Posts tagged with: Cortana
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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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    Microsoft's Cortana may have been late to the party as far as voice assistants go, but you can't deny the effort the company has put into making its product better. One of the best parts of how Cortana is built is that it can be updated from Microsoft's servers, which means a full Windows Phone update isn't necessary to get a couple enhancements for Cortana. The latest batch of enhancements have been thrown together into a server-side Cortana update, and Microsoft is now explaining to us what exactly is new. First of all, Cortana will now give NFL predictions. The answers provided by the ...

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    As of right now, Microsoft offers its Windows Phone voice assistant Cortana to users in Australia, Canada, China, India, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Despite that limited language compatibility, there's long been evidence pointing to Cortana seeing broad international support, and we've been wondering just when we might see the service expand its reach to some new nations. While we don't have firm ETAs just yet, the latest evidence suggests a whole lot of new WP users may have access to Cortana soon, possibly before the year's out. On Twitter this morning, a Microsoft France ...

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    There was a time when the name "HTC" was synonymous with "Windows Mobile." The two were so intertwined during the latter half of the last decade that, no matter what form factor or Windows version you needed, you could find an HTC-badged smartphone to suit you. Then came the great Windows reboot of 2010, wherein Microsoft completely reinvented its mobile platform to better compete with iOS and Android. HTC's efforts with the new Windows Phone 7 were at first strong and nearly as varied as they were in the Windows Mobile days ... but the platform's sluggish adoption rate and HTC's ...

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    The only thing smarter than a voice assistant is having it be able to control more than just your phone. Home automation is clearly part one of Google's major plans for the future when acquiring a company like Nest, but it's hard to predict how far away that project is. A company that's already hard at work on a finalized product is Microsoft, and rumors even talk about Cortana being part of the deal. Microsoft Asia is reportedly working with an un-named, multi-national smart home giant on bringing us some voice-controled home automation. The report claims that Microsoft is working hard on ...

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    Updated with high-quality audio and links to download and stream below! Enjoy! Round smartwatches, roundly terrifying TOS agreements, and roundtable smartphone discussion: 'round here, it doesn't take much more than that to get a mobile podcast together, and –assuming the Hangouts gods will it– we'll be proving it to you in less than four hours. On today's episode, we're returning to a new favorite in the segments list, plumbing the depths of the podcast inbox to let you know what phone you should buy. We'll also tell you who won last week's smartphone giveaway and surprise you with ...

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    The technology world is a fast moving one, and hence, there are more than 100 stories we publish on a weekly basis here on Pocketnow. Those include reviews, videos, editorials, news, and more. With this new, weekly series, we're making it easier for you to look back at the most interesting, exciting, and popular topics of the week, in case you missed anything. Look for the Pocketnow Week in Review every Saturday morning. It contains the most popular ten stories of the week printed on the portal, as well as top videos from our YouTube channel. Additionally, you can also find our Pocketnow ...

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    The great thing about today's approach to mobile voice assistants is that the service lies in the cloud, and as such, can be updated periodically with more features. We've seen both Google and Apple be quite aggressive with the updates they've provided to Google Voice Search and Siri respectively, and now Microsoft takes an extra step. The company has just launched new updates to Cortana, and if you haven't noticed, here are a few new tricks. You can now ask Cortana how old Bill Gates is, and the service will respond verbally, something that has made Google's Voice Search famous for years. ...

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    Windows Phone 8.1 has finally seen its public release, following months of availability as a Preview for Developers. But as Windows Phone users all over the world start installing their 8.1 updates, Microsoft already has its eyes on what's next, and today gives us a little taste of what to expect, announcing the coming availability of WP8.1 Update 1 and going over some of the software's key features. Remember that folder support we've been talking about? The update will introduce Live Folders to the platform, letting you group apps for a denser, more feature-packed Start screen. Even ...

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    It's hard to imagine somebody willing to switch from one smartphone platform to another just because of the exiting features of a voice assistant, especially because either of these can evolve over time. Siri was much less capable than it is today, and the same can be said about Google's Voice Search, but Microsoft seems to believe that Cortana is mature enough to make you want to switch in its new ad. Microsoft's "Siri vs. Cortana - Happy Anniversary" commercial shows us some of the neat tricks that Cortana can do, that you currently can't with Siri. Having Cortana remind you to do ...

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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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