Remotely Control a Smartphone with Microsoft App

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft has launched a website and mobile application service that allows users to program smartphone functions based on their locations and schedules. Microsoft has designed the product to run exclusively on the Android smartphone.

This is not the first time Microsoft has designed a product that does not run on its very own Windows Phone mobile platform. Photosynth (a digital photograph analyzing software application), for example, ran only on the iPhone.

This new service is called "on{X}". It's intended to offer a futuristic glimpse of smartphone use by allowing users to program special schedules for select mobile features. (Source:

Automated Responses to Everyday Routines, Movements

For example, the system would allow users to program their smartphones to use global positioning system (GPS) data to tell a loved one where they're located without even having to call or type a text message. But that's not all.

"How about programming your phone to automatically show you today's agenda as you step into your office? Or today's weather as you wake up in the morning?" These questions were posed by Eran Yariv, engineering manager at the Microsoft Israel R&D Center in a recent blog post. (Source:

This new "app style" remains active in the background and uses the phone's sensors to automate everyday actions.

Once users have the application installed on their phone, they can visit the on{X} website to write or adapt short pieces of JavaScript code that command the phone to perform certain actions in response to everyday occurrences.

Pre-Canned Recipes for the End-User

While Microsoft admits that on{X} is primarily targeted at tech enthusiasts with at least a basic knowledge of coding, that's not necessarily a requirement.

In fact, the company has included a number of "pre-canned recipes" (or codes) meaning users can select from a list of common routines (like choosing a feature that informs a loved one that you have left the office when the sensor detects that your mode of transportation has shifted from walking to driving).

The product is currently only available in beta version. Yariv did hint at plans to bring on{X} to additional platforms in the future, but did not disclose an actual date or timeframe.

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