Cortana expands her reach today beyond the confines of Windows 10 and out to Android and iOS devices. To put it another way: you can now download the Cortana app on your smartphone.
Available functions include location-based reminders (e.g. "pick up wine next time I'm near the grocery store"), text reply to phone calls from your PC, flight and package tracking, and synchronized AI. Functions that aren't available on iOS and Android include toggling settings, opening apps, and invocation of hands-free use (you'll have to use your hands to do that, although it does work for Android users if in the Cortana app or on the Android home screen).
Instagram users on Android can now experience what iPhone 6s users are experiencing with 3D Touch, thanks to the new addition of long press support. This is to say you can press down on an image for an extended period of time to zoom in on it, drag your finger away from the center of the image to reset it to thumbnail size, and move over one of the buttons beneath the image to like or share it.
Long press is available on version 7.13.0, downloadable from APK Mirror.
Microsoft is all about unifying devices as of late, and that continues today with its merging of the Windows PC and Windows mobile stores.
Now if you search for apps in the Windows Store on your PC, mobile-only apps like Instagram and PayPal will show up, too. For the time being, they come with a disclaimer that reads "This app will not work on your device", but you can expect PC support eventually, at which time the disclaimer should be removed.
Skype 7.16 for Windows launches today, and with it comes two practical new features: a media toolbar and URL previews.
The toolbar is a compact set of buttons next to the message window that let you easily share photos, files, video messages, contacts, and emoticons. Happily, the toolbar will minimize as you type so as not to be intrusive. It can be expanded anytime by clicking the paper clip menu.
Parntered with 'Enterprise Rent-A-Car', Uber is now offering its drivers the chance to hire cars through this new project, allowing its workers to obtain a car for around $1000 per month.
This 'pay-to-work' system is nothing groundbreaking but is certainly the first of its kind for a new industry like Uber, with the first drivers in Denver being shelled out cars for $210 per week before tax and additional fees. This pilot program has been created in order to give drivers access to cars that they may not normally be able to afford, meaning they are now able to work for a new Uber overlord.
While Uber has slated this as a major positive for the working-class, there's a few of fees, catches and issues with this program. Not only is there a $500 refundable deposit to be made payable and a $40 sign-up fee, drivers travelling over 4506km per month have to cough up extra money too. If you run over your 145km-a-day cap, expect to pay $0.25 per mile in additional fees.
If you're not familiar with the Remote Play function on the PS4, it allows you to stream your PS4 games to your PS Vita and Sony's smartphones - a nifty feature.
Sony has confirmed through Twitter that it will be bringing its Remote Play feature to Windows and PC, with the news being confirmed by Sony's President of Worldwide Studios, Shuhei Yoshida. Yoshida posted to his Twitter page: "Some people asked if we plan to provide Remote Play function to PC, and yes, we are indeed working on an official application for PC/Mac".
This move was likely prompted by the recent news of an unofficial Remote Play app for PC, which was developed by a software modder who charges for the feature. It'll be interesting to see how Sony will set up Remote Play on PC, and whether or not it'll shut down the unofficial version.
Instagram appears to be doing a slow cloud rollout of multiple account support on Android, for those of you that desire personal and professional accounts and such. This comes ahead of iOS support.
Version 7.12.0 of the app has the functionality, though bizarrely, not everyone on this version will see it. If you're not on it yet, get it from APK Mirror or through the Play Store beta program.
Released alongside a short press release, Electronic Arts has announced its latest app venture in the form of an Apple and Android compatible smartphone game called Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes.
This game urges users to "collect iconic characters from every corner of the Star Wars universe, build powerful teams, and craft cunning strategies to battle through memorable locations," being released as a free-to-play game through Google Play and the Apple App Store. With squads available for both light and dark sides of the force, Galaxy of Heroes has been produced by Capital Games. There's also a seemingly strong focus on strategy, with the press release further mentioning that each custom team can be constantly upgraded with new gear and loot won through battles.
As this is a free-to-play game, there must be some way for the companies involved to make a return, but that hasn't been highlighted just yet.
Version 6.6 of Skype is out now for iPads and iPhones everywhere. With it comes some neat multitasking functionality that should make life a little easier.
Now within instant message windows you'll notice highlighted phone numbers, addresses, times, and dates. Tapping these will allow you to easily make a call, plan a trip via Apple Maps, and set up a calendar event, respectively. The events functionality is particularly impressive as it uses details from your conversation to set it up, and includes a link to the specific chat -- helpful if you need to remember details about it, or want to quickly make a call when the time comes.
While Uber drivers currently operate illegally within Australia due to the drivers being unlicensed to operate a commercial vehicle within their individual state, the state of New South Wales (home to Sydney) will be lifting this ban come December 2015.
Uber will now become legal to use for all drivers, but taxi ranks will be kept solely for the traditional transport industry, further seeing a fee given to all Uber drivers for the right to operate legally within New South Wales. In addition, reports claim that taxi plates will see a large drop due to the rise and legalization of Uber.
Uber drivers will also have to endure more state-sanctioned safety checks before they are given a green light for operation down under.