We already know lot of things about Microsoft’s Cortana voice assistant that will be part of the upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 update. Today, The Verge reported some new information regarding it. Here are them,
Cortana is represented by a circle graphic that expresses what it’s doing by various animations like spinning, flipping, etc.
You can set your name or nickname which Cortana will use to call you.
There is a concept called Notebook which will allow the Cortana digital assistant to access information such as location data, behaviors, personal information, reminders, and contact information. It will use them to provide contextual information for you, similar to what Google Now does.
Microsoft will demo Cortana during the upcoming Build developer conference.
While we are expecting official information about Windows Phone GDR3, some new information on Windows Phone 8.1 which is coming early next year got leaked online. Winsupersite reported the following details on Windows Phone 8.1 based on their source.
Windows Phone 8.1:
Universal binaries: As expected, developers will be able to develop a single app that can run both on Windows RT and Windows Phone. Windows Phone 8 has 33 percent "API unity" with Windows RT, Windows Phone 8.1 will hit 77 percent.
Multitasking: Microsoft is aware of the fact that multitasking on Windows Phone is not up to the mark. While GDR3 will fix some issues like ability to manually close apps, other issues like notifications and background processes will be addressed in Windows Phone 8.1.
Bigger screens: This is a surprise and a new info. While GDR3 will support 5- to 6-inch screens, Windows Phone 8.1 will support 7- to 10-inch screens as well. I guess this will allow OEMs with three different OS choice from Microsoft to use on their devices.
No more Back button: Another surprise! Microsoft is looking to remove the support for back button from Windows Phone hardware spec. Reason mentioned was like users prefer going to home screen and navigate to other apps and also they are confused about back button functionality. I’m not a big fan of this news!
Low-cost/volume vs. High-cost/luxury: Microsoft will continue to focus on high-end devices despite recent focus around low-end device like Nokia Lumia 520 which is driving more volume of sales.
Now a job posting by Microsoft for a Software Development Engineer in Test has confirmed that Microsoft is targeting the Holidays for the next major release, the usual pattern for the Windows Phone team.
This is a great time to join as we’re completing our current release are getting ready for our next release targeting the holiday of this year and we’re chartered with keeping the momentum for Windows Phone by bringing new killer devices and delightful user experiences.
Again according to Mary Jo Foley we can expect two minor updates, the so-called GDR2 and GDR3 releases of Windows Phone to hit before this, likely providing some desperately needed bug fixes.
The real message is that the Windows Phone team is still following their yearly cycle, somewhat independently of the Windows desktop team, despite both using the same components these days. Of course on this occasion we have been reassured by Greg Sullivan that our current Windows Phone 8 devices will get these updates. Maybe Microsoft will finally get that “beta program for enthusiasts” rolling.
With the next major release around 8-9 months away, it seems likely features like 1080p screen support will likely have to wait till then. The interesting question is if Nokia will release high end Windows Phones before Microsoft releases the next major update, or as seems likely we will have to wait for the next major release for the holidays also.
Mary Jo Foley, who is pretty reliable, has some information to share about the coming updates to Windows Phone 8.
She reveals that Portico was the first GDR ( General Distribution Release), which is the name for an update that will be pushed out commercially.
After that there will be GDR 2, which was recently revealed by the leaked HTC Tiara, and which should be done in the next couple of months so that it can be preloaded on new Windows Phones coming this spring/summer.
After that will be GDR 3, and finally after that Windows Phone Blue.
Of Windows Phone Blue MJF writes:
Windows Phone Blue is the Windows Phone OS update designed to bring the Windows 8, Windows RT and Windows Phone 8 app models and developer platforms more into sync. Supposedly the Windows Blue update includes new programming interfaces, kernel updates and some user interface enhancements (though nothing too major on the UI front, I’ve heard).
This update is set to arrive on Windows 8 and RT tablets before it will hit phones, and may go into beta this summer on those devices.
We do not know what the updates will bring, but we do know from job postings Windows Phone Blue will bring updated apps, while the GDR releases will likely be small features and bug fixes.
MJF reports that Greg Sullivan, head of Windows Phone, has reassured users that all these updates will be coming to all Windows Phone 8 handsets.
It is expected that Blue would be part of a faster-paced yearly update cycle of Windows 8, but now, according to Mary Jo Foley( on the Twit.tvÂ Microsoft show), it appears the phone team may not make that yearly cut, with the team falling behind the desktop team.
She is therefore suggesting Windows Phone Blue may be delayed all the way into 2014.
Mary Jo Foley has received a tip from an extremely trusted source suggesting Windows Blue, the rumoured feature pack for Windows 8 coming this year, will in fact be coming to more than just Windows, but also Windows Phone.
Part of raising the clock rate of Windows updates from every 3 years to yearly, to more closely match the industry standard, the update will also be affecting Windows services such as SkyDrive and Hotmail.
Instead of being delivered via OEMs, for Windows the updates may be delivered via the Windows Store, something we sincerely hope Microsoft also brings to Windows Phone.
This free application allows you to read many funny stories in both English and Vietnamese.
There are 2 columns that shows the 2 languages, and they are scrollable independently, making it very convenient to read in both languages. The application is especially useful if you are learning English or Vietnamese.
We plan to add new stories each week via an application update. Once you see a new update of the application in Marketplace, it means that we have publish new version with more stories and bug fixes if there are any.
This is the free (ad-supported) version which allows you to read all stories. There is also a paid version (ad-free) of this application that you can easily find in the Marketplace.
The application can be found under the â€œBooks & References\EReaderâ€ category of Marketplace for free and can also be found in Marketplace here.
This application is developed and published by Blue Trading. For any technical support/feedback/comments, please contact us via email at [email protected] .
Are you fan of Lines game ?Â â€œExtreme Linesâ€ is a innovative and addictive Lines game for Windows Phone 7 with flamboyant graphic, interesting gameplay, and nice sound as well as background music.
Purpose of this game is to form balls with the same colour. In additional, the game has an interesting Extreme game play mode with special items.
2 gameplays: Classic, Extreme
2 modes: Lines, Square
2 levels: Easy, Hard
4 special items: Plus, X, Surrounding, and Cloud.
You have the combination of 8 ways to play this game based on gameplay, mode, and level. Â In the Extreme gameplay you are able to gain special items. They have nice special effects as well as extraordinary power so you will never feel bored.
The game is put under â€œPuzzle & Triviaâ€ of Marketplace for $0.99 and can be found in Marketplace here.
A trial version is available with the only limitation being thatÂ Extreme Gameplay is disabled.