Windows Phone July 17

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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Windows Phone July 9

BlackBerry has snapped up a couple of Android-y domain names very recently. Logs show that BlackBerry Limited bought and on July 7th. This move, of course, adds more fuel to the rumors that the company is planning to launch a Google-powered smartphone in the near future.

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Windows Phone May 26


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 …  expand full story


Windows Phone March 13

Microsoft is planning on making the next generation of its voice-recognition system, Cortana, available on Android and iOS devices sometime after the fall, reports Reuters. The focus, says the company, will be on an intelligent assistant that predicts the help you need, rather than simply responding to user requests.

Cortana could tell a mobile phone user when to leave for the airport, days after it read an email and realized the user was planning a flight. It would automatically check flight status, determine where the phone is located using GPS, and checking traffic conditions.

Google has of course long majored on this kind of proactive approach through its Google Now service, which aims to work out what you will want to know when, but Microsoft believes that integrating everything into the digital assistant is the future …  expand full story

Windows Phone October 31, 2014

The latest numbers from Strategy Analytics reveal that Android was installed on over 8 of 10 smartphones worldwide in the third quarter, as the mobile operating system captured 84% global market share for the three-month period ending September. That figure arrives just one day after the research firm reported that Chinese company Xiaomi has become the third-largest smartphone maker in the world.

Android continued to be a dominant player in global smartphone operating system market share, increasing its lead over iOS by three percentage points compared to the year-ago quarter. Apple’s mobile operating system held 12.3% market share during the third quarter, trailed by Windows Phone (3.3%) and BlackBerry (0.7%). Other mobile platforms accounted for less than 0.1% market share. expand full story

Windows Phone October 14, 2014

Microsoft has just joined the ranks of companies looking to capitalize on the success of ephemeral messaging apps like Snapchat. Through its Skype division, the company has launched a new cross-platform app for iOS, Android, and (of course) Windows Phone called Skype Qik. The premise of the application, as can be seen in the video above and screenshots below, is simple: you can record a quick video, and then share it to either one person in your address book or multiple groups of people.

By default, videos will expire after two weeks, and you can also un-send messages at any time. A cool feature of Skype Qik is the ability to pre-record various 5 second GIFs that you can send as instant replies. So, if you don’t have the ability to send a live video reply, you can just choose one of your pre-record defaults. The app is free today on the aforementioned platforms, and Microsoft says that updates, such as one for blocking iPhone contacts (that feature is available today on Android and Windows Phone), will come often to enhance the feature-set.

You can view some screenshots of the Android app in action below:

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