Siri will have competition this year as Microsoft confirms Cortana coming to iOS (and Android)

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Reuters reported back in March that Microsoft planned to bring its Siri competitor Cortana to iOS, 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 app as a companion to a Windows PC, it appears that most of the functionality will work in the iPhone 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 …  Read more

Microsoft working on a new Email/IM app for the iPhone, ‘Flow by Outlook’

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Microsoft appears to be working on a new instant messaging app for the iPhone, acting as a kind of cross between email and instant messaging, known as Flow by Outlook. The download page, which describes the project as ‘Microsoft Confidential,’ was first spotted by @h0x0d (via ZDNet).

Use Flow with anyone, it’s email: Reach anyone with an email address and all conversations for you and others are also in Outlook. Together, you can use Flow and Outlook interchangeably to participate in the same conversations.

Fast, fluid, natural conversations: No subject lines, salutations, or signatures. Flow is designed for fast, light-weight conversations in real time.

Focus on what’s important: Only conversations started in Flow and their replies show up in Flow, not your whole inbox. Focus on your most important person-to-person conversations without the noise.

While the webpage describing the app is unprotected, the actual download link requires a login…
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Apple releases iOS 8.4 beta 3 with revamped Music app ahead of late June launch

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Apple today released the third beta of iOS 8.4 to developers, labeled build 12H4098c. The update is available via Software Update on iOS and it should be hitting the developer center soon. The second Public Beta is available as well for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Xcode 6.4 beta 3 is also available. As with the first pair of betas, iOS 8.4 brings a revamped Music application with a new design, Up Next functionality, a Mini Player, and a new version of iTunes Radio. As we’ve reported several times, iOS 8.4’s Music app will also be home to Apple’s upcoming Beats-based streaming music service. Sources say that the new service will be announced at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference on June 8th alongside iOS 9 and OS X 10.11, and it will launch publicly in several countries alongside the new iTunes Radio in late June.

Below, we list the changes in this new beta:

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Dropbox for iOS adds file commenting & 1Password login, creating Office docs coming soon

Dropbox iPhone iPad

Dropbox is rolling out a new version of its iPhone and iPad app today with a new features including commenting and mentions, a new ‘Recent’ files tab, and 1Password integration. Dropbox for iOS will also gain the ability to create Microsoft Office files including Word, PowerPoint, and Excel documents directly from the app soon. Read more

Microsoft announces new tool for effortlessly porting iOS apps to Windows 10

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Microsoft announced today during its Build conference that it will release a tool for developers to port their iOS apps directly to Windows 10 as “universal apps” that run on both phones and desktop computers. Developers will be able to feed their existing Objective-C code into a new software package and have it converted to work on the upcoming PC operating system.

At least, that’s how Microsoft is pitching it, though the whole process is a bit more complex. Essentially Windows 10 will ship with APIs that mirror the expected behavior of many iOS APIs, and this new conversion tool will help developers swap out iOS code for matching Windows code.

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First screenshots of top Apple Watch apps revealed by new tool [Gallery]

While hundreds of apps for the Apple Watch have been announced and detailed, screenshots of most of the major applications have yet to be revealed, until now. Developer Steven Troughton-Smith has created a tool to view screenshots of Apple Watch applications by pasting in the link to the existing iPhone application. Below, we’ve put together several galleries of several notable Apple Watch applications, including Twitter, Instagram, Uber, Starbucks, and Apple’s own Keynote presentation remote. We’ll be updating this post live as more application screenshots are discovered. WatchAware is also showcasing more interactive previews of over 2000 Apple Watch apps.

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Microsoft OneNote will now take dictation from Apple Watch, Calcbot will make it a 1985 Casio

As we near the April 24th launch for the Apple Watch, a pair of notable apps have received support for the device this evening. First off, Microsoft’s OneNote app has been updated to version 2.11.7 with support for the Apple Watch. A variety of features will be available from the Watch, including the ability to dictate new notes.

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Microsoft updates Office 2016 for Mac preview, launches companion apps for iPhone

Microsoft has updated its preview version of Office 2016 for Mac with several new features and a number of bug fixes. It has also launched two companion apps for the iPhone, Office Delve (above) and Office 365 Video.

Office 2016 for Mac allows meeting attendees to use Outlook to propose new times for meetings to which they’ve been invited, and allows organizers to modify proposed meetings and send updates. Word gets macro recording, online template search and new proofing tools. Excel is given new analysis tools and a “solver” feature. Powerpoint gets bug fixes and better support for VoiceOver …  Read more

Microsoft brings its OneNote scanner to the iPhone with Office Lens

Microsoft is bringing its OneNote scanner app called Office Lens to the iPhone after first launching on Windows Phone a year ago. Office Lens is similar to other on-the-go scanner apps letting you use your iPhone camera to capture information from receipts, documents, and other information around you. Office Lens is different, however, because it’s connected directly with OneNote, Microsoft’s cloud-syncing notebook service.

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Microsoft unveils iPad-priced $499 Surface 3 as Google shows sub $100 Chromebit HDMI stick, $149 Chromebooks

Microsoft shifted its focus when it introduced the Surface Pro 3 last year to target both the iPad and the MacBook, but today the company announced a more consumer level iPad-like version of its tablet simply called the Surface 3 with the same $499 starting price as the iPad Air 2.

Google also unveiled a collection of new competitively priced hardware including new Chromebooks and a Chromebit HDMI running Chrome OS for under $100 … Read more