Microsoft Launcher Now Has 1 Million Active Users

Microsoft Launcher

Microsoft Launcher has hit an important stage in its usage:  1 Million.

That is the number of active users of the launcher from Redmond which was formerly known as Arrow Launcher.  The news of this important milestone came from Microsoft’s Joshua Bradley via Twitter.

In the grand scheme of the Play Store, 1 million active users might seem small but for a launcher that the company has only really started promoting hard over the past couple of months, it is a nice figure.

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OneDrive for Android Brings Improved SharePoint Support

Microsoft OneDrive for Android

Good news for those of you who use OneDrive in the enterprise.  A new update to the app is rolling out now in the Play Store that brings support for SharePoint 2013 and 2016 to it.  The update brings the app to version 5.0 for those keeping score at home.

With this new version of OneDrive installed on your Android phone, you will now have access to file that are stored in SharePoint.  That means you can open and edit them and you will have the ability to do so even if you are offline.  It is a big step forward for enterprise users who were limited to pretty much having to use their desktop to access SharePoint and edit files.

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Microsoft Finally Announces The LTE Enabled Surface Pro

Microsoft Surface Pro 4

Back in September, I posted on a rumor that an LTE equipped Surface Pro was going to be announced with it likely being available in December of this year.  We can now put those rumors to rest.  The LTE Surface Pro is real.

In London today at the Future Decoded conference, Microsoft announced two LTE versions of the Surface which will be available starting December 1st.  Both models are based on the Intel Core i5 processor and both have the Qualcomm X16 LTE modem with 20 mobile bands support for global use.  The Core i5 with 4GB of RAM and 128GB SSD will be $1149 while the bigger model with 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD will be $1449.

In all, there are 7 LTE antenna built into Surface with the modem built into the motherboard of the device.  Also, it will support eSIM technology for provisioning without a SIM card.

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Microsoft Launcher Update Brings Fluent Design Look

Utility Page in Microsoft Launcher

Microsoft Launcher has a new update rolling out that should get those of you who are on the Fall Creators Update for Windows 10 excited.  The updated version of what was once known as Arrow Launcher is build and it brings with it a Fluent Design inspired look to the Utility page.

For those who are not Windows users, Fluent Design is Microsoft’s take on the semi-transparent look of apps that you find in MacOS and mobile.  To this point, the Utility page has had two themes:  Light or Dark.  Now you can change that to be transparent and can adjust how much blur you want behind the cards or widget.

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Skype Hits 1 Billion Download Mark and Gets an Update

Skype for Android has 1 Billion Downloads

Microsoft’s Skype for Android has hit a rare benchmark.  The communications app has hit the 1 billion downloads mark, something that few apps have reached, especially those outside of Google itself.  The messaging, calling and video app has been around in various names for years and is one of the linking apps between phones and PCs for Windows users.  It may have taken it a while to hit one billion downloads but it did it and many others have never come close.  Indeed, even Microsoft’s other apps are mostly in the 100 million download range.

Like many of their other Android apps, Microsoft has continued to update the features of Skype and that continues today.  There is a small update that is rolling out in the Play Store that bring messaging improvements.  The update is version for those keeping score at home and should be rolling out to users over the course of the next few days.

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What’s New in The Fall Creators Update for Windows 10

My Windows 10 Desktop

What has commonly been referred to as the Fall Creators Update is now rolling out to Windows 10 PCs.  The update brings a lot of new features and refinements that reflects Microsoft’s direction for Windows 10 being the underlying platform for everything going forward on new technologies like Augmented Reality.

As you would expect, the Fall Creators Update has a massive number of improvements under-the-hood that in general, improves the overall performance of the Operating System.  Even if all of the new features don’t get you excited, the overall performance improvements will be welcomed.

But the real win with this update are the app improvements, new features and other general user experience additions.  If you compare Windows 10 when it was first released in July 2015 to this update, they are in many ways vastly different.  The Fall Creators Update adds a huge amount of polish to the platform and Windows 10 with it feels far more complete than any previous iteration.

If I tried to cover ever new facet of this update, this already long article would be even more TL;DR.  Instead, I’m going to highlight over a dozen of the top new features of functions in the update.   You’ll see that the updates cover a wide range of the elements of Windows 10, from Microsoft Edge to Photos to how you interact with Contacts.  It is a comprehensive update to the platform and one that I think the vast majority of users will want to upgrade to as soon as possible.

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OneNote for Android Update Brings Password Setting Support

Fingerprint Authentication in OneNote

Microsoft OneNote for Android has a new update rolling out that finally brings support for setting passwords on note sections.  The updated build is version 16.0.8625.2040 for those keeping score at home and with it comes the ability to set a password on a section of notes and to open that section using your phone’s fingerprint scanner (or password if you phone doesn’t have one).

Password protection of sections has been in OneNote for a while and while you could open up a section on your Android device, you could not set the password in the app itself.  You had to use the OneNote desktop app in order to set passwords.  No more.  Now you can long press a note section in the app on your device and you will see a new Protect Section option on the menu.  Tap it, set the password for the section and you are good-to-go.

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