Most of Google Now’s original development team left before I/O 2015 Now on Tap announcement

googlenowcardsDuring Google I/O this year, the company showed off Now on Tap, which looks to be an extremely cool use of Google Now’s information scraping. Since then, Microsoft has already updated their Bing app to offer a similar experience, and it’s expected that Apple will do the same at some point. The competition in the digital personal assistant space is heating up very, very quickly, but unfortunately, Google may end up struggling to be competitive with other giants, according to some recent news. Read more

New update to Cortana for Android allows it to be the default voice assistant

microsoft_cortana_replaces_google_nowMicrosoft is trying to expand its digital assistant Cortana by offering access on phones, tablets, and computers. A new update (1.0.0.204) for the Cortana for Android beta app has hit the Play Store. With the update, Android users will now be able to replace Google Now as the default voice assistant with Cortana. Instead of holding down your home button or swiping up from your on-screen home button to launch Google Now, you can set Cortana to open.

Microsoft hasn’t mentioned when the official version of the app will be available, but one could expect it to arrive shortly. Once the official app is released, all of the features you get with Windows Phone will be available for Android users to enjoy.

Via: Unofficial Microsoft News

Microsoft Translator brings Android Wear support to users

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Google Translate on Android devices is certainly an impressive app to help users break down the language barrier. Now Google is getting some competition on their own devices from Microsoft which has released their own Microsoft Translate app. Translate brings one feature to Android that will likely be welcomed by users and that is support for Android Wear devices. Users can just speak into their Android Wear device to get a translation either verbally or graphically. Read more

Microsoft wins case against Google in patent royalty battle

Google HQ

Google’s nose has been bloodied slightly with the news that Microsoft has emerged victorious with a court ruling in a case that has been dragging on since 2010. The ruling could result in a decrease in royalty payments paid by electronics manufacturers for patents pertaining to Wi-Fi and video downloads. The case was a tit-for-tat move on Motorola’s part because of the lawsuit that Microsoft filed a month before claiming Motorola infringed on several Microsoft patents in Android smartphones.

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Microsoft working on customized Android launcher called Arrow Launcher

microsoft arrowIt’s been pretty clear that Microsoft would rather work on building apps and services for Android and iOS instead of pushing their own Windows Phone platform lately, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Windows Phone lacks a decent market share, so if Microsoft wants people to use their services, they’ll have to continue to rely on other platforms. Samsung’s partnership with Microsoft for bonus OneDrive storage and preloaded Microsoft apps is a pretty good indicator or this.

While Microsoft already offers apps for some of their own apps, like Skype, OneDrive, OneNote, and all kinds of other things, their next step looks to be creating a standalone launcher for Android phones. The launcher, called Arrow Launcher, sticks to Microsoft’s design language pretty closely, although in its early stages its seriously lacking any customization, which is a big selling point for many Android launchers. Read more

Microsoft announces short message app Send

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Microsoft has announced the latest creation to come out of their Microsoft Garage unit, a new app called Send. The app is meant to serve as a tool for “brief, snappy communications” where an email is overkill but use of an IM or SMS app may not be feasible. Initially Send will work for users who have Office 365 business or school email accounts, although Microsoft expects to make it more widely available to other Office users in the coming months. Read more