OneDrive for Android Update Brings Fingerprint Authentication Support

Fingerprint Authentication in OneDrive for Android

Microsoft has rolled out a new update to the OneDrive for Android app, bringing with it fingerprint authentication support.  The new update is version 5.14 for those keeping score at home and has been released to the Google Play Store.

When you update to this new version, under the app settings, you will have the option to enable a PIN code as you have been able to do for some time in OneDrive.  Once you enter that PIN, you will be prompted for your fingerprint.  You can either tap your fingerprint sensor or skip this if you want to continue to use your PIN to log in and not your fingerprint.

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Microsoft Updates Several Office 365 Apps for Android

Microsoft Word for Android

Microsoft is one of the best developers when it comes to frequent and meaningful updates to their swath of Android apps in the Play Store.  The Redmond, Washington company has released several updates to some of their apps as part of the normal monthly Office 365 updates.  All of these updates are now in the Play Store so you should be able to check for the update now or, if you have auto updates enabled, you likely have already been updated.

Outlook for Android has a great new feature that frankly I wish Gmail had:  Do Not Disturb.  It’s no mystery on what it does.  It prevents email notifications from showing up on your phone.  It works just like the DND feature in Android itself, meaning you can set it up for a specific amount of time or until you manually turn it back off.  Also, in Outlook, you can now delete contacts directly in the app.

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Microsoft Edge for Android Passes 5 Million Downloads

Microsoft Edge in The Google Play Store

Microsoft Edge for Android, the Redmond company’s browser for the platform, has hit a significant milestone in the Google Play Store.  It has now been downloaded over 5 million times according to the app’s store listing.  Given how new Edge for Android is – just 8 months old – hitting the 5 million download threshold is something to note indeed.

While Microsoft Edge is mainly aimed at Windows 10 users who want to have a continuous browser experience on their phone, it is actually a powerful browser alternative for Android users that has continued to evolve rapidly as Microsoft continually tweaks on it, much like they do the rest of their Android portfolio.

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MSN News Rebranded Microsoft News

Microsoft News for Android

Microsoft’s efforts to update and modernize their Android apps continues with a new update to what was known as MSN News.  The revamped app is now under the name Microsoft News and it has a load of changes.  Well really, it is pretty much a new app.

Starting with the new first run experience to help you personalize the news and information you get and when you sign in with your Microsoft account, your interests will follow you device-to-device.  You also have a new dark theme and a revamped look and feel overall.

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Microsoft Acquires GitHub for $7.5 Billion

GitHub Logo

After being rumored for much of this past weekend, Microsoft has confirmed their acquisition of software development platform GitHub.  The all stock transaction is estimated to be $7.5 billion with the Redmond, Washington company committing that development platform will remain open source.

And Microsoft is all-in on open source. We have been on a journey with open source, and today we are active in the open source ecosystem, we contribute to open source projects, and some of our most vibrant developer tools and frameworks are open source. When it comes to our commitment to open source, judge us by the actions we have taken in the recent past, our actions today, and in the future.

The acquisition puts Microsoft in a strong position when it comes to software development in general and certainly a key player in the open source development community.

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Microsoft Looks Set to Allow Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant on The Xbox One

Google Assistant Logo

In what could prove to be the clearest sign yet that the personal assistant race is coming down to two horses, Microsoft appears to be set to allow both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant on the Xbox One.  The news, along with a supporting screenshot, came from the team over at Windows Central and points to users having the option to leverage the personal assistant of their choice on their Xbox One for controlling the device from their phone.

The news of this falls in line with other news that Microsoft is fundamentally shifting Cortana, their digital assistant, away from the consumer market and more toward the productivity side of things and not necessarily a personal assistant.  It appears that Microsoft is conceding to Alexa and Google Assistant.

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Microsoft Launcher for Android To Get Windows 10 Timeline Support

Microsoft Launcher

Over the course of the past couple of years it has been clear that Microsoft’s mobile strategy is developing apps for Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS.  This isn’t a bad strategy overall and it is clear from presentations this week at Build, Microsoft’s developer conference, that they are continuing that strategy.

One of the more exciting announcements on the first day of the conference is Windows 10’s new Timeline feature making it to both Android and iOS.  For Android users, access to Timeline will come via Microsoft Launcher while iOS users will have access to via Microsoft Edge.

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Outlook for Android Update Brings Streamlined Search Feature

Outlook for Android - May 2018

Microsoft has released a new update to Outlook for Android that brings a much improved search experience in the email, calendar and contacts app.  Version 2.2.147 landed in the Google Play Store on Friday and by now should be out to most reader’s accounts and available to for update.

The biggest change in the app is the improved navigation bar.  It is much more simple in this release, providing one-tap access to mail, calendars and to the improved search feature.  The navigation bar remains at the bottom of the display has it has for some time now but looks cleaner.

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