First Look at the Microsoft Cortana beta on Android (Video)

cortana on android

Microsoft recently released its Cortana digital assistant as a beta app, and we’ve been able to get our hands on the preview. Apart from its Material-like design, the app looks, performs, and acts just like the Cortana on Windows Phone. You can ask it to set reminders, give you directions and weather information, or do simple arithmetic. It has its limitations and doesn’t feel quite as intuitive or in-depth as Google Now or Siri, but it has its uses.

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Good news: Chrome may soon get simultaneous multilingual spellchecking

google_chrome

Do you speak and write in more than one language – and often use them interchangeably? If so, you may know the frustration of having to constantly change the language Google Chrome uses for spellchecking. Fortunately, it looks like Chrome soon will be able to spellcheck in multiple languages simultaneously, as well as make it easy to quickly toggle spellchecking on and off for different languages.

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Microsoft’s Google Now competitor Cortana coming to Android in June, plus tight integration with Windows (Video)

cortana

Reuters reported back in March that Microsoft planned to bring its Google Now competitor Cortana to Android, and Microsoft has now officially confirmed this in a blog post.

Today, we’re announcing a Cortana application for Android phones and for iPhones which works as a companion to Cortana on your Windows 10 PC. The ‘Phone Companion’ app on the PC will help you install the Cortana app from the Google Play or Apple App Store onto your phone so you’ll be able to take the intelligence of Cortana with you, wherever you go […]

The Cortana companion will be available for Android phones at the end of June and for iPhones later this year.

While Microsoft is pitching the intelligent assistant as a companion to a Windows PC, it appears that most of the functionality will work in the Android app without the need for a Windows device, Microsoft saying that you can “make the same queries, ask the same questions” in the standalone app …  Read more

Samsung paid Microsoft $1B in patent royalties last year, but it now wants to void the contract

SAMSUNG

Samsung and Microsoft initially inked an Android patent licensing deal back in 2011, but since then, Samsung’s dominance in the smartphone has grown incredibly fast. The South Korean company, according to court documents that become public on Friday, is now saying that it no longer wants to pay the royalties to Microsoft.

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Asus reportedly sold more tablets than Apple in Japan during first half of 2014

Image via TechSmartt

Image via TechSmartt

According to figures released by market research company BCN, Asus sold more tablets than Apple during the first half of 2014 in Japan. Asus’ market share rose 8 percent year-over-year during the first half of 2014, the report claims, giving it a 38.9 percent portion of the tablet market in Japan. Apple, on the other hand, holds a 36.4 percent share (via Nikkei). This is the first time Asus has ever held the top spot in Japan, according to the report. Read more

Chromecast support coming soon to controversial movie streaming app Popcorn Time

popcorn

If you’re not familiar with Popcorn Time, it’s an app that allows you to stream movie and TV show torrents without any of the hassles usually associated with torrents – what you get is an interface which looks just like Netflix or Hulu. Thanks to a popular forked version, you’ll soon be able to watch that content on your TV when Chromecast support is added …  Read more

Lenovo offers its first consumer-oriented Chromebooks to world’s largest customer base, starting at $279

Lenovo

The profile of Chromebooks is likely to get a boost after the world’s largest PC manufacturer, Lenovo, announced its first Chromebooks aimed at the consumer market. Pricing starts at $279.

Lenovo, best known for its Windows laptops, launched its first Chromebook in January – but that one was pitched at the education market, selling in bulk to schools and colleges. This is the first time it has pitched a Chromebook directly at consumers – something which may worry Microsoft. Lenovo has 18.6 percent of the PC market, ahead of HP, Dell and Acer …  Read more

Google is about to stick a Chrome Apps link in your Bookmarks bar


Screen Shot 2013-04-15 at 10.17.42 AM

Some new stuff from Canary build this morning above on left (compared to stable on right). Notice the Apps shortcut  icon which can be removed by unchecking the “Show Apps shortcut” icon (below) in the dropdown menu.

This is interesting especially as Google appears to be ready to push an Apps button to its iconic search page. Will Chrome apps finally get their day in the sun? Read more