Microsoft is a company on a mission to prove utility in the mobile world. While Windows Phone hasn’t seen the kind of success we mobile nuts had hoped for, Microsoft is pushing the boundaries on Android. By focusing on online services and simple utility, Microsoft is showing innovation with a cloud-first approach.
Speaking of innovation, let’s talk about innovation at an often-overseen place: your phone’s keyboard. If you think about it, they keyboard is the most used ‘app’ on your smartphone, more than Facebook, more than messaging – typing. Knowing that, Microsoft has released Hub Keyboard for Android. Before I go any further, watch the video.
Microsoft has many online services at its disposal including Microsoft Translator (an app I use for translation all the time), Bing Search, OneDrive, Wunderlist and so many more.
So in Hub Keyboard, a small bar sits at the top of the keyboard and tapping its icons let’s you snag information from elsewhere on your phone without having to jump in to another app. Tapping contacts lets you search for a friend and have they name/contact info be inserted into a conversation or document. You can also translate instantly all in one button.
Need to attach a link to a OneDrive file? No problem, the keyboard can do that too.
I’m excited to see Microsoft pumping out utility apps from the Microsoft Garage effort and it will be fun to see Hub Keyboard add functionality to more services over time.