MICROSOFT HAS released its ultimate ‘John Hurt' tool for Android, designed to make it as Windowsesque as possible, to make up for the fact that no one gives a flying popsicle about Windows Mobile. Except Kevin.
Skype Mingo - yes, it's really called that - is now available in Alpha form from the Google Play Store.
It can be used to replace the native dialer (i.e. it makes cellular calls, not just Skype ones), SMS app, and contact app. It is essentially taking over the phone part of the phone and making it "of Skype".
Being an Alpha, it's going to have bugs, but it is out there for all to see, at least in the US, it's not being offered in the UK, though of course anyone who knows what they're looking for can grab the apk and sideload it, at their own risk.
The description talks about it being "optimised for speed - Mingo is small and fast. Gives you a rich set of features in a small, easy to manage package."
It goes on to talk about money saving features like Economical Calling and On-Demand Sync and offer stats to keep you in control of your data. It also offers supports for "thousands of Skype bots".
Oh, be still our beating AI chip.
The Skype element offers chats (as well as SMS), file and photo sharing and of course adds video calls, something that isn't generally native these days.
Microsoft has already released a huge library of apps for iOS and Android over the past couple of years, either through design or acquisition. These include high profile titles like Sunrise Calendar, which was merged into Outlook earlier this year, which was itself a rewrite of Accompli, another purchase.
Other apps include AI keyboard Swiftkey, which recently went "all free" having moved from a freemium, and before that paid model. We're curious to see how Microsoft will ruin that down the line, though we're told at present it's business as usual. µ
Cupertino could potentially be ready to reveal a driverless car system
Doubtful anyone will notice
Could your next colleague be a bot?
Remove the tech or face the courts, threaten privacy advocates