That Skype call is about to start and you’ve got wet laundry and dirty dishes all over the place.
Worried about what your VC attendees are going to see? Worry no more:
Skype now offers a BLUR MY BACKGROUND. This option, similar to one present in MS Teams, uses heuristics (aka, technomagic) to discern foreground from background then applies a flattering blur similar to the one that Cybil Shepherd’s Maddie Hayes character was often filmed with.
Next up on the R&D drawing boards:
Add Pants Filter (for those moments when you prematurely stand up)
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.
At this month’s Build Conference, Microsoft debuted their newest mobile operating system,Windows Phone 8.1. This OS will appear on select new phones, with an update for existing phones targeted for later this year.
Here are some highlights:
Swype Keyboard Input. Something android users have long enjoyed, this slip-slidemethod of typing and pattern recognition will speed up your mobile typing.
Action Center. Pull-down access to key settings (e.g., WiFi, Bluetooth). The Center can be customized, allowing you to select what features you want to access more easily.
Cortana, voice recognition IA (named after the character in Microsoft’s HALO game). Speak your request and Cortana responds. Cortana (whose search is, not surprisingly, powered by BING) has both a sense of humor (ask her if she knows Siri) and a decent singing voice.
Additional Improvements have been made to the Windows Phone Camera (now featuring a Burst Capture) and Kids Corner (now simplified, so you can easily hand junior your phone for games without worry that your data will be deleted).