Microsoft's cross-platform software strategy has seen the company roll out a diverse range of new apps to iOS and Android in recent months. In the last few weeks, Android has had all sorts of attention from Microsoft - in addition to a major Skype update, and the launch of its new Send email-instant messaging app, the company also acquired the developers of the Echo Notification Lockscreen for Android.
Now, as Gadgets 360 reports, Microsoft is working on another new addition to its Android portfolio - a phone dialer app, which is said to be in testing in India.
Dialer is said to have been developed by Microsoft's Skype team, and it includes support for voice-calling over low-speed 2G and 3G networks. The app can reportedly replace the default pre-installed phone dialer software on Android (although this would presumably depend on how heavily the software on each device has been 'locked down' by its manufacturer).
Dialer does have one or two nice features that elevate it above the most basic phone-dialling functions though. Along with being able to browse your own contacts (as you would expect), the app also allows you to quickly search for contact details of nearby people, businesses and places of interest, such as museums or railway stations.
It also includes Truecaller-style functionality, which means that when you get a call from an unknown number, the app will pull information from all available sources to help you identify who's calling.
According to the report, Microsoft plans to launch Dialer for Android in India in the second week of December, with a public beta expected to begin next month.
Intriguingly, the report also claims that Microsoft will launch a 'Windows Phone client' of Dialer next year. However, it's not clear if that will replace the version built into Windows 10 Mobile, or if it will be offered as an alternative option downloadable from the Store.
Microsoft didn't comment on today's report when asked by Gadgets 360, referring instead to a statement last week, in which it told the same publication:
As part of the ongoing improvements to deliver the best experience possible to our users, we are always innovating and occasionally test out new features and functionality on small groups of users in different markets. If you live in India and have an Android phone and would like to get involved, sign up to our Pre-Release program via the Skype Community page. We have no specific news on product announcements planned in India to share today.
While that's hardly an explicit confirmation of today's report, it's perhaps encouraging that the company has said nothing to deny that the Dialer app is in development - and its reference to the Skype Pre-Release program certainly supports the claim that a public beta may be opening in the near future.
Source and images: Gadgets 360 (NDTV)