Monthly Archives : May 2015

Cortana is coming to Android and iOS

Microsoft has just announced that Cortana will be spreading her fingers to more pies by jumping to Android and iOS devices.

Currently Microsoft’s Halo based virtual assistant is exclusive to Windows Phone – this marks the first time any of the key virtual assistant programs have adapted onto other another OS.

Dedicated apps are launching in the Google Play Store and App Store giving you the same abilities as Windows Phone including reminders and flight tracking.

A few features don’t make the jump to the platform as the app can’t tap into the OS as easily, so you’ll lose hands-free activation and options to launch apps directly.

Hallo Cortana

The Cortana Notebook feature, which remembers all your preferences and history, will now sync up across all your devices though so if you use both a Windows Phone and an Android it’ll remember everything.

It’ll be coming to Android at some point toward the end of June whilst those with iPhones are only being told it’s launching later this year.

Microsoft also shared a Phone Companion Windows 10 app to help sync your iOS, Android and Windows Phone to your PC.

 

 

Apple Watch will be available to buy in stores from June

While you can wander into an Apple Store and take a peek at an Apple Watch today, you can’t actually buy one and take it home with you – you’ll be asked to reserve the wearable online once you’ve tested it out in-store.

That will change next month, according to Apple CEO Tim Cook, when high street stores will finally get enough stock of the smart timepiece to be able to hand you one over the counter.

Apple has been struggling to supply enough watches for early adopters eager to try out this new bit of gadgetry, but it seems that the pressure is easing slightly and units should be more readily available from here on in.

Apple Pay for China?

Cook’s comments have been reported by the usually reliable 9to5Mac from last week’s tour of China. It has the potential to become a key market for Apple and the smartwatch roll-out will include Chinese stores.

There were also hints about Apple Pay coming to China, according to “sources with knowledge of the briefing”, with Cook saying progress had been made with potential partners. For now, Apple Pay is US-only, though the company has hinted that will change during 2015.

Existing Apple Watch owners got their first software update yesterday. The new firmware fixes a few bugs, improves app speed and increases the accuracy of the activity tracking sensors on the gadget.

Microsoft to bypass operators with Windows 10 Mobile updates

Waiting for mobile OS updates to reach your shiny handset is one of the most frustrating (first world) problems there is, so it’s encouraging to hear that Microsoft is planning to take matters out of the hands of operators and manage Windows 10 Mobile updates itself.

That means new versions should arrive on your mobile device in much the same way as they do on your laptop or desktop. It’s the approach used by Apple for iOS and should minimise problems with fragmentation in the years to come.

“Today, we’re announcing this continuous update process applies to all Windows 10 devices, including phones,” Microsoft said in a blog post. Not only does it ensure everyone has the latest features, it also helps to keep the platform as secure as possible.

Waiting times

Microsoft confirmed to ZDNet that mobile updates will roll out at the same time as desktop ones, though this doesn’t apply to users running Windows Phone 8.1 – you may have to wait a little longer before your Windows 10 Mobile upgrade appears.

Carrier involvement is a particular problem in the US where updates such as this year’s Denim patch can take weeks or months to come through. In future, users can expect shorter waiting times whatever part of the world they’re in.

Windows 10 Mobile brings with it better desktop integration, universal apps that work across all devices, and a sleek new design.