During 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
Microsoft has opened up their knowledge and action graph APIs for developers to use to help integrate Bing’s snapshot feature into more and more apps. The API will allow Bing to quickly show relevant information to users according to what’s on their screen, essentially imitating Google’s Now on Tap. Read more
The mobile version of Skype‘s Business edition that allows video conferencing with up to 250 people is soon coming to Android and iOS devices. Launched by Microsoft two months ago, the service integrates into MS Office Calendar and lets users send group messages and participate in video chats. Read more
Microsoft is trying to expand its digital assistant Cortana by offering access on phones, tablets, and computers. A new update (184.108.40.206) 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
Cyanogen posted great news on Instagram. Adnan B., a Cyanogen employee, spoke at Seattle Code Rush, saying the company now has more active users than Windows Mobile and BlackBerry together. This is an amazing accomplishment for the company, and they seem to be very proud of it.
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
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.
It’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 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
Skype has received a new update–version 5.6 up from version 5.5–from Microsoft, making the communications application more user-friendly through a refreshed design and a minor improvement to the recent conversations tab.