Thursday, June 14, 2012 - 22:58

Microsoft starts beta for on{X} for Android. And it's a great toy.

Microsoft recently started on{x} for Android. The app is kind of a rule based programmable scheduler. A rule can basically be broken down to a trigger and an action. What makes this extremely flexible is the programming interface. You are not just limited to predefined rules or rules that you can 'click together'. In fact rules are defined in JavaScript on the on{x} website. They can then be pushed to your phone or shared with others. The app's interface is accordingly simple and mostly limited to removing and disabling rules ( for now ). The rules available ( or those you define yourself ) have certain configurable variables. If your rule defines a home location for example you can change name, latitude and longitude of that variable to match your actual rule. So a rule used for home can easily be adapted for work. The API for now is limited but already covers quite an amazing bit of the obvious candidates.

The number of available rules is still quite limited. So for now this clearly is a coders tools. If you have no idea about programming you won't see the advantages of this tool and most likely dismiss it. So everyone who's not into coding should probably give it a little time to develop further.

If you are into coding and are looking for a clean and quick way to implement schedules or single tasks this is a very decent toy.

There's however one downside ( for now ). Due to the fact that rules are not done on device but on site the tool requires authentication. And right now the only available option is facebook. It's not actually some tight fb integration but don't blame me for not telling. I'm not exactly happy about that but since this is Microsoft it could probably be worse.

Overall this app has some huge potential. I however wonder what their Windows Phone customer base will think of this. Instead of fixing bugs in their own platform they are pushing good ideas on another platform. But I'd suspect a Windows Phone version is somewhere behind the horizon.