Microsoft Garage launches a suite of new Windows Phone apps and games

Microsoft has opened the flood gates today and released a bunch of new Windows Phone apps from their Microsoft Garage division. This part of the company allows employees to work on their own projects in their spare time and today Microsoft is allowing some of those internal efforts to be released to the public.

In a blog post (opens in new tab), Jeff Ramos, Manager of The Garage, stated, "Now the idea behind The Garage is to connect our engineers and engineering projects with real customers to evaluate how technologies are being received. From a customer's point of view, it's a really great way to get first access to emerging technologies. And from Microsoft's point of view, it's really a great way to get real feedback from real customers on how people are using things."

We have already spotlighted two apps that have been released for Windows Phone devices, Tetra Lockscreen and Collaborate, but there's numerous other apps the company has launched today.

Nova Bacon - Here's a simple game that puts you in charge of a space restaurant that needs pigs for a particular ingredient. Microsoft says:

So you do what any sensible alien would do. Armed with a gigantic claw, you must go down to Earth and fetch a pig while defending yourself from humans that aren't happy about contributing to your business. Experience a variety of pigs while earning money to upgrade the various weapons available to you.

QR: Nova Bacon

Floatz windows phone

Floatz This is a new social interaction app. Microsoft says:

Join in on any nearby Floatz conversation, or start a new one with a question, idea or image that you share anonymously with people nearby.

Share your team spirit at a sporting event or your awesome picture of the band at a rock concert. Ask the locals where to get a good meal when visiting an unfamiliar neighborhood. Speak your mind, express your feelings, and find out if there are others around you who feel the same way—all from the safety of an anonymous screen name in Floatz.

QR: Floatz

lost turtle windows phone

Lost Turtle - Yet another simple game from the Microsoft Garage division. Here is what this game is all about:

"Help navigate Walter through different levels and collect stars to unlock more levels and worlds! Walter wears a trusty jetpack that helps him fly, swim, and dodge obstacles, in the hope of finding his friend."

QR: Lost Turle

reach Me windows phone

Reach Me - Want to get to a friend but don't know where he or she is? This app may be for you. Microsoft says

"Reach me guides them to your home, work, or any other favorite place. If you share your live location, your friends can see where you are in real time, with easy-to-follow directions that update as you move from place to place. Location tracking expires at the time you set, so you control how long they can follow you."

QR: Reach Me

sound stack windows phone

Sound Stack - Here's a way to create music quickly from your Windows Phone device. Microsoft says:

"Use your phone like a drumstick to hit virtual drums. Use your finger to press and drag across our synth pad to create masterful melodies. Use your surrounding environments with our chord camera to play beautiful chords. Use all three to layer chords, rhythms, and melodies on top of one another to create loop-based compositions! Use basic settings to ensure every layer you play sounds amazing, or change the key and tempo to create something completely different."

QR: Sound Stack

work item studio Windows phone

Work Item Studio - This app is made specifically for users of Microsoft's Visual Studio Online. It states:

"This app allows you to view, create and edit work items from your projects on Visual Studio Online. You can also see a list of all your queries, along with the number of results in each of them. Quickly run your queries to see detailed results."

QR: Work Item Studio

What do you think of this explosion of new Windows Phone apps from Microsoft Garage?

Source: Microsoft Garage (opens in new tab)

John Callaham
  • Wow I'm very impressed with this. Going to give them a download. Good going Microsoft
  • I love the sound stack but my phone doesnt have gyroscope! Huhu. +1320
  • Hey guys, none of those are available for me to download! Any idea on what's going on?
  • It may be region locked to the US. This was the case with the other Microsoft Garage Projects (the lockscreen thing, Perplex or something like that). Edit: It's called Tetra. You can temporarily change your region to US download it and then change back.
  • Anything to do with the Garage today should have been bunched into one big article. Much like this one.
    Floatz and Sound Stack seem interesting.
  • Does this make it on par with Android versions? #just saying :p
  • Yes and stop crying and whining now...
  • actually it's a legitimate sentiment of neglect a lot of windows phone users are feeling when it comes to their software. I'm not one to enable the endless sea of pedantic whiners on this site, but more often than not Microsoft software pales in comparison to other cross platform efforts, either due to OS limitations on their platform or to appealing to the broader audience. I will say however, that I understand that it's been a trend with their products lately and we've come to expect disparity between features and content, we should keep the complaining to a minimum unless, of course, the disparity exists in that specific case
  • The garage has been on a roll recently.
  • Too bad the games aren't Xbox branded. But you can't have everything,I guess. Good going Microsoft!
  • These games aren't by Microsoft studios and y will they make it such small games Xbox live. Games like Minecraft, Halo, FIFA, ages of empire need to be Xbox enabled not all
  • Yeah they can close their garage because all apps are a huge failure
  • Seriously? Who are you to call these a failure? Maybe you're one of those that can't download them or something. Quite sad to see ppl dog out new apps when you're probably the same ones that cry about not having new apps.
  • I think he is trolling. There's no way he could have tried all those apps expensively to make that opinion.
  • He must be.
  • If they are only for some regions, they may be a hit there but its a fail to those who have to change the country to download them.
  • Tetra lockscreen is a great. Stylish and adds some quickly accessed functionality.
  • Tetra Lockscreen almost bricked my phone (L820) :) When enabled it, locked the screen and wanted to unlock it then it only displayed some photo on the top half of screen and bottom half was just black area. Of course the black area what where numeric pad for entering password should have been displayed. So I could not type in password to ulock the phone. Restart of the phone did noth help. Eventually swiping down on lockscreen revealed notitication center, from there I could tap setting button which finally displayed the keyboard for entering phone password - heureka! Pitty, I really wanted to give a try to this application - seeing multiple calendar events on lockscreen was the best feature for me. But at this stage Tetra Locksreen is doing more bad than good on my phone.
  • well "bricked" is considered something else.... Its a early version of the App and might not worke perfect for every device.
  • That is why I wrote ¨almost bricked¨. Without the link to setting in notification center (on locked phone) I would not be able to unlock the phone. I hope TetraLockscreen will be updated soon to squash similar bugs. This application has great potential.
  • What drama u guys make. Such ppl never remain happy in life
  • Haters gonna hate.  Idiot.
  • Oh Internet, you never cease to provide an outlet for negative, angry people to spout off. I'm sure this critic makes and contributes NOTHING, but gets joy out of dismissing others work without even trying it.
  • Lol
  • Max, it looks like most of your comments are trolling. If you enjoy commenting here, you need to stop that.
  • What the App! Just two of these available in India. Why Microsoft is always messing things with this region specific criteria.
  • At least you have 2. None of these apps are available in the UK. Just changed my region to US though, downloaded then changed back.
  • Lol
  • Is that so difcult to change region??? It's free!!!
  • Yeah! I always keep my region set to US (I'm Indian)
  • None available in Australia. Why oh why can't corporations get that we are just one big global village. Sigh. Please validate and publish region data in future articles and save us wasting our time.
  • Wow simple but very powerful apps!
  • Sounds pretty cool
  • They are porting games and apps? Or making it?
  • keep going ms. Going to give them a try. Hoping for more and powerful.
  • We need Microsoft Garage. Probably the most interesting, even if some are "simple", out of Microsoft in a long time. But I'm totally impressed with Tetra lockscreen. They finally opened up the lockscreen API. So now we can finally get some useful and interesting functionality, IF they update it.
  • "This part of the company allows employees to work on their own projects in their spare time".  I don't get this. Microsoft controls what their employees do in their spare time? 'No, you will not go home and see your children! You will go to the Garage and make games about space bacon. Now go!' Anyway, Sound Stack and Floatz sound really cool, but the latter one would only work if a lot of other people were using it, which seems like it would better be served as a plug-in for an already established social network like Facebook. It's not like a couple hundred million people are suddenly going to download Floatz and check it regularly. Still, I will! (Update: Okay, no I won't, because it's WP 8.1 only and Verizon sucks).
  • Apparently you don't get the idea of the Garage at all.
    No it's not forcing employees in their spare time to work on projects and give up their life. It gives employees who would like to work on a side project the opportunity to gain access to tools they can't access at home.
    People are so quick to judge and have no thought process. It's really sad.
  • Speaking of people being "so quick to judge and hav[ing] no though process", I was being facetious.
  • It's the problem with texting and blogging...  irony, sarcasm, humor can be lost. i guess that's why we evented tags like j/k or ntc or dbawis.
  • Spare time AT the office, obviously. If you always on the full load on your jobs, either you're paid a damn big sums or you need to reconsider for a new job. Microsoft just give a place for them to develop anything the employees want at their office's spare time. FYI, Google also do this.
  • If I work in my garage, am I Microsoft too?
  • lol, you might as well be :)
  • Will it be available in Germany? Or US only?..
  • lol none of them available for my country  ,   disappointed   again
  • Change your region
  • Just scan the QR code, it's not available on the app store in NZ but if you scan it will take you to the US one and you can download from there.
  • I can't download any of these in the UK... Lumia 1520
  • Cool. More of this.
  • Great Microsoft, keep this work!! None of these apps are available here in Brazil!!!
  • Not available on my Lumia 1020 running 8.1 update 1, UK? Is it a US thing only?
  • All the apps are not available in India
  • Do all these support 512 MB RAM devices ?
  • Idk but sound stack needs gyroscope for some reason...
    I can't download
  • Not available in uk,
  • Cool stuff comes out of MS Garage works.
  • Not available for your region!!!
  • Are these apps US only?  I keep getting a "not available for your device" error on my Samsung ATIV (even though the pic above shows as fine), but cannot manually find any of these apps in the Canadian app store.
  • -520
  • Not avaible boooooriiiing
  • Hands on video! Hands on video! Hands on video!
  • And once again!! All the apps can't be downloaded! Erghh! What's all this about? Did I live in another planet? Those apps shouldn't be specialized to any country, it should be compatible to all user around the world. :'(
  • Why can't we download these Apps in good old Germany?
  • Kann ich auch nicht verstehen. And Elop will complain that Germany doesn't care about Lumias. Many people really feel like Microsoft is a US centric company and care less about what the company does. Selber Schuld :)
  • Obviously these apps are made by individuals, not Microsoft officially. If they were, Satya would order them made for iOS and Android first. ;)
  • +920 :D
  • These apps aren't available in Colombia. It is shame, I'm feeling really disappointed by Microsoft lastly.
  • Good jog !
  • Well done Microsoft, Well done.. Finally making apps for WP.. Hopefully they'll get good support..
  • Not one of them is available here in the UK, I would have liked to try Tetra Lockscreen but guess what ... not available in the UK!!!!! Good work Microsoft, leave out countries that actually have market share I mean it's not like you need it /s
  • -920 @CZ
  • I wanted to download the sound stack but it says it needs a gyroscope.. Why the hell would it need a gyroscope ?? I'm on Lumia 1320
  • Yeah was thinking the same, Lumia 620
  • You need it to do the drums in your song. You shake your phone in the air. I've tested it on 930 and it's really cool :)
  • For the umpteen time, temporarily change your region to US.. and you're good to go down load em. Then you can revert back to your original settings. Not so hard is it ??
  • Why should I go through the hassle of change my region, reboot, download the apps, change my region again and reboot again. These apps are from Microsoft FFS, they shouldn't be region restricted!!!!
  • Each region has its own laws/regulations they have to adhere to so... Yeah...
  • So which laws would any of the apps mentioned conflict with?
  • They're actually from individual developers who happen to work for Microsoft.
  • I have to agree with neo158. I honestly couldn't be bothered with the routine of changing regions. It's a ridiculous state of affairs, especially when the apps are clearly compatible and working for non-US devices. And I really doubt it has anything to do with country specific laws.
  • Why you don't want to wait until it gets published in your region?
  • Awesome!
  • Sound stack is pretty cool. A bit laggy at times and crashed a few times but still a cool time killer. I also think it could be cool to sample from the microphone
  • AMAZING! But why are they only for 8.1 :/
  • I know! Come on Samsung, release the 8.1 update for ATIV S users
  • I don't have an ATIV, but 8.1 doesn't work well for me, so I went back to 8 :/
  • They have, but only for the ATO CSC at the moment.
  • not for the T899M
  • Ah, well the version wasn't specified. That doesn't means it isn't rolling out though and considering the T899m is specific to Canada it shouldn't be that long until it rolls out to that model.
  • Keep 'em coming.  Not everything might stick, but they are imaginative and fun.
  • Floatz seems interesting
  • Work Item Studio crashes everytime I open it up in my Lumia 720.
  • Not impressed - not available in the UK. Any country with English as there main language should be getting these.
  • Not available in India :|
  • This guys are on fire
  • Can't get anything, because I'm still on 8.0...+521...damn T-mobile..
  • They have one out there called AutoTag ‘n Search My Photos, but it shows as being pulled from the store... that sounded really cool
  • Not available in UK?
  • Does anyone know how Sound Stack uses the gyroscope sensor? I can't download in my Lumia 720 because it doesn't have this sensor.
  • It is used for the drums. You beat the air drums with your phone in your hands...
  • Microsoft garage is a cool idea! Great stuff, more to come :D.
  • As a developer, that Work Item Studio app is the TITS. LOVE it! MS really knows how to cater to its devs. :)
  • That is really a opening of flood gate from MS...kudos Microsoft Garage.
  • Is Floatz basically like Yik Yak? On that note, any word on if/when Yik Yak is coming to WP?
  • ReachMe sounds like an AWESOME app. Only good if my friends on Android and Iphone have it... Otherwise I will just be able to find my windows phone friends, of which I have zero.
  • +720
  • * Tetra - Installed and using. Nice. Hope they add more widgets.
    * Floats - Installed and waiting for more users. Tried to send feedback, but the emails were returned. Nit good.
    * Collaborate - Installed, but not sure what to do next. I need to install it in my laptop to host a session. Is this WP only at launch? Love the idea.
    * Sound Stack - Installed and will play later. It did crash on me already. Looks interesting, though. Unique ways of making tracks. does appear to use the gyroscope.
  • Microsoft Garage should be a separate publisher, to make finding these experimental app easier.
  • Ah reminds me of ZuneHD apps :)
  • Wow, what a bizarre app Sound Stack is. I'm a musician, and I've got to say this app, as a creative tool, leaves much to be desired. I mean, pointing the camera at certain colors to make different sounds? Really? A proof of concept maybe, but that's about it. The Surface Music Kit (music remix "Blade" and app) was a proof of concept too, but, but,, ah shoot, I don't know WHAT to think about this... why cant we have quality, functional apps, like Apple's Garage Band? I'm a dedicated Windows Phone user, but damn....
  • Not available on Lumia 925, which is one of the most popular WP's?! Thanks for the pointless addition's...
  • Floatz sounds like an awesome idea Im definately gonna give this App a try, Sound Stack too.
  • As always, when something good happens it's US only. Nice.
  • What's the Gyroscope
  • Doesn't seem to work on UK Lumia 820. Maybe that is intended as US only for now.
  • Awesome! Just this morning I was thinking about how great it would be to edit Visual Studio projects without being locked to a computer.
  • I can't download any of these while I'm on 8.1 on a Lumia 925. What the hell Microsoft!?
  • Nova Bacon!
  • For those that say it isn't available, just scan the QR code for each one, or browse to this page on your phone and click the link for each one, works like a boss working overtime, pleasing the secretary.
  • Scanning the QR Codes take me to the store where it says the app is not available for my device / region.
  • Just for you DJCBS!
  • Tetra Lockscreen !!!
  • now where's the f***er that cries out loud about the other OS got more apps than WP?
  • I dont really understand what Reach Me does. Is it meant for people who are trying to meet up with friends on the street but you dont know eithers exact location?
    Otherwise thry would just ask for ypur address and use Maps to get directions...maybe I'm not understanding its purpose at all.
  • Not sure if this has been suggested in the comments, but I think a note at the bottom of this article indicating that most, if not all, of these apps are 'US only' would be very helpful. That way, us third world citizens from Australia who try to download them won't be disappointed.
  • I was hoping there's a "Garage Band" app for windows.
  • Tetra lock screen run slowly,very lag, just like live lock screen, please update
  • I'm new to windows phone,android user from day one.3 apps I cannot get that I need for my trucking business (CHRWTRUCK load finder,TQL load finder and Drivewyze)plz help
  • look up Microsoft Garage Project site, and found some interesting Android Apps, I wis ms develop Next Lock Screen for Windows phone too :)
  • These should be downloadable in places other than the U.S. Considering when I looked for a video tutorial on tetra lockscreen, not a single one of them was in English.
  • The apps seem to be good, especially Lost Turtle and Nova Bacon. Too bad only 2 of them (ReachMe and Floatz) are available for India. 
  • Add tetra lockscreen!
  • For the people not getting these apps outside of US : Be patient, these apps need to propagate per region. Since there are a lot of regions, it might take a while to be available in your country. I'm highly doubting that MSFT would release an app for US only...
  • Any idea why this apps are not available for my Lumia 925 (with Cyan update)?
  • Huawei  is better (cheep and best) so many usefull apps are availabe (from androd play store)
  • sound stack says my L525 doesn't have features to run the app! what the hell are the features.
  • Why isn't the lock screen background available in Germany? What is the problem?
  • Why not FIX (actually FIX) Skype, FB, XBox Music, etc. before  launching new apps that will be needing updates the second they are downloaded to work correctly ?
  • Wow very Impressing with this. when we satarts downloading this apps.