Microsoft Garage, a division within the company that encourages innovation and allows employees to work on any project they desire, has just announced the release of a bunch of new apps for various devices. The Garage team, on its official website, has released 16 free consumer-facing apps, spanning across Android, Android Wear, Windows Phone, Windows, and even the Xbox One.
Microsoft Garage was founded in 2009 within the Office Labs group with a goal to create a ‘safe place’ for Microsoft employees to build their crazy ideas and foster grassroots innovation at the company.
The apps that were released by the team are Auto Tag n Search My Photos, CityZen, Collaborate, Floatz, Journeys and Notes, Lost Turtle, Next lock Screen, Nova Bacon, Reach Me, Snipp3t, Sound Stack, Student Planner, Tetra LockScreen, Torque, Voice Commander and Work Item Studio.
These apps touch upon different uses for different devices. For example, CityZen is an app that has been made to help send information from the public to the local government to help fix problems. At the moment, the app only works for the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation in India. The app is available for free for Android and Windows phone users.
Torque app on the other hand, is exclusively made for Android Wear hardware. It takes on Google’s voice search that requires you to say ‘Ok Google’ when searching for something online. With Bing Torque, you just need to twist your wrist and talk to Bing with questions like “What’s the weather going to be tomorrow?” “How tall is Obama?” “What’s Microsoft’s current stock price?” Microsoft pegs it to be ‘just like having Cortana running on your smart watch’ and is a nice twist to plug Bing search on an Android Wear smartwatch instead of Google search.
Voice Commander is made for Xbox One users. It is essentially a fast paced, space themed, real-time strategy and top-down shooter game that works both with controllers and with voice commands.
All of the above mentioned 16 apps are available for download for free. These Garage apps release is just the start of Microsoft’s new initiative. Looking at these new intuitive and value-added apps that were innovated and now released from this Microsoft-incubated Garage project, we hope to see many more products coming out of this factory in the future.