A Quick Look at Word for Android Phone

Earlier today I posted that Microsoft had released a preview of their Office apps for Android Phone today. The new Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps are stand alone individual apps that are far superior to the old Office Mobile and are in line with the path that the company is making for Office across all device platforms. I’ve spent a fair amount of time today with each of them and wanted to provide some quick feedback on them to everyone who is on the fence about downloading them. First I’m going to take a look at Word for Android Phone and I’ll post similar quick looks for Excel and PowerPoint later on in the week.

Word for Android Phone is really impressive and if you have used it on your Android tablet you are going to find the experience very similar – exactly what Microsoft is trying to achieve.  Within the app you can create and edit documents on devices with screens 10.1″ or smaller but to get all the benefits of it, you really need an Office 365 account.  An Office 365 Personal account is $69.99 and available from the Microsoft Store or you can go with Office 365 Home where you can install the Office apps on up to 5 PCs or Macs along with mobile devices.

MLB At Bat Updated For Windows Phone

This is one that I personally take a lot of satisfaction in seeing. After indicating they were not going to update MLB At Bat for Windows Phone for the 2015 season, Major League Baseball has reversed course and has just released an updated version for the season.  We are 2 months into the season but I’m not going to complain. It is here and it is great.

Back in April before the start of the baseball season, MLB said they would not be updating the app for Windows Phone.  I was plenty critical of it as a baseball fan and Windows Phone fan.

 

At the time, it was the latest in a long string of apps that support for Windows Phone had been dropped (Bank of America, I’m STILL looking at you) and while I appreciated that Universal apps would be coming in Windows 10, it was frustrating as a baseball fan.  Now, it seems, all is right with the world.

MLB At Bat for Windows Phone – Free (In-App Purchases) – Download Now

Microsoft Releases Office for Android Phone Preview – Here is How To Get It

Earlier today, Microsoft released the preview for Office for Android phone apps.  The separate Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps are now individual apps and brings in line while the company is doing around the Office apps across all platforms – Windows Phone, Android and iOS.  The goal of course is to have a consistent user experience regardless of the device that you are using.  Today, if you use Office for Android tablet, it is a far different (and superior) experience to the Office Mobile app on Android Phone.  That now has changed with this preview.

To get the Office for Android phone apps, you will have to join the preview program.  After the break I’ve outlined what you need to do in order to get into the program and to download the apps.  Once they are installed, you will be able to update them via the normal update process in the Google Play Store.

AT&T Selling The LG Escape 2 for $179.99 Without Contract

AT&T has begun selling the mid-range LG Escape 2 both online and in their retail locations this weekend.  The 4.7″ curved display Android phone is available from .99 Cents on a two year contract up to a reasonably priced $179.99 without any contract commitments.  Given the specs of the LG Escape 2, the $180 price is about what you should expect.  It’s not too shabby and certainly fits the need for those looking for a great phone under $200.

LG Escape 2 on AT&T – $179.99 Off Contract

Microsoft To Control Windows 10 Mobile Updates, Not The Carriers

One of the biggest and best pieces of news for Windows 10 Mobile came out at the end of last week and the implications are huge.  Microsoft stated in an article on ZDNet that they will be controlling all update to Windows 10 including those of Windows 10 Mobile.  This not only includes businesses running Windows 10 Mobile but consumers like you and me.  This is fantastic news as it takes the carriers out of the equation which, in theory, means that we should see updates to Windows 10 Mobile far faster than we ever have under Windows Phone 7, 8, or 8.1.

I wrote about this very subject back in February where I outlined how Microsoft could bypass the carriers on updates to Windows 10 Mobile via a Windows Insider style mechanism.  While in the article from Mr. Bott clearly states that carriers will still be in the mix, it will be at a far lower level and Microsoft ultimately is the one that determines when the upgrade button is pushed on devices.

YouTube for Android Updated With Improved Music Search

YouTube for Android has been updated today bringing with it a much improved music search functionality and a tab on the app’s home screen for you to find music videos.  The update is version 10.18.55 for those keeping score at home and solidifies YouTube as becoming an ever growing source of music videos with many top artists posting their videos through VEVO.  Now you can quickly and easily find videos in a wide range of categories just by swiping to the Music tab in the YouTube app and play them straight away without having to search for them.

YouTube – Free – Download Now

Google Play Games Update Brings One-Tap Friend Finding

The Google Play Games app for Android has been updated today bringing with it a new feature that makes finding fellow players in your Circles or out one tap away.  The update, version 3.0.11 (1917563-038) for those keeping score at home, is for all Android devices and allows you to quickly and easily find your friends to compare your stats and connect with them.  The idea of course is to make it easier for you to find your friends for a bit of friendly competition.

Google Play Games – Free – Download Now

What’s New and Known Issues In Latest Windows 10 Mobile Build

As was expected today, Microsoft has released a new build of Windows 10 Mobile to Windows Insiders who are participating in the Fast Ring.  Build 10080 is the first build to support a non-Lumia device, the HTC M8 for Windows Phone which is great to see in addition to the support for the Lumia 930, Lumia ICON and Lumia 640 XL.  As expected, there are a lot of new features and apps to test out in this build as well as a good list of known issues.  I’ll remind everyone that this is beta software and there will be issues so proceed with caution.  I personally am still not running Windows 10 Mobile on my daily phone and after playing with this build for a little bit on my Lumia 635 and Lumia 1320, it will remain that way.

Google Fit Update Brings Improved Android Wear Support

Google has updated their activity tracking app Google Fit with improved Android Wear support along with many bug fixes.  The update, version 1.51.07-000 for those keeping score at home, works on a wide range of Android devices and while Android Wear devices are supported, are not required.

If you aren’t familiar with Google Fit, it is an app that uses the sensors in your Android phone to track your physical activity such as running and walking.

Google Fit – Free – Download Now

New Windows 10 Mobile Build Likely To Windows Insiders Today

It looks increasingly likely that a new build of Windows 10 Mobile will be available for those on the Fast Ring in the Windows Insider program later today.  Microsoft’s Gabe Aul took to Twitter yesterday answering a pile of questions related to the next build for Windows Phone and PC with hints being dropped that a new build is imminent.

Clearly this isn’t a commitment from Aul that a new build will be out today, but it is pretty close.