Microsoft releases on{X} for Android and makes us a bit jealous

One thing about Microsoft that we actually like but some of you bemoan: they cater to everyone and every platform, sometimes even Android. Today Microsoft is unveiling  on{X} (pronounced on-ex) for Android devices and presumably no one else just yet.

The app is essence runs prefab scripts on the phone, using things like the gyroscope/accelerometer, GPS location or just plain old time-alarms. In other words, you can have the phone remind you to call someone when you're leaving the office (alarm + GPS) or start your music when you when running,  which we suppose can add a dramatic tune if you're beeing chased by some bad guys.

Windows Phone actually has a something similar already which is called TouchDevelop. It's not nearly as powerful but it is certainly fun to play with.

The on{X} system is both an app and web-based client which you use to configure ready-made templates which are then synced to the phone. It seems easy enough to use and once again it goes to show you how powerful smart devices can actually be when all of those sensors are utilized. 

Okay, so why Android first? It's actually a funny and well known reason: Android has a "less strict security model" (translation: you can hack it and violate user privacy very easily), in turn Microsoft sees Android as a decent, mass test bed for experimental apps since they can cut corners on security.

But fear not as the Microsoft team, which is based in Israel, works on Bing, geo-fencing and UX technologies and you can bet that once this "system" is honed and worked out, Windows Phone users will get a new, polished and locked down version. For now, Android users get all the fun and risks.

For Windows Phone users, give Microsoft's TouchDevelop a spin here in the Marketplace.

Source: Microsoft +  on{X}; via TechCrunch; Thanks, Ronald-Jan, for the tip

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.

  • Ok I can wait
  • btw, just tried out TouchDevelop and its awesome. MS Research is the shit! the app does a lot of things like this one and more. check it out. WPC, it would be nice to see some sort of review..
  • I would like an app where I can set up network profiles according to my geographic location.  Like being able to pull up a map and select "use wifi here" and then the phone will forever switch to wife when it detects I am in that location. 
  • that would be pretty cool. another take on that: like if you get to the office or school (GPS), set phone to vibrate.
  • That is a good one.
  • Love that idea.
  • That's an app idea I'm sitting on :P I'm sure others are too! Unfortunately, it's not possible at the moment...
  • This is one of my biggest missing features for WP. All my last three Sony Ericssons had the ability to set a simple profile. My Android has a great one from the google store that I have set up activate all sorts of things like screen brightness, WiFi, BT, Volume etc at certain times or events. It's a great feature and for me sadly missed in WP.
    As a developer I wanted to make such an app but the API won't give me all the access I need to be able to change things like screen brightness, volume, BT, WiFi automatically at schedules times or as an agent.
    I have even requested it as a feature in MS's WP feedback program and given it votes. Just hoping MS see the value in this feature.
    I really hope this features comes to WP8, or that the API is opened up to allow devs like myself to be able to make an app to do it. Sadly I think neither  will happen. I would actually love to build the app. I have so many ideas for it, like profiles based on time or location triggered events, liek when I get to work, it automatically turns my volme to a low setting, turns WiFi on, BT off etc.
    Honestly it's one of the features that keeps me going back to my Android at the moment. I can't trust myself to remeber to do things like turn the volume down at night, or turn BT on when I get in the car, I'm just to hopeless at the moment.
    While at it, I wish I could get a decent file utility app with FTP support. I have restricted access at my work PC and often use my Android phone to browse my home NAS, copy down files to my Android, and have the file automatically appear in windows explorer when my phone is docked. Handy when trying to get some archived source files, icons, images etc.
  • Even though I would like that Microsoft only releases this type of apps/services for their ecosystem I can't blame them for doing this they are a company that looks for profits and for that they need to release it to everybody (I know guys releasing only for WP will be awesome but most people have androids and iOS devices). Microsoft rocks!!!
  • This is why I love MS. You will NEVER see Google release anything for Windows Phone and the same thing goes for Apple. MS is truly consumer centic.
  • Why should Microsoft share there products to these idiot Google or Apple. What have they shared with Microsoft? I would not be bother to share with those idiots. Also who cares if there allot people with ios or androids has that's there choosing of a phone.
  • This is one of the features I miss about webOS. I would have different profiles for different events. For instance, I would have the GPS and Bluetooth turn on whenever I would open up my running app. That, to me, is what makes a smartphone smart. It would be killer if WP would have this.
  • yes!!
  • That's ok... I personally prefer to have a phone that is working instead of those crazy apps... I used to have an Android phone, these features are cool but they suck your battery and CPU power... Then your phone cannot do it's major functions. Several times I missed calls because CPU was busy with one of those crazy background tasks and the UI was not responsive.
    One night I set the alarm clock for next morning.. guess what? I was late to work because Alarm clock app had Force Close Error! I don't want a phone that I can't rely on that...
  • That's just because Androids are plagued with force close errors (personal experience, ugh). I would imagine, or at least like to imagine, that this is something that Microsoft would like to bake directly into the Windows Phone OS itself - optimized to run just as effeciently as the OS itself.
  • So they couldnt wait until this was also possible on WP before giving it to the competition? With so many major applications missing from WP that are available on ios and google, you would think MS would release more WP exclusive apps, but no.
    Guess they are content with their 2% marketshare. And before anyone says "it gets them into the MS ecosystem" here's a good example of WP being ignored: Doesnt really seem anyone actually considers WP the"3rd ecosystem", does it?
  • They can create the foundation by utilizing the openess of Android, so by the time WP8 comes out (or soon after) they can have a product read for release.
  • Didn't you say this already on the other article? MS has been in software longer than you and anyone else here have been, they know what they're doing.
  • Yeah, just like they knew what they where doing with the Kin, right?
  • That was Verizons fault
  • I had a Nokia long time ago and it allowed me to set a time to send text messages, say for instance like it would text my girlfriend exactly at 12:00 AM on her birthday, I am not sure if I can even do it now on windows phone or say for instance on Nokia L900. I own HTC hd7 btw.
  • You can't. I asked about developers being able to and its not possible. They call it a security feature that an app can't send a text for you. We should star suggesting it as an OS, built in feature.
  • It was back in 2005 when that feature was available on Nokia phones.
    It would be great if they can integrate this feature in the OS. Fingers crossed.
  • Oh how i miss that. Its interesting that we lost a lot of small usefull things on the way.
  • Of course they did. Don't think they'll rush it over to us. Look how long it took for Photosynth to make it to Windows Phone. I still don't think we have Skype...I mean, the icon is there, but the functionality isn't. Would Apple ever test out Siri on another platform or even make it available? Would Google test out cool new Maps features on WP or iOS? The answer to both is "no". Microsoft doesn't protect the WP market. We get nothing that is exclusive from Microsoft. What is there to entice the masses if Microsoft makes everything available to the competition, and in this case, shows favoritism to the competing platform.
  • bet you its going to in windows phone 8
  • This reminds me of the home automation solution they're working on
  • HTC one {x}. Lol
  • TouchDevelop does just fine :)
  • This is like ModeChanger on webOS, just more advanced.
    Can't wait :D
  • If you've been developing on on{X}, I have created a marketplace for us to share our recipes. I’ll add more features and improve it if people find it useful. People can post it for free or paid. Of course it’ll be interesting to see how it goes if some of you decide to charge for your Recipes. Some have said that, once they pay, technically they could share the code for free with everyone else. So, we'll see what people will actually do.