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.
This year, E3 had one of those showing that only happens once every 8-10 years. E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, is the biggest video game conference in the world, and it's where game publishers show off what they're working on. E3 2014 was unique because it was the first one after the release of two major consoles--the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4. Developers got to show for the first time full portfolios dedicated to the new hardware, and it was glorious. There was a lot to see during both the Microsoft Xbox and Sony PlayStation media briefings, and Nintendo surprised many with game announcements of its own. I figured I'd whittle things down and share the ten games I was most excited about, in no particular order.
Recently, we gave you a look at the 4.7-inch iPhone 6, and today we have the 5.5-inch design for you! Apple will announce the iPhone 6 next month, and word on the street is that for the first time, it will announce two new sizes for its flagship smartphone, the 4.7-inch and the 5.5-inch. What do you think of this one? For me, I think it's a little too big, but we know that there are a lot of people out there who love the large phablet form factor. Are you gonna pick up the iPhone 6? If so, which size are you gonna go with? Let us know in the comments, because we're curious!
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2K Games has released the first in-game screenshot of WWE 2K15. Initially tweeted by John Cena, the image shows WWE World Heavyweight Champion, Cena, staring down Randy Orton in the ring. As you can see, the visuals (at least here,) have been vastly improved. Not only are the character models sporting a more realistic look, but the focus blur is on-point as well. WWE 2K15 will be the first WWE title available for both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and will also be available on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 when it's released on October 28 in North America (and October 31 internationally.) If you pre-order WWE 2K15 now, you get two playable Sting characters for free on launch day.
Update: 2K just announced the exclusive WWE 2k15 Hulkamania Edition!
Earlier today Apple released iOS 8 beta 5, and a few minutes later, we now have OS X Yosemite Developer Preview 5 as well. Developers who are already running Yosemite can get the 1.12GB update through the Mac App Store, while those who are looking to install it for the first time will need to log in to the Apple Developer Portal. As for the rest of the world, OS X Yosemite is set to launch this fall, bringing features like an all-new user interface, Continuity, and more to Apple's desktop operating system. Those interested in beta testing will be able to take part in testing later this summer.
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.
The iPhone 6 is right around the corner, and we are giving you an advance look! Apple should be announcing its next flagship smartphone in September, but thanks to a bunch of leaked images, schematics, and dummy units used by accessory makers, we have a pretty good idea of what it's gonna look like. In fact, we have an iPhone 6 dummy unit here in house, and we show it to you in this episode! We also give our thoughts on the new form factor of the device, and what we like and don't like about it, along with things we hope change in the actual, final shipping version of the iPhone 6.
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It's summertime, and we've got a few items we're giving away to bring the fun to a whole new level. Courtesy of AT&T here in Seattle, we've got a Jawbone mini Jambox, Jawbone UP24, and a Bodyguardz tempered glass protective cover for the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s. Here's a little more on each item and why we think they're perfect for this Summer Bundle Giveaway:
- Jawbone mini Jambox: Okay, for real, who doesn't wanna have music with them when by the pool or at the beach? A lot of us have a seemingly unlimited amount of music accessible by our smartphones and tablets, and the mini Jambox allows you to stream it over Bluetooth. At the next family BBQ, you'll be the star of the show.
- Jawbone UP24: Fitness wearables are all the rage these days, and if you like tracking your stats or are looking for a motivational tool, then it's easy to see why. With the UP24, you can monitor your fitness throughout the day, and even track your calories and water intake. At night, it'll even keep track of how well you are sleeping, which is probably not well if you're out camping in a tent. The device connects to your smartphone or tablet using Bluetooth LE, so the battery lasts a full week, and there's no plugging anything in to sync.
- Bodyguardz Screenguardz Pure: I always thought it was kind of silly for people to protect their smartphone screens with a thin plastic film. The Screenguardz Pure is a super-thin piece of tempered glass that can actually take a real beating, and exceeds the hardness of steel. That's protection.
So, are you ready to enter to win some of that goodness? Simply use the widget below to keep track of your entries! Remember, if you're a Gear Live Patreon backer at any level, you get an extra 25 entries in this giveaway! We've got a lot of ways for you to enter even if you aren't, but don't check off any that you don't actually perform. If you do, you'll be eliminated:
When most people think about gadgets in the home, they focus on the living room. The thing is, while that 4K UHD TV may look great, there is a lot of fun you can have in the kitchen with the right high-tech tools. I wanted to bring you a look at a few kitchen gadgets that I'm a fan of that will add a flair of fashionable tech to this often-neglected room. Be forewarned--just like other gadgets, kitchen appliances can have a hefty price tag!