Over the past week, Microsoft has updated its Cortana apps on both Android and iOS with photo reminder and cross-device support. These changes make Cortana the only truly cross-platform personal digital assistant.
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While I often focus on the gadgets and other hardware I use when traveling, I've also come to rely on a number of mobile apps and services. Here are a few that have proven invaluable on my current trip to Paris.
Following in the footsteps of Microsoft, Google is bringing extensibility functionality to the Android versions of its Docs and Sheets apps. But Google's Docs and Sheets add-ons aren't as sophisticated as what Microsoft provides, and they aren't cross-platform.
Tech tidbits from around the web: Lawsuit claims Microsoft forced users to upgrade to Windows 10, Microsoft just revealed a new Windows 10 product version, Microsoft makes subtle but important change to Windows 10 hardware requirements, and much more.
Google today announced new family sharing functionality for its Google Play Store. Called Family Library, this new feature lets up to six family members share apps, games, movies, TV shows, and books acquired via the Google Play Store.
I've been paying exorbitant phone, text, and data fees when traveling internationally, and I've long dreamed of a day when I could simply use my smart phone outside the U.S. with no fear of these extra charges. Thanks to Project Fi, that day has arrived.
Tech tidbits from around the web: The first NexDock shipments will now happen in mid-August, Cortana for iOS updated with support for photo reminders, Microsoft provides another peek at Halo Wars 2, Google Maps gets a great update, more.
This week, Microsoft announced an extensive list of updates coming to Office 365 customers. Key among them are new Researcher and Editor features for Word and the addition of Focused Inbox to Outlook on Windows (desktop), Mac, and web.
This year's home swap is different for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that our son opted out of the trip for the first time. But with less time away than usual, I've reexamined how to approach the trip from a work perspective, and I've brought less gear than usual.
Microsoft announced that it will ship new versions of its Microsoft Authenticator app to "all mobile app stores---Android, iPhone, and Windows 10 Mobile---on August 15. This new app will combine the functionality from two previous authenticator apps and will work with both consumer Microsoft accounts and business-focused Azure AD accounts.
Cyanogen is reportedly laying off 20 percent of its staff and halting its Android-based OS efforts to "pivot to apps." So, naturally I'm wondering how this impacts its deal with Microsoft, and the development of a very Microsoft-centric version of Android.
Tech tidbits from around the web: Windows Server moving under Terry Myerson, the Skype app for Windows Phone 8.0/8.1 will soon stop working, the Xbox One backwards compatibility train rolls on, and Google Play Books gets "bubble zoom" for comic books.
Stung by the superior functionality in services like Google Photos, Microsoft has begun to improve OneDrive to follow suit. And one Google Photos-like feature I've started noticing in recent days---automatic photo albums---is just one of a handful of recent OneDrive updates.
Chances are you've heard about the "Pokémon Go" craze that's swept the planet. I don't actually play the game, being an adult male. But my daughter does. And with its arrival here in France, her vacation has been transformed.
Microsoft's SwiftKey this week launched a new Swiftmoji keyboard app for both Android and iPhone that delivers emoji-predicting capabilities. That is, it offers emoji suggestions based on what you just typed and your emoji preferences.
Tech tidbits from around the web: I'm in Paris, Microsoft is changing how it reports Windows 10 users, Richard Irving leaves Xbox, Microsoft Press finally figures out paper is dead, a new Gears of War 4 gameplay trailer, more.
Google announced this week that it has issued the final Android N developer preview ahead of the mobile OS's official launch. Like previous developer previews, this one is available mostly on select Nexus devices only.
The first-ever major update to the Microsoft Groove apps on Android and iPhone brings most of the improvements we've seen in the Windows 10 version of the app these more popular mobile platforms. This is a big deal.
Tech tidbits from around the web: Game play footage from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered, the HP Elite x3 is very expensive, Gears of War 4 Limited Edition 2 TB Bundle is the first custom Xbox One S, Microsoft Flow now available on the Google Play Store, more.
I travel a lot for work and pleasure, and if I’m going to be spending at least one night away from home, I make sure to pack my laptop bag and a luggage-based gadget bag appropriately.
Tech tidbits from around the web: Microsoft won't force you to use Cortana on Xbox One, Microsoft starts downgrading OneDrive's free storage to 5GB, the new Moto G is now available, and Nintendo is releasing a mini Collector’s Edition NES that includes 30 classic games
Today, Google announced the second preview release of its upcoming Android Wear 2.0 platform for wearable devices, adding support for new features and some bug fixes too.
Google's Project Fi is a near-perfect reinvention of what a wireless carrier can and should be, a great service with reasonable and fully transparent pricing. The one major issue is that it only works with a small selection of Nexus handsets and devices.
Tech tidbits from around the web: Microsoft and University of Washington researchers set record for DNA storage, four new handsets have been added to the Windows Device Recovery Tool, Samsung discovers that it can succeed if it stops making crap, so much more.
Tech tidbits from around the web: Chromebooks can now make voice calls with Skype for Web, whether there is code from Windows 95 still in Windows 10, new security features make Windows 10 Anniversary Update a must, Google adds instant translation to Now On Tap, more.
Moving from Windows phone to Android or iPhone is a revelation for most Microsoft fans, since the software giant generally provides better coverage on these mobile platforms than it does on its own. But there's one obvious exception: Groove.
Tech tidbits from around the web: Microsoft is adding a wheelchair for Xbox Live avatars, Samsung S Health now integrates with Microsoft Health, Almost half of Steam gamers use Windows 10, terrible Amazon app disappears from Windows Phone, more.