Category: Apps

Microsoft free Keyboard for Excel app

Right, you love Microsoft Excel. But you use a smartphone for most of your spreadsheet interactions. And not only is the default Android keyboard wanting. The Google keyboard is no better. But there’s hope right here, right now.

Microsoft (yeah the people with a competing mobile platform), offers Keyboard for Excel; an optimized-for-numbers keyboard that includes Excel operators plus a Tab key for easy navigation.

The sole downside is this keyboard is a Beta product. And is missing auto-correct support, gesture typing and is English only.

Microsoft Garage is Microsoft’s version of Google’s Summer of Code. And offers lots of innovative apps.

[image courtesy Google Play store]


Google Assistant everywhere

This Google Assistant feature is appearing everywhere. But just not on my phone! Am I sad at the omission? Not really. 

You can now get the Google Assistant in the

  • text chat app Google Allo
  • video chat app Google Duo

And in the new vastly over priced Google Pixel smartphones. 

And if you have Android Nougat and if you’re willing to root your device then modify ( some configuration files.

Google Allo / Duo – phone users as guinea pigs

Google Allo is a new messaging client for regular and encrypted (incognito) chats. And includes an ‘Assistant’ who learns your choices and actions to help you better and suggest options. Right now Allo is an English only Preview Edition you can download from the Play Store or App Store (iOS 8 onwards).

The Google Assistant appears on first run. Then helps setup the app and introduce you to the basic actions. 

You can also call the assistant from within Allo by typing ‘@google’  or using this as a prefix to your question. 

  1. The Google Assistant is supposed to learn so it can offer you better suggestions. Now personally I dislike voice actuated interfaces. There’s too much room for error due to accent, stress and ambient noise. For example in my straw test I asked  the Google Assistant “how to change Allo settings” it displayed a page about aloe vera. My next try opened a page about potatoes (aloo in Hindi). Third time I asked “change settings” to see app help.