Microsoft apps have been updated, Microsoft Apps will actually notify you, so you can see what’s new.
That is truly useful. And for the guilt-ridden, it’s a nice cushion, as you can ensure that your Android phone is as stuffed with Microsoft apps as possible. It’s the perfect cure for the Windows phone blues, and a nice reminder that, yes, Microsoft really does do better by Android than it does by its own mobile platform.