Here's how this is gonna go down: The grand prize winner will talk away with $150 in Google Play store credit. Second place gets $100. 15 other winners will each get $50 in credit. Ready to enter? Go get it:
As we have previously speculated, Re/Code is reporting that Apple is set to unveil the iPhone 6 on September 9th at a special event. The next iPhone design has already leaked, and we've already given you a look at both the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 design and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 design as well. Of course, they lack the fit-and-finish that Apple will undoubtedly put on them (we hope those thick antenna breaks will be eliminated and streamlined!) September 9th is also a few days after Samsung is rumored to introduce the Galaxy Note 4 during IFA. A perfect time for Apple to jump into the phablet game with a 5.5-inch smartphone.
We also guessed that Apple will release iOS 8 on September 16th, and release the iPhone 6 itself on September 19th based on previous timetables. We'll see how our guesses hold up come September 9th.
Curious about how Cortana made her way from assisting Master Chief in Halo over to helping you out on Windows Phone? During a sit-down with Microsoft's Marcus Ash, he spoke to us about what it took to get Cortana just right on Windows Phone and to be seen as a legitimate competitor to Apple's Siri.
First, the Cortana logo was the first thing Microsoft has to get right. Originally, they didn't want a physical representation. The thought was that people could think it was creepy if it is "too human." They also didn't want it to be like Clippy, the infamous character from Microsoft Office that was hated by many. It was also decided that Cortana couldn't be just a voice, since it wouldn't feel the same.
Initially, Microsoft tried to use the Xbox Live avatar idea, but that was odd due to everyone having the female Cortana voice. Then they started playing around with the circle. A circle can stretch, bounce, and transform. They also tried triangles, diamonds, hearts, and the ability of letter the user choose any of these. At the end of the day, the circle next to Metro on the start screen looked good, so that was what Microsoft decided on. The next issue was that a simple circle isn't iconic, and is hard to brand. That's when the Windows Phone team met with the Halo team at 343 Industries.
Today in the Gear Live Deals Shop we're got an awesome 25% discount on the Sensordrone Bluetooth Sensor. Connect this thing to your smartphone over Bluetooth, and you've got a supercharged device that can monitor things like carbon monoxide levels, temperature, weather, gas leaks, and more. Other sensors include light, pressure, color, and proximity. It's good enough to be our Deal of the Day! There are almost a dozen apps you can download that can take advantage of the data that the Sensordrone provides, with more to come. Check out the video below that gives more details.
Apple has just released iOS 8 beta 5, which can be found in the Developer Portal right now. iOS 8 beta 4 build 12A4345d works with supported iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch models, and is available as an over-the-air update to users already running a previous iOS 8 beta on their devices. If you're already running iOS 8, you can update over-the-air by going into Settings > General > Software Update. Or you can go and grab the necessary download at http://developer.apple.com. The update for the iPhone 5s comes in at 272MB in size. Apple originally showed off iOS 8, and released its first beta, at WWDC 2014. The full release will come in the fall. Apple also released OS X Yosemite Developer Preview 5 today as well.
Today in the Gear Live Deals Shop we're offering a 60% discount on the Bluetooth Shower Speaker. If you're one who likes to jam out in the shower, belting out the hits, then you'll wanna grab our Deal of the Day! It'll stream music from any Bluetooth device, so your smartphone and tablet are covered as long as they're no more than 10 meters away. Of course, this thing is showerproof, and is also great around the pool. Even better? There is a buit-in microphone, so you can even take calls on this thing. From the shower.
Apple has just released iOS 8 beta 4, which can be found in the Developer Portal right now. iOS 8 beta 4 build 12A4331d works with supported iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch models, and is available as an over-the-air update to users already running a previous iOS 8 beta on their devices. If you're already running iOS 8, you can update over-the-air by going into Settings > General > Software Update. Or you can go and grab the necessary download at http://developer.apple.com. Apple originally showed off iOS 8, and released its first beta, at WWDC 2014. The full release will come in the fall. Apple also released OS X Yosemite Developer Preview 4 today as well.
If you are a paid members of Apple's iOS developer program, here are the links for iOS 8 beta 4 downloads:
Today in the Gear Live Deals Shop we're offering a 92% discount on the complete iOS 8 + Swift developer course. Have you ever wanted to make your own apps for the iPhone and iPad? Then pay attention to our Deal of the Day! Alongside iOS 8, Apple is releasing its new programming language, Swift. This video course will teach you everything you need to know in order to build 14 different apps, giving you a solid foundation for becoming an iOS developer. You get access to 350 videos that walk you through the process over the course of over 36 hours. Additionally, you get the full iOS 7 developer course as well, which doubles the amount of content you get for your money.
Today in the Gear Live Deals Shop we're offering a 28% discount on the SmartPlane. This is the world's first aircraft that is controlled by your smartphone, making it our Deal of the Day. You can use on-screen controls, or the accelerometer by tilting your device to steet the SmartPlane. It's made of durable EPP material, making it crash-proof, and Bluetooth Low Energy allows it to fly longer distances for a longer amount of time. You'll need an iPhone 4S or newer, 5th generation iPod touch, iPad 3 or newer, or an Android 4.3 device with Bluetooth Smart in order to fly one.
One of the more exciting aspects of Windows Phone 8.1 is the appearance of Cortana, a Siri-like voice-based personal assistant. We spent time talking to Microsoft's Marcus Ash about Cortana, and we asked him about the possibility of Cortana making its way over to other smartphone platforms like iOS and Android. After all, the demo we were given was impressive. According to Marcus, at first it'll be a focus that is part of Windows Phone, and that's the number one priority with Cortana.
To extend Cortana across the entire smartphone ecosystem, that's the part that Microsoft is still mulling over and figuring out. The question is "How do we get Android or iOS users that also use Windows to have a great Cortana experience?" As a company, Microsoft is putting work into solving the question, and it isn't afraid to put its apps on competing platforms. After all, there's Office on Android and iOS, Bing, and others. For our money, it makes a lot more sense for Microsoft to release Cortana across multiple ecosystems rather than tying the service down as a Windows Phone exclusive. It's not the kind of feature that sells phones (similarly, we don't think that Siri on its own sells iPhones, either.) As a cloud-powered service, is Cortana a Windows play or a service play? Time will tell.
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