Since Satya Nadella has taken over as Microsoft’s CEO, one thing has been abundantly clear: Microsoft isn’t just about Windows anymore — it’s embracing all platforms.
Now, we’re seeing more evidence of that with the company’s new Android app, Picturesque, which turns your phone’s lock screen into a constantly-changing digital photo frame.
As the app’s name implies, Picturesque is all about images.
Instead of setting one static background image for your phone’s lock screen, Picturesque allows you to swap out photos by shaking your phone or swiping to the right.
The app randomly selects high resolution images from Bing, similar to the way Yahoo Weather chooses photos from Flickr.
Swiping in the opposite direction shows you the top headlines from Bing News, and one more swipe in the same direction allows you to fiddle with your lock screen settings. From here, you can also access some settings such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and volume controls.
There’s also a Bing search bar at the top of the main screen so that you can perform basic searches without having to unlock your device.
The functionality is pretty basic, but Picturesque is undoubtedly one of the best-looking lock screen replacement apps available for Android. Its simplicity is part of what makes it appealing, though. While some apps like Cover and Aviate try to offer contextual information based on your location, I appreciate Picturesque’s sleek yet attractive look.
Picturesque is the second cross-platform app Microsoft has released recently. The company’s Outlook app for iPhone impressed our editors and even convinced one of them to delete Gmail within five minutes. It’s also an excellent way to lure Android users to Windows Phone — it introduces Android users to Bing search and news before committing to a full platform switch.