Posts tagged with: Cortana
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    No, I'm not talking about their sound. I mean, sure, developers can definitely help relating voice assistants' with the average user by fine-tuning their voices to sound like people and not cyborgs. I think, though, that they should retain some robotic quality so that users clearly know what they're interacting with as opposed to who. How Google Now, Siri, Cortana, or any other voice service interacts with you is more important. Important to you, the person who wants data from the internet. It's most important to the companies behind the services which gain income off of you via data ...

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    If your virtual assistant of choice comes from the world of Halo, great news: she’s not confined to Windows Phone anymore. As we reported earlier today, an early Windows Insider build of Cortana for Android has leaked to the masses, and we've got it running like a dream on our Samsung Galaxy S6 review unit. It's a prerelease version, so performance might not exactly match what we'll see from Microsoft's final take, but it's a pretty darn polished Beta – and we're here to share it with you in our very first Cortana on Android hands-on! Check out the original news post for a few more ...

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    Microsoft's Cortana voice-powered virtual assistant is going cross-platform, with plans in motion to bring Cortana to both Android and iOS. When Microsoft first shared this news in late May, it spoke of making the initial Cortana Android app available sometime in June, with the iOS release following later in the year. However, by mid-June Microsoft had revised its schedule a little, and instead informed us that the first Android Cortana beta would land sometime in July. We still haven't seen any sign of an official release, but today we've got the next best thing, as the Cortana Android ...

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    Update: Warning - peaking audio levels at the beginning and end of this podcast. Enjoy! Yo dudes. This week was gnar, dudes. First we get word from Commodore that they're (sorta) back and they've got a fleshtone phone to prove it. Then we hear that some kind of modern-day Iron Man is building a phone out of a material called "liquidmorphium." Then we go hands-on with an all-metal, super-stylized ZTE phone, before hearing that Samsung's new smartwatch is gonna have a digital crown and a rotating bezel control. And that's not even half of the geekgasm that was this week in mobile tech. All ...

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    Hound is SoundHound's new voice assistant to compete with the likes of Google Now, Siri, and Cortana. It, like the others, can launch apps, run search queries, identify songs, and more, but one thing that's caught wide attention for this service is its ability to process complex, multi-part queries in a manner similar to Wolfram Alpha. Questions like "What is the population and capital for Japan and China?" work without a hitch, and very quickly at that. But rarely will most people ask a voice assistant such complicated questions. Instead, most people use these services for quick searches ...

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    Nearly every member of the Pocketnow team uses digital personal assistants in some way. Whether it's Google Now, Siri, or Cortana, these systems offer voice commands, as well as personalized recommendations based on contextual information like location or emails. But while each service has its own unique features that set it apart from the others, none of them offer the same kind of fully fledged, natural language-based voice interface found on services like Wolfram Alpha. SoundHound recently demoed a new product, simply called Hound, that seems to offer similar functionality to these ...

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    Last month, Microsoft announced that it was taking the leash off its digital assistant Cortana and letting the service run wild across mobile platforms, confirming plans for both an Android and iOS app. The company warned us that the iOS version could still be a few months off, but the Android release was set to debut quite soon, tipped for availability by the end of June. It looks like those release plans have hit a snag, though, and in a new post today Microsoft informs Cortana fans that they'll have to wait a little longer before they can try it out on Android. The new plan, according ...

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    Microsoft's Cortana digital assistant may have debuted on the company's Windows Phone handsets, but it's on the cusp of expanding in a big way. In addition to the Android and iOS apps we saw the company announce last month, Cortana is also set to find a home on PC, and you may have already had a chance to give it a spin in a recent Windows 10 preview. While we generally think of Cortana as a software tool or a cloud service, today we also get word of an interesting hardware component that's just over the horizon, as Toshiba shares word of plans to equip all its upcoming Windows 10 laptops ...

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    Update: Clocking in at 02:30:34, this is the longest episode of the Weekly to date, thanks in no small part to the addition of the I/O roundtable. Enjoy ALL of it with this distribution and we'll see you next week! The funny thing about the annual Google I/O developer conference is this: the news doesn't stop for it. In fact, the opposite is true; knowing that Google's about to carpet bomb the mobile tech landscape with two days' worth of Android developments, rivals and partners alike kick their PR machines into overdrive, straining to be heard above the din. Add in the lack of our ...

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    A few years ago I was trying to find my way around an unfamiliar city with my friend and her husband, and I pulled out my Android phone to help us navigate the tricky terrain. Looking upon my then-new HTC Evo 4G, my friend's husband asked, "those phones are basically just iPhone ripoffs, right?" "No," I replied. "Android is totally different from iOS. In some ways it's better." "Yeah," the guy shot back, "but they're all just trying to be the iPhone, right?" If it sounds like he was trolling me, he was – but he also meant what he said. And while he was kind of a dirtbag (they later ...

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    Windows 10 Mobile is going to be tightly integrated with Windows 10 on PCs: that's a key pillar of Microsoft's platform vision, and promises to help further streamline communication between devices. So while Microsoft smartphones will work smoothly with Windows 10 computers, what about those of us who run Windows on our PCs but elect to go with Android or iOS as our primary mobile ecosystems? Today Microsoft shares some of what it's planning for Android and iOS users on Windows 10, including availability of a Cortana app. That's right: Microsoft's voice assistant will soon be available to ...

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    Recently, a rumor came churning out of the mill suggesting that Microsoft might be developing Cortana for iOS and Android. Joe Levi opined earlier this week about what a good idea this was. Microsoft putting its software on as many devices as possible certainly does sound like a great thing on the face of it, but once you dig a little deeper, maybe live is not so rosy underneath the large orange visor. Microsoft and Google have a…strained relationship. Google has stripped its services from Microsoft’s devices while at the same time improving its apps for iOS. Google has even gone so ...

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    Long before smartphones became "smart", business users would carry around a phone, perhaps a pager, and a PDA - a Personal Digital Assistant. This PADD-esque device was typically powered by an OS from Palm (Palm OS), Microsoft (Windows CE), or Apple (Newton). They enabled us to carry our contacts, calendars, task-lists, eBooks, email, and select types of documents with us where ever we went. We'd later sync our PDAs with our desktop computers so the data would remain up-to-date at our desk and on the road. As time progressed pagers and cell phones merged with our PDAs and we now call ...

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    Updated with high-quality audio cut below. Enjoy! Getting back on the horse. Getting back into the groove. Getting the warp core back on-line. However you phrase it, getting back on-track is exactly what we're doing on this week's podcast, settling back into the studio chairs after over a week in Barcelona handling the hottest mobile technology (and podcasting from unconventional venues). On this week's episode, we're paid a special visit by someone we've heard from before – but he's fresh from his very first Apple experience and full of not only Apple Watch knowledge ... but new ...

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    The various voice assistants being offered by the major smartphone platforms aren't just incredibly impressive pieces of tech that also happen to be enormously useful for busy users; they're also great ways for the companies behind these services to draw attention to their respective platforms. After all, if you want to talk to Siri, that means buying an iOS device, just as interacting with Cortana means choosing to go with Windows Phone. But that needn't be a hard-and-fast rule, and at least for Cortana, we've been talking about plans for cross-platform access since last year. Now a new ...

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    Once a few years ago, my wife and I were sitting on the couch, and a commercial came on. In it were a few scenarios where a user would activate Siri and do…whatever. When the commercial was over, my wife turned to me and said, “That makes me want to get an iPhone.” More recently, Google has been running a series of “OK, Google” commercials in which people are asking Google to do various things, or look things up. On the Windows Phone side of things, Joe Belfiore has an unabashed love affair going on with Cortana. So it made me wonder, are digital assistants really the way to sell ...

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    This week's Windows 10 event brought us a lot of reasons to be excited about Microsoft's next-gen OS, not the least of which being the early access that interested users will be able to get in giving it a spin on their phones. Some rumors clued us in to what Microsoft's possible plans, and the event itself confirmed them: the preview for phones would land sometime in February. That's great to hear, but phones are only one part of the whole Windows 10 experience; what about computers? Now, Microsoft had already released an early preview of its OS for PCs, but its event brought word that ...

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    Microsoft's Windows 10 event is currently on its way, and even though we're still expecting to hear a lot from its mobile developments, Microsoft has begun with PC announcements. Windows 10 is showcased to be one operating system across all platforms, and the services that we find on these platforms is intended to be shared among form factors. Cortana made some major headlines with its launch on Windows Phone 8, and now it's time for the PC. Joe Belfiore has just announced Cortana for the PC, and we get to see how Cortana will integrate as part of your start menu. Belfiore took his time to ...

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    As you may recall, ten days ago I returned to my long-neglected Lumia 1020 for the holidays. This overdue reunion of contrarian nerd with fringe platform was meant to answer a question we get quite often in the Pocketnow Weekly mailbag: at the dawn of a new year, is Windows Phone still a world worth moving to (or even visiting)? In an atmosphere of delayed flagship launches and growing skepticism among some smartphone manufacturers, the question is more pertinent than ever. The answer, as it turns out, is yes — but it carries some very important qualifiers, and it's certainly not ...

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    Ever since Microsoft released Cortana a few months ago, the voice assistant has almost always been on the front lines when it comes to witty and seasonally-appropriate replies thanks to the dedication of the Microsoft team in Redmond. Today that continues, with Cortana Christmas updates adding a few new neat tricks. Let's have a look, shall we? There are many queries which receive the themed responses from Cortana. For example, trying asking the assistant "Where is Santa?" and she might respond with "Santa could be enjoying some of Mrs. Claus's baked cookies." Ask her to sing you a ...

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    It's been over two months now since we last looked at Microsoft’s global strategy for its voice-powered personal assistant, Cortana. Back then, we were hearing teasers out of France that suggested the service could soon find itself coming to the nation, following availability in the UK. Well, we're still not quite all the way to a full-blown release, but this week still brings us greatly expanded European Cortana access, as Microsoft brings an alpha version to users in France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. What does that “alpha” business mean? Well, for the moment Cortana will only be ...

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    Sometimes I ask my assistant to remind me about something, and when she's sitting in the same room as me and it's time to be reminded about something important, she claps her hands twice to get my attention. If I don't look at her right away, she won't tell me what the message is, and then she'll wait a few more seconds and then close her eyes and go to sleep. If this was a real person, that scenario would sound pretty ridiculous, but that's exactly how our smartphones behave these days. I'm sorry, I don't understand what 2 hand claps means. We're in the same room though. I can hear you. ...

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    How often do you use your digital assistant every day? Some may think that Siri, Cortana and Google Now are just gimmicks, but according to some recent studies, that highly depends on how old you are. If you're wondering how different usage patterns are when it comes to voice search, it seems Google asked itself the same question, and the answers are not shockers at all. According to a new study commission by Google, 55% of users under 18 will use any voice search service, be it Google Now, Siri or Cortana, more than once a day in comparison to 41% of grownups. This number grows to a ...

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    The debate of which voice assistant came first is still a shady topic. While many agree that Siri was the service that made the idea mainstream, we do know that Google's Voice Search has existed for a bit longer, and even though Microsoft's Cortana is the newest in the crowd, we all remember Microsoft's Voice Command from the Pocket PC days. Still, if you leave history aside and ask yourself which service is currently better, some experts claim to have a winner. A marketing consulting firm by the name of Stone Temple claims to have found Google Now's voice search to be significantly ...

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    Big things have been happening for Microsoft's voice assistant Cortana recently. She's been picking up new functionality, getting ready to spread to new nations, and supposedly gearing up to make a desktop debut with Windows 10. But for all the serious improvements Microsoft's been delivering, Cortana's also had a playful side, like how she'd respond to questions about Microsoft's old digital assistant, Clippy. Today we get word of some new lighthearted to Cortana, as she learns to speak the guttural tongue of the Klingon Empire. Voice-controlled apps on our phones seem like they can't ...

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