Posts tagged with: Cortana
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    Voice-powered assistants are becoming more and more popular ways for users to get access to data, using them to conduct searches and connect with the websites holding  answers. But for as powerful as they are, use of such services can mean making certain compromises. Take Google's voice search on Android devices, for instance: you can ask it to search for anything you choose, but it's only going to give you results from Google's own servers – there's no easy way to conduct a Yahoo search, or a Bing search. But over on Windows 10, users have been able to get a lot more flexibility out of ...

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    Talking to my phone is probably one of my favorite things to do with it. Asking my phone's voice assistant to perform tasks such as giving me the weather, texting my wife, or looking up information is pretty cool, and so much more convenient than doing it “the old fashioned way.” What I mean is, launching an app from the app drawer, or typing I-L-L-B-E-H-O-M-E-I-N-2-0-M-I-N-U-T-E-S. People do crazy stuff on phones these days, and talking makes everything so much easier. So why don’t more people talk to their phones? I’ve asked that question and decided to delve. Childlike wonder ...

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    There are a lot of good reasons to enable GPS reception on your smartphone – and just as many why you might want to leave it turned off. Sure, navigation becomes a little trickier when your phone doesn't know exactly where it is, but keeping GPS enabled consumes precious battery capacity, and the more paranoid of you out there just might not love the idea of your phone acting as a tracking device to begin with (cell tower and WiFi-based location estimates notwithstanding). But for whatever reason you might choose to keep GPS turned off, some apps just refuse to play nicely without it. ...

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    Last week, Microsoft suffered a pretty embarrassing PR hit upon the deployment of its AI chatbot Tay: just hours after going live, users had managed to train the bot to start spewing racist tirades. You might think that after an incident like that, Microsoft would be planning to shy away from AI-driven bot interactions at Build 2016, but that couldn't be further from the case. Instead, CEO Satya Nadella has made he clear that he sees such bots as the future of computing, with natural human language taking the place of convoluted, often unintuitive UIs. Nadella's clear that it may take us ...

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    Microsoft sold us on Windows 10 with, among other things, the promise of an experience that would break down walls between form factors: phone, tablet, desktop – the choice of where you ran software shouldn't matter for universal apps. We're still waiting to see how well that all works out, but today we're learning of another area where Microsoft is helping to connect dissimilar devices and empower them to give us the information we need, as its latest Windows 10 Insider builds help Cortana let us know what's going on with our phone, even when we're away from it. Last fall, Cortana on ...

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    The Financial Times is sourcing "people familiar" to report that Microsoft will acquire TouchType, the company that makes algorithm-assisted keyboard app Swiftkey, for $250 million.This is the Microsoft's first acquisition of a mobile-centric services provider in 2016. It acquired the developers of the Accompli, Sunrise Calendar, Wunderlist apps in the past year or so. The eight-year-old company, which most recently reported sales of just £8.4 million ($12.1 million), is currently held in the majority by venture capital and angel firms while company co-founders Jon Reynolds and Ben ...

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    Here at Pocketnow, we've got our nose to the mobile-tech-news grindstone day-in and day-out, scouring sources the world over in the hopes of bringing you the hottest, most interesting news from not just the biggest names in the industry, but also the fresh faces working their hardest to be the next big thing. With the year rounding to a close, it would be easy to look back and point to some of the biggest stories to cross our path – the launches of the most popular phones, the arrival of long-awaited software updates, and the like – but that's a little dry. After all, if you're half ...

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    Isn't half the fun of voice-powered virtual assistants like Siri, Google Now, or Cortana that we're able to interact with them by spoken prompt? And when we don't even have to press a button to initiate the process, getting things started with the sound of our voice, so much the better, right? Unfortunately, one of those players just took a big step backwards in that department, as Microsoft kills off “Hey Cortana” recognition for Android users in the US. Google may be the king of voice-powered services on Android, but Microsoft's been trying do what it could with Cortana. Full ...

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    Even before Windows 10 made its public debut, we were hearing about what Microsoft was working on next for the operating system, set to arrive next year as codename Redstone. We've been able to start narrowing down that ETA thanks to more recent reports, now looking to Redstone landing right around the mid-point of the year – possible in July. But when this Redstone update does get here, what changes will it bring? A new report looks at the evolving state of Cortana, and how Redstone will further enhance the tool's usefulness. The big change for Cortana in Redstone sounds like it could ...

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    When Microsoft first announced back in May that it intended to bring Cortana to both Android and iOS users, it gave itself a deadline: Android support was set to arrive first, but ultimately it wanted to Cortana out for both platforms before the end of the year. And while we've certainly seen Android beta testing get underway – and much, much more recently, an iOS beta – there's been this sense ever since that Microsoft's efforts were taking a little longer to come together than the company might like; sure we had our betas, but would would a wider release be possible before 2016 ...

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    This fall's Lumia flagships have been a long time coming; Windows smartphones fans have been waiting for a new top-tier model for a while now, and they just got two in the form of the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL. But do these models really deliver on our admittedly high expectations? Just the other day we brought you our in-depth Lumia 950 review, and while features like Continuum were big stands-outs, the presence of some annoying bugs and an overall uninspired design combined to a bring us a handset that didn't quite live up to its potential. We certainly detailed enough of those bugs in ...

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    November's just about over, but before we dive headfirst into the end-of-the-year action December promises to bring, we're stopping back in to follow up on a story that helped get the month started for us, when we learned about Microsoft finally inviting Apple users to register to help test the long-promised iOS port of Cortana. Android users had been taking Cortana for a spin for months, and Microsoft had initially talked about getting Cortana working on iOS before the year was out, so while we were glad to see those sign-ups open, we were even more anxious to learn when testing would ...

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    Even though Microsoft pretty-much pioneered the idea of having voice-controlled interaction with your smartphone through its old Voice Command services on Windows Mobile, we do know that the company was rather late to the digital assistant crowd with Cortana. Still, we can’t deny that Redmond has done an amazing job with the service, sometimes leapfrogging its competitors in a few features. If you’re wondering where all this is going with Cortana and its predominance on Windows 10, today we learn more. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella was recently interviewed, and he had a few thoughts to ...

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    It's been years since Apple launched Siri with the iPhone 4s, and so far the user adoption of the service has been polarizing. For some Siri is something nice to have for setting an alarm or a reminder, and for others it's actually more important or less. That level of importance is what a recent study tried to prove, and competing services were also included. A survey conducted claims that 81% of users feel satisfied with using Siri, which reportedly beats 68% of users claiming the same for Google Now, and 57% for Cortana. According to the study, participants were asked to try seven ...

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    What gadget geek doesn't want his or her own combadge? Somewhere at the intersection between virtual digital assistants and wearable hardware there's the dream of being able to access a powerful voice-controlled computer wherever you go; just ask it something, and it answers. We've already got shades of that with Android Wear and the Apple Watch, and now Microsoft may be planning its own spin on the idea, as a source discusses the company's plans for a Cortana-based wearable device. Supposedly in development under the name Clip, the unit would provide users with a dedicated path to ...

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    Microsoft may have been a little late to the voice assistant game, but its efforts with Cortana have show that good things can be worth waiting for. Earlier this year we learned about Microsoft's efforts to share some of the Cortana love with even smartphone users who weren't committed to the company's own platform, as it announced work towards both Android and iOS versions of the service. Android access came first, though a little behind schedule, while all along we've heard promises that an iOS release would follow sometime later this year. We may be in the home stretch of 2015 by now, ...

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    Convergence of our on-the-go and sit-down lives has been around for a long while with Google Voice, Skype, Continuity and now, even AT&T (and T-Mobile and Sprint) providing convergence services for messaging and phone calls. The almighty SIM isn't as almighty as it once was but, in the age of data, it's still a keystone to what we do on our smartphones. It's here that we notice that Windows Phone, soon to be Windows 10 Mobile, has been lacking such a solution. It's not going to be the case anymore as Cortana will soon officially bring over SMS and phone calls to all your Windows 10 ...

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    Cortana has some legs to her, and this year we've already seen Microsoft's voice-powered assistant spread beyond her Windows Phone roots to not only the Windows desktop, but also to competing mobile platforms – she's out for Android now, with iOS set to follow later this year. Beyond that, we've also heard about efforts to get Cortana into some additional kinds of devices, like last year's news about Windows Phone in the car. Now we're learning a little more about how automotive Cortana integration could work, as Microsoft's Asia-Pacific Research and Development Group talks about its ...

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    Cyanogen may be synonymous with Android – and more specifically, custom Android-based ROMs – but earlier this year we learned about an interesting partnership that was coming together, as Microsoft and Cyanogen Inc. signed a deal that would see Microsoft apps and services appear on Cyanogen OS devices. At the time, we were understandably curious about just where that pairing would lead, and today we're hearing about one very interesting development that could be about to spring from that collaboration, with Cyanogen OS picking up tight Cortana integration. While Cortana is available as ...

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    Just over a month ago, Android users got their first shot at trying out Microsoft's response to the Google Nows and Siris of the world, as Microsoft got invite-only testing underway on Cortana for Android – well, that was the plan, at least, but a leaked APK quickly gave a whole lot of additional Android users a chance to interact with Cortana for themselves. While it was great for Microsoft to start going cross-platform with Cortana like that, we still needed to see Cortana for Android availability greatly expand, and the iOS port was nowhere to be found. We're still waiting for ...

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    When news came out that Microsoft was going to be developing Cortana for Android, I was dubious. As in, “So what?” Realistically, I just didn’t see the point. Android has a perfectly good voice assistant in Google Now – to say nothing of how awesome Now on Tap will be – so why should we care about Cortana on Android? It’ll be just another app. But then news came out more recently that Cortana will be able to replace Google Now as the default search for Android. Whoa. Ok. Now we’re talking. Just got real Before, Cortana was an app on Android. Now, Cortana can be just about as ...

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    Microsoft's inclusion of Cortana on Windows 10 marks a very smart move that other manufacturers like Apple and Google haven't followed with their current PC offerings. The inclusion of a smart digital assistant makes far more sense when using a powerful computer, than when using a phone on the go in most cases. Today we learn that this was just the tip of the iceberg. Intel has just announced a new "Wake-on-voice" feature that will be included on Windows 10 computers running on Intel processors. The idea is that you can wake up your computer from a low power state by simply saying "Hey ...

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    Google Now's been as successful as it is on Android not solely because of all it can do for its users, but also because of how eminently accessible it is: from an Android phone, Google Now is little more than a home-button-swipe away. So for a competitor to really rise to challenge Google Now's success, it's going to not only have to compare favorably with the service on the features side, but also in terms of accessibility. Luckily for Microsoft, that's just what it's doing as it makes its latest enhancements to Cortana for Android, integrating with Android via the same home-button ...

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    San Diego-based accessory maker Satechi is no stranger to mobile swag. The company's catalog boasts legions of smartphone sidekick products ranging from external batteries to Bluetooth speakers to bicycle mounts. It's made a name for itself in the single-button remote market (a segment I had no idea existed prior to today) with products like the Satechi Bluetooth Home Button and Satechi Bluetooth Shutter Button, and today it expands on the lineup with the Satechi Bluetooth Cortana Button for Windows 10. Don't let the fancy blue decal fool you; the Bluetooth Cortana Button is a direct ...

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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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