It may not be the biggest news to come out of Redmond in recent hours. Still, the Windows faithful will no doubt be interested to hear about a licensing agreement involving two pretty notable outfits. Today, Foursquare announced it has struck a deal with Microsoft to use its location data in Bing services and Windows-powered devices. This, naturally, includes search and maps for Bing; and, for Windows, phones, tablets, laptops and desktops -- and yes, convertibles too. In a statement, Foursquare notes that, "in the near future," Microsoft will be utilizing the newly acquired license to enhance its products with "contextually-aware experiences and the best recommendations of any service in the world." That's not it, however, as Foursquare also revealed Microsoft has invested ($15 million) into its socially-driven company, which it says will help the service continue to grow and be accessible by more people.
Windows Phone's future may involve more than just a few more home screen tiles. Elaborating on rumors from the summer, ZDNet claims that the next version of Windows Phone (possibly 8.1) will focus on Cortana, a personal assistant that goes beyond the likes of Google Now or Siri. The Halo-inspired component is reportedly more of a shell than an app, and would integrate the OS with Microsoft services like Bing. Ultimately, Cortana would find its way into versions of Windows and the Xbox One's Dashboard.
The assistant might not be the only major feature in 8.1. Windows-Phone.pl has posted what it says are photos of the OS running on a smartphone. They suggest that the previously leaked notification center would reside in a Live Tile, and that users could group-select tiles like they can with Windows 8.1. There's no guarantees that the images or the Cortana rumor are authentic, although they're consistent with Microsoft's publicly stated desires for both a notification center and a "service-enabled shell." We may not get any official details for a while, however -- if real, Windows Phone 8.1 might not ship until sometime in early 2014.
07/08/2013 - Microsoft Bing app suite comes to Windows Phone 8
Have a need for Bing? Microsoft's got you covered. The same suite of apps already available on Windows 8 -- that would be News, Sports, Weather and Finance -- is now ready for your downloading pleasure on the smartphone version of the platform. This move comes just two days after the company updated the official WP8 Bing app, so it seems the mobile team's been hard at work lately. As you can imagine, all four apps have plenty of options for pinnable Live Tiles; your favorite sports team, the weather for your travel destination, preferred stock holding and even Engadget are among the various choices. The apps should be live in the Store today, so expect them to land any time now. In the meantime, we have a full gallery of screenshots for your viewing pleasure.
Microsoft has spent the past several months refining Bing results on the web and the desktop. Now, it's Windows Phone 8's turn. An upcoming Bing refresh for the platform will reduce the search filters to three -- Web, Images and Videos -- while providing more relevant information on the first result screen. The tool is also more likely to show usable results in the first place, with immediate answers available for subjects like flight schedules, movies and word definitions. Photo hunters get some additional love between infinite scrolling and auto-sized thumbnails. Just don't expect the new Bing features right away. Microsoft is delivering the update to American devices over the course of the next few weeks, with international users to follow afterward.
Source: Windows Phone Blog
07/07/2013 - Mobile Miscellany: week of July 1st, 2013
If you didn't get enough mobile news during the week, not to worry, because we've opened the firehose for the truly hardcore. This week, Simple Mobile changed its low-cost plans for the better and actionable notifications in BlackBerry 10.2 were shown off in a video walkthrough. These stories and more await after the break. So buy the ticket and take the ride as we explore all that's happening in the mobile world for this week of June 1st, 2013.
"Nothing says fun like a speech demo." Those are the words of Microsoft's CTSO Eric Rudder, not ours -- although we do have to agree. As you'll see for yourself in the video after the break, Microsoft held a private event for its employees a few weeks ago showcasing some of the advancements it's achieved with Bing's voice search for Windows Phone. Thanks to the work of MS' Research arm and the folks at Advanced Technology Group, voice recognition accuracy on a prototype build has now been improved by up to 15-percent on the back end and should even see a further 10- to 15-percent performance boost. In addition to this decreased error rate, the team's also greatly enhanced the speed at which the app delivers relevant results. So when can you expect this new and improved Bing app for WP? That part's unclear, but it appears Microsoft's already implementing changes on the back end to bolster current use.
Via: The Verge
Source: MSFT Kitchen
The Bing Translator app has been helping Windows Phone users avoid cross-cultural mishaps since April of last year, adding augmented reality and offline capability along the way. Naturally, Microsoft has updated this utility for Windows Phone 8. The latest version of Translator supports six languages (Chinese, English, French, German, Italian and Spanish) and features a new "lens" for translating text via a smartphone's camera. The app is available as a free download in the Store. Head past the break to see it in action.
We already knew that Nokia had been running its fingers through Bing's map-like hair, marking it with its scent, now it's added a little lipstick to its collar. The latest addition to the Microsoft-mapping service now uses Nokia's live traffic and geocoding algorithms. This brings the functionality of Nokia's "Where" platform over to 24 nations (including the US, UK and Canada) of Bing users. Best of all for American maps that info also covers side streets. Good to see the Nokia / Microsoft collaboration yielding ever more fruits, let's just hope they're considering the bigger picture, too.
Nokia has its wicked way with Bing Maps, stork delivers traffic advice and geocoding originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 25 May 2012 09:46:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink The Verge | Nokia Conversations | Email this | Comments