Microsoft’s excellent ‘Garage’ project has given birth to a number of useful and enjoyable apps for Windows Phone, shining a refreshing light on an often lacklustre app store, and it now seems that Microsoft wish to push the brilliant work of their developers to the Google Play Store for Android users to enjoy.

Microsoft Garage is the name given to apps and programs developed by Microsoft employees at home, enabling them to see their own app ideas and builds come to life with the powerful backing of their employer’s marketing might.

Fresh from a raft of releases onto the Windows Phone app store Microsoft Garage have released their first app for Android devices, an intuitive lock screen titled ‘Next Lock Screen’.

Much like their Windows Phone release, Tetra Lockscreen, Next Lock Screen looks to make a smartphone’s lock screen more than a simple display for that killer selfie or a stunning sunset.

Installing the app and setting it as your lock screen will allow you to interact and control your phone directly from your lock screen, meaning you will not have to unlock your phone to send a quick text or view your upcoming appointments for the day.

The fact that any fresh app from Microsoft is being rolled out exclusively for Android devices seems to be a bit of an anomaly in itself, especially considering the frosty relationship the two giants have on the mobile front.

Previously Google kicked up a storm when Microsoft’s own YouTube app for Windows Phone allowed users to download videos to their phone, which was in direct violation of Google’s terms and conditions. On the other hand Microsoft were quick to shut down Nokia’s only entries into the Android arena after they procures the Finnish handset manufacturer.

Despite this Microsoft seems to have released a handy and intelligent app in Next, the lockscreen app has certainly been received well, with an average four star rating from over 400 reviews in just two days (at the time of writing).

Any Android users out there that have swapped their stock lockscreen to Micrsoft’s Next lockscreen, if so we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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