Microsoft Brings Cortana Assistant to Skype for Android and iOS
Microsoft today ported its Cortana personal assistant to its Skype chatting application, providing people with access to information without forcing them to leave Skype. Microsoft says Cortana in Skype can suggest useful information based on chat contents, suggest smart replies, manage schedules and/or reminders, and more. Beyond the proactive assistant duties, Cortana exists as a Skype contact with which users can have "conversations" to check movie times, the weather, flight status, stock quotes, and restaurant recommendations. Microsoft says it is rolling out Cortana to Skype users in the U.S. gradually beginning today. The personal assistant is available to the Android and iOS versions of Skype. Microsoft today also updated its Outlook mobile email and calendar app for Android and iOS devices with much wider support for varied calendar actions. For example, Android and iOS users will now be able to view and edit shared Office 365 or Outlook.com calendars; manage someone else’s calendar at work; connect your Meetup account to Outlook; and more easily manage events from mobile devices. Outlook for Android and iOS is free to download from the Google Play Store and iTunes App Store.
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Google Lookout is a free app that uses AI to identify things it sees through the phone's camera and describe it to a visually-impaired user. The company announced this week that the app is available now for English speakers in the US with a Google Pixel phone.
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Microsoft today made it possible for Android device owners to access and use Cortana above the lock screen on their smartphones. Microsoft has been testing the feature since earlier this year and is now rolling it out to all users.
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Microsoft today dropped a rebuilt version of Cortana for iOS devices. Cortana is similar to Siri in that it can perform actions based on voice requests.
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Google today introduced new features to Gmail both on the web and on mobile devices. The web version of Gmail sees the largest number of changes and adds smart features meant to help people move through their email more efficiently.
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Google today said Meet, its video conferencing service, will soon have the ability for participants to send and receive text and web links via chat. Google relaunched its video calling and chatting services earlier this year with an emphasis on business users.