Phone Smack-down: Cortana vs. Siri & Google

Wondering how the different mobile virtual assistants fare?

Dan Rubino, of Windows Phone Central, put together a tête-à-tête-à-tête  comparison, pitting newcomer Cortana (Windows phone 8.1) against veterans Siri (Apple) and  Google Now (Android).  Although presented fairly objectively, consider the source when reviewing, and judge for yourself.

If you want to skip the 7 minute video, here’s the the blow-by-blow. In many cases each assistant handled its task slightly differently. For more details view the video, or follow this link to wpcentral.com’s article.

 

Siriapple

Cortanawin8logo

Googlephone_android

Settings
“Turn off WiFi.”
blue checkmark blue checkmark blue checkmark
Social media
“Four Square, check-in.”
blue checkmark blue checkmark
Connect
“Call _____ using Skype?”
 blue checkmark  blue checkmark
Events
“When’s the next Miami Heat game?”
blue checkmark blue checkmark blue checkmark
Flights
“Flight status, AA125.”
blue checkmark blue checkmark blue checkmark
Appointments
“What’s my schedule?”
blue checkmark blue checkmark
Web Browser
“Go to CNN.com.”
blue checkmark blue checkmark blue checkmark
Notes
“Note: I need to repark the car.”
blue checkmark(w/Notepad) blue checkmark(w/One Note) blue checkmark(w/email)
Navigation
“Where’s the nearest Dunkin Donuts?”
blue checkmark blue checkmark blue checkmark
Weather
“Whats the weather like Tuesday?”
blue checkmark blue checkmark blue checkmark

Cheers!

hɔuᴉnb

MS Office on the iPad

Microsoft Office, for the iPad is finally here!

After years of working with 3rd party viewers, you can now open and view Documents, Spreadsheets and Slides using MS Office for iPad. Tap the Share button to open an attachment in its respective Office application. The look and feel are just like using a streamlined (portable) version of your desktop Office.  That is to say, it won’t have all the same features, but for on-the-go computing it works great.

The apps are free, however, to unlock the full potential you’ll need to subscribe to Office 365. This is the Office via Cloud (aka SAS) and will enable you to create, save and edit files.

I have never been a big fan of editing on a tablet and Word for the iPad has yet to convince me otherwise. I do, however, appreciate being able to view and create spreadsheets while away from my desktop, using Excel for the iPad. But the real winner thus far (less than 24 hours into install) is PowerPoint for the iPad. Now I can display a presentation directly from my iPad to a projector/monitor and use familiar presentation controls, complete with laser pen, highlighter and notes (sweet!)

Comments and questions are always welcome!hɔuᴉnb

 

iOS 7 Tips

April is upcoming and I am handing out Easter Apples Eggs! iOS7 has been out for some months now, so this post may seem overdue. In defense, I was initially an un-fan of the new OS. Over time it has shown itself to be ‘a good thing’. So now, having made my peace with it, I am highlighting some of the better and under-exposed features.

My favorite of iOS7 features. 

Spotlight Search
SpotlightSearch2
Swipe down from Home screen. Previously, you had to swipe all the way to the left most Home screen page. Now you can access Spotlight Search from any Home screen page. Use this to locate everything (i.e., apps, messages, contacts).
Control Center
Control Center
Swipe up from bottom of the screen to access Control Center. From here you have access to key features (camera, airplane mode, music) without having to navigate to the Settings app.This feature can also be disabled if it interferes with a particular app’s swipe gesture. To manage settings, open the Settings app and tap Control Center.Settings
Flick to stop running apps
Flick
Double press the Home button to display running apps, then Flick app up & away to terminate. This gesture is far more satisfying than the previous ‘click the x‘ method.Bonus: you can flick-close multiple apps at a time!
Camera Burst Mode
SwishBurst
From the Camera app, Press & Hold Capture button to take rapid fire shots. Release button to stop.
This makes it easier on us iShutterBugs to capture that three-pointer.
Gesture back*
Gesture Swipe

*also a release mechanism to cope with road-rage.
Give your Home button a rest. Gesture (five-fingered** swipe) left or right to get back to your previous apps.


**(four fingers, for Disney execs)

hɔuᴉnb

Comments and questions are always welcome!

Mobile: Capture Screenshot

Your on the go and need to capture or produce an image from your phone? Let’s say, for instance, that you are planning of finally redeeming that Groupon you purchased. Or, perhaps, you plan on flashing your e-ticket to the airline check-in attendants. These would be bad times for your 4G or WiFi connection to fail. In preparing for hi-stress situations you are best served if you plan for technology to fail. Sure; one way to mitigate against an awkward moment by printing is by producing a printout of your ticket or voucher. My, how old skool! 

Another, less retro, failsafe involvles capturing a screenshot of your  e-ticket or voucher prior to use, while your internet connection is rock-steady. That way, if you lose connectivity, you still have the image on your phone to present when needed. And, yes, these methods also work with instant messenger apps (e.g. Snapchat).

phone_androidAndroid phone

At the same time, press the On/Off switch and the Volume down buttons.
The image is captured and added to your Picture album/gallery.

Newer Samsung users: In addition to the above Android instruction, with newer Samsung phones (e.g. Galaxy 4) you can capture a screen with a hand gesture. The setting activated by going into your System Settings, under Motions and gestures.

phone_iPhoneiPhone

At the same time, press the Power and the Home buttons.
The image is captured and added to your Camera Roll

windowsphoneWindows 8 phone

  • At the same time, press the Start and the Power buttons.
    The screenshot is captured and added to the Screenshots album in the Photos Hub
note: The methods listed here are neither model nor version specific and may not apply to all makes and models: your mileage may vary 🙂
Additional reading..

Cheers!

hɔuᴉnb

Comments and questions are always welcome!

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Windows & iOS Tricks & Treats

Trick or Treat! 

In honor of Halloween I am handing out treats and tricks! So reach in and fill your bag with this odd collection of operating system tips!

Windows 8 Trick or Treats

TRICK TREAT
Hold windowsLogoKey (the Windows key) and Press M Shows DESKTOP
(aka Minimize All)
Hold windowsLogoKey and press R Opens RUN dialog
Hold windowsLogoKey and press E Opens Explorer window
Hold windowsLogoKey and press C Slide COFFEE CUP HOLDER out
(aka CD Tray)*
Hold windowsLogoKey and press Print Screen CAPTURE & SAVE SCREEN
The screen shot is saved automatically to your Windows Pictures Library; no filename/folder prompt

*requires Windows 8.1SB (Starbucks edition).

iOS Trick or Treats

TRICK TREAT
With two fingers on the keyboard, pull outward (left & right) Splits single keyboard into two for easier typing
On the lock screen, swipe the notification left to right After inputting your password/pin, opens the item from the notification
Tap and hold Number button, swipe and select punctuation, then release Select punctuation without requiring a switch between Numerica and Text keyboards
While holding down the menu button (the main button below the screen), press the power/lock button Saves screenshot of the active screen to your camera roll

And in case you missed it:
Google Celebrates Halloween With a Spooky Interactive Doodle

hɔuᴉnb

Comments and questions are always welcome!