Google I/O is in full swing, and Android O is now a public BETA. Let’s take a speed run through the newest features coming to Android!
We’ve been seeing leaked versions of Microsoft’s digital assistant popping up on Android forums, but Cortana for Android is now available as a public BETA for everyone, no special login or credentials required.
One of the more popular features found on Windows Phones, Cortana can replace Google Now as the search and assistant on Android devices. Known for having more personality, she often does a better job of responding to casually delivered commands. We showcased some of her capabilities here in this older review of Windows Phone.
You can grab the BETA for yourself by going to this preview page, and happily you wont need to sign up for any Google Plus community or developer access. Enjoy!
It’s been one of my most long lived frustrations with Skype. Sure I have apps that run on phones, tablets, and PC’s, but sometimes I just want to check a message from a browser. It never made much sense to me that when I would get an email alerting me to a voicemail, I couldn’t just check that voicemail from the browser I just got the email in.
Better late than never, Skype is now delivering their Skype for Web BETA plugin for everyone. Installing a little piece of software in Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, or Safari will now give you a pretty complete Skype experience.
In early use it’s been a nice way to balance notifications and alerts without having to keep the Skype client running constantly in the background on my PC. We still don’t quite have the dream of just being able to log into Skype on the web from any browser to check our messages like Google Voice, but this is a nice step in the right direction.
You can catch the full Skype press release below.
I can’t tell you how excited I am to see a full fledged video editor on Windows Phone. Now with some of the best cameras ever bolted onto our smartphones, we now have the ability to cut up high resolution video directly from the phones that shot it. Best of all this app is cross platform for any Windows device with a touch screen.
Here’s our full review, feature walk through, and tutorial of Movie Creator on Windows Phone 8.1! Enjoy!
***Updated: See HERE Maps in action on video at the end of this post!***
First off, a little shoutout to the fanbois and “I don’t like things which are different than I currently use” crowd. If you have to ask
“Why would I want this on my Android?”
I’m going to counter with “You must not be very good with tech stuff”. You sound like Tomtom users did back when Google started developing their own mapping app. Stop it. You’re better than that.
Nokia recently made the announcement that they would be slowing development of their HERE mapping suite on Windows Phone to focus on supporting Android. We’re now starting to see the fruits of this labor with a really solid BETA effort soon available on Samsung handsets through Samsung’s proprietary app store. Of course in AndroidLand (and dealing with the more open nature of the OS) apps can leak, and it’s pretty easy to side load an app without the aid of an official app store. Such is the case with the HERE Maps BETA APK, and of course, just to be a snarky butt, I installed in on an LG G3. W?BIC!
Microsoft is keeping the pressure on their OS updates.
Phones are just now receiving the official 8.1 update, but those folks using the Developer Preview version will now have access to Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1! Apps corner, new IE11, bulk forwarding for text messages, and folders on the home screen! It’s a really clumsy name, but let’s take a look at some of the new features in this preview update!
Previous versions of the app have essentially been web browsers wrapped in a candy coated app-like shell. With a proper app, Wikimedia boasts a new UI, more responsive design, and better tools for editing articles.
The design of the app is super clean and simple, befitting the look and feel of the desktop version of the service. Plus, as you can see in the picture for this article, searching Wikipedia for the term “Wikipedia” will not actually break the internet.
Boasting faster and more stable performance, Google has pushed into 64-bit versions as most Windows 7 users now use 64-bit systems. The Canary version is the up to the minute version with new builds pushed out daily. It also might have more instability than the Dev version which is a more stable BETA.
You can grab either version, and Google’s full PR is below.