Posts tagged with: Cortana
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    We're probably just another week away from Microsoft's release of a developer preview of Cortana for UK audiences; the company's Marcus Ash announced that schedule last week, and we shared the news with you at the time. But in some follow-up questions to his initial post, Ash revealed additional details about how this effort would arrive, and it's not great news for those of you who were so enamored with Cortana (the service) because it sounded like Cortana (the video game character): the system's voice will change for its UK release. Full details of the switch aren't yet clear, but Ash ...

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    Microsoft's launch of Cortana on Windows Phone 8.1 has been met with much praise. Surely this is the first version of Cortana that many of you are experiencing, but in no way can this service be considered as a lesser product than the more mature services we find on iOS and Android. Still, the biggest problem with Cortana is that it's currently only available for Windows Phone 8.1 devices in the US, or at least was the problem, as it's about to change. Cortana's program manager Marcus Ash has just tweeted about the future of Cortana outside the US. He claims that unless something comes up, ...

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    Though Cortana itself is getting better by the day, actually firing up the voice assistant is not as simple. You have to either hold down the search button, or use a live tile, which significantly slows the process of quickly getting information. New information from Microsoft employee Marcus Ash suggests that the company is working on a voice-activated Cortana for the future. Windows Phone products rocking always-on Cortana would find themselves in the same league as the Moto X in the sense that a voice assistant would be always available. There are a couple drawbacks, however, to having ...

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    One of the coolest features of Windows Phone 8.1 is the Cortana voice assistant. While it still has it quirks, updates are flowing in all the time and many have grown to love it. A new interview Search Engine Land conducted with a Windows Phone team member suggests that Microsoft may be looking to bring Cortana over to the other two major mobile platforms, Android and iOS. While Marcus Ash, the interviewed Microsoft employee, doesn't explicitly state that Cortana is coming to Android and iOS, he says Microsoft is definitely considering it. Here's the exact quote: We want to scale ...

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    Microsoft's Cortana voice assistant is still very much a beta product. Despite being only available in the United States for now (with the UK and other regions on the way), the product still isn't perfect. Microsoft is committing to updating Cortana bi-monthly in order to keep Cortana fresh and bug-free. Microsoft is open to breaking this schedule for updates "that are timely, urgent or especially badass," which is by no means a bad thing. This well allow Jen Taylor's voice to spout info that's entirely relevant to the world around us, reflecting major world events and the like. The change ...

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    One of the early issues with Microsoft's personal assistant on Windows Phone 8.1, Cortana, was its availability. Unfortunately, the developer preview of Windows Phone 8.1 only featured Cortana access in a very limited number of markets (read: the United States), with more set to come with the passage of time. The next area to be blessed with access to Cortana looks to be the United Kingdom. A tweet sent out by the verified Windows Phone U.K. account shows nothing but the word "Soon," and a picture of Cortana. The only real interpretation is that a U.K. launch is fast approaching, ...

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    Surely Microsoft took a little too much time in launching Cortana to the world, at times when Siri and Google Search were already well established. You could say that even with Microsoft's good job at launching a product that's at times superior than Siri, it would still have a long road ahead to catch-up to its competitors because of how late Windows Phone 8.1 is. Still, it seems that Microsoft has a new card up its sleeve to level that out. We did hear Joe Belfiore claiming that Microsoft could bring Cortana to Windows eventually, though he wasn't specific as to when during the launch ...

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    On last week's edition of the Pocketnow Weekly (093: NEVER SETTLE), we shared with you a piece of listener mail asking us about our preferences when it comes to voice assistants - not the service itself, but the voices. Right now, there's not a lot of variety out there for our choices for how our phone sounds when it speaks to us: maybe we can select between male and female, or choose from a few accents, but even that represents more options than many users have. But this piece of listener mail wasn't about what we prefer among available options: what if we could have our phone speak to us ...

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    Most of you already know that I began my digital life as a Newton guy. To this day my MessagePad 2000U could do things that even the latest smartphones running the most customized ROM still can't do. When it was later rolled back into Apple then killed off, I switched to Pocket PC. It was hobbled together and didn't come close to how well integrated Newton was. Not until Voice Command came along. Instead of a feature, MS Voice Command was a purchased app that you could install on your PDA. This had advantages and disadvantages, but brought with it a whole new way of interacting with your ...

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    The "flagship killer" that demands that you "NEVER SETTLE" breaks cover. The pioneer of the modern mobile browser shares his story. And at long last, Microsoft and Nokia finally consummate their love. We could have a feature segment, but with news this hot, do we really need one? Not with a guest like Stefan Constantinescu of TabDump to bring some flavor (and profanity) to the proceedings, that's for sure. A word on the language of this episode: we've recently ditched the "Clean" content rating that's been with us from the start of the Weekly, trading it in for Apple's ominous "Explicit" ...

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    It’s funny. Steve Jobs always used to talk about giving the people what they want before they knew they wanted it. In my experience with mobile technology, nothing has proven this concept more than voice control. It started with Windows Mobile voice control years ago. It came to the mainstream with Siri a few generations ago – generations from a mobile tech perspective that is. It continued forward with Google Now. Today, in addition to the aforementioned assistants, we have Cortana finally gracing the last platform hold-out. Being the Windows Phone fan that I am, I haven’t really ...

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    Windows Phone 8.1 dropped earlier this week. We saw it at Build, but now we’re actually using it. And it’s for really real. Sure it’s a “Developer’s Preview” and sure some of the features aren’t quite done cooking, but it’s a pretty impressive upgrade to what Windows Phone users have been using. Plus, it’s available for (I think it’s reasonable to say) most Windows Phone users out there, less than two weeks after it’s debut on stage. That’s availability of Apple proportions. The reason this is so exciting is because in so many ways, Microsoft leveled the operating ...

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    Software devs love peppering their releases with a few well-placed Easter eggs, and voice-based virtual assistants on smartphones have been no stranger to this trend: Siri can be goaded into telling knock-knock jokes, and Google Now will engage in some Star Trek dialogue if asked to beam you up. As a result, it shouldn't be too surprising to learn that Microsoft's Cortana likes to get in on the fun as well, and this morning we check out one of the first-known Cortana Easter eggs. Remember Clippy, the on-screen cartoon paper clip “assistant” that would pop up in Microsoft Office with ...

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    Back in the day we used to refer to our electronic devices as PDAs -- Personal Digital Assistants. They weren't. In fact, they weren't much more than battery-operated day planners, the paper versions of which were in style around the turn of the century. Today these devices have given way to Internet-connected smartphones that are finally starting to include the ability to complete core tasks via voice-assisted input. Apple has Siri. Google has Google Now. Finally, Microsoft has Cortana. Some feel that this personalized and voice-responsive component finally brings the "assistant" to ...

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    Windows Phone 8.1 is not Windows Phone 9. It might seem merely a bland truth or a bit of farcical arithmetic, but the above statement is important to keep in mind when considering Microsoft's latest update to its distinctive smartphone operating system. After over a year since the last major upgrade, it's natural for advocates and casual users alike to pine for something profound – a ground-up rewrite that propels the third-place contender to the top in one fell swoop. Windows Phone 8.1 is not that rewrite. Less a reinvention than a honing of what came before, the new Windows Phone ...

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