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Cortana coming to Skype

social-1852360_960_720 Microsoft is starting to roll out Cortana inside of Skype, letting its smart assistant jump into private and group chats to offer assistance Cortana can also help you organize your day—no need to leave your conversations. Cortana can detect when you’re talking about scheduling events or things you have to do and will recommend setting up a reminder, which you will receive on all your devices that have Cortana enabled.

Microsoft says its assistant “will be  rolled out” starting in the US.

Cortana may pop up beneath the most recent message and attempt to suggest something helpful, like creating a reminder or looking up restaurants.

SKYPE_CORTANA_IN_CHAT2

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Back to iTunes 12.6.3

Untitled.png  Apple offers a special version of iTunes, iTunes 12.6.3, which retains the features that were abruptly removed in iTunes 12.7.  Some Reddit users have spotted that Apple has quietly released iTunes 12.6.3, which is basically the older version of iTunes for PC or Mac but with support for iOS 11, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X.

Those who have already updated to iTunes 12.7 can still install 12.6.3, but it should be noted that Apple isn’t providing technical support for this version, only for 12.7.

iTunes 12.6.3 includes the removed features whilst supporting iPhone 8, iPhone X and iOS 11 devices. After you upgrade to iTunes 12..6.3, the app will no longer prompt about future versions.

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Microsoft’s Edge browser arrives for everyone in beta

Microsoft-Edge.jpg  Microsoft announced Edge web browser for Android and iOS devices. Due to restrictions in Apple App Store for beta apps, Microsoft limited the Edge iOS beta only to Windows Insiders. Today, Microsoft is removing the restriction allowing anyone to sign-up for Edge iOS beta.

Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore says the company still has work to do on the desktop version of Edge to support this, but the company is hoping to enable this at some point in the future.

Microsoft Edge for iOS comes with all the features that are available on its desktop counterpart like your Favorites, Reading List, New Tab Page and Reading View.

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New emoji coming soon to iOS 11.1

emoji-653309_960_720 Apple is revealing over 30 of its new designs today in addition to the handful the company put out on World Emoji Day earlier this year.

Apple plans to release iOS 11.1 or versions of macOS and watchOS containing the new emoji, but they’ll be available in the beta version of iOS 11.1 next week.

Smiley faces get  more expressive in Unicode 10, running the gamut from foul-mouthed anger to calm please for silence.

 

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watchOS 4 update released

smart-watch-821557_960_720 Apple Watch 3 experienced a  really annoying connectivity issue.  Apple was immediately on the case and, in two weeks, now has the fix in the form of the first watchOS 4 update, number 4.0.1.

Apple will most likely also roll out watchOS 4.0.1 to older models just to keep the OS versions in sync.

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Facebook Messenger gets an Apple Music bot

IMG_2204 Facebook today announced a new Apple Music integration for Messenger that allows you to stream full songs, a first for the social network’s messaging service.

You can only stream from within Messenger so long as you’re an Apple Music subscriber. If you’re not a subscriber, you can still stream and share 30-second.

Access Apple Music by clicking the “+” sign from a one-on-one or group chat in Messenger on mobile and navigating over to the Apple Music extension.

 

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Google Clips

googleclips.png Google Clips is a camera, but it only has some of those parts. There’s no display. There’s a shutter button, but it’s completely optional to use. Instead, it takes pictures for you, using machine learning to recognize and learn faces and look for interesting moments to record.

Machine Learning all happens on the device itself – no rushing into to the internet first. In the same , the device keeps media in its hardware, but can deliver media wirelessly whenever you want.

Google Pixel 2 – we’ll see how long it takes to get access on other sorts of devices. This device is made to launch with the Pixel 2, and to work together with the Pixel 2 right out the gate.

This device has its own “clip” at its back to allow it to stand up and/or clip on to a wide variety of other products. This camera needs to be recharged from time to time and has a built-in rechargeable battery to work with.

Tapping into a clip lets you trim the video to the loop you want or pick out a specific still image to pull out. You can export them as Motion Photos, GIFs, JPEGs, or movie files. There’s a shutter button on the front, under the lens, and tapping it takes a clip. The app also allows you to turn on a live preview, where you can see what the camera sees and remotely hit the shutter button.

It’s capable of taking 15 fps bursts of images. It has 16GB of storage.

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Google Pixel 2 & 2 XL

google_pixel_2.jpeg  Google Pixel 2 XL device is manufactured by LG instead of HTC. Google also layers on a new iteration to the oldest of tech clichés: the integration of hardware and software. For Google, the future isn’t in the merger of hardware and software; it’s in the merger of hardware and machine learning.

The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are Google-made phones coming out on October 19th. 5-inch Pixel 2 with 64GB of storage, at $649. The Pixel 2 XL starts at $849.

Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
Memory: 4GB RAM
Storage: 64GB or 128GB
Rear camera: 12.2MP, 1.4μm pixels, Autofocus with laser and dual-pixel phase detection, Optical and electronic image stabilization, f/1.8 aperture lens
Front camera: 8MP, 1.4μm pixels, f/2.4 aperture lens, fixed focus
Video: 1080p at 30, 60, or 120 fps on rear camera
“Active Edge” squeezable sides
USB-C, no wireless charging
No headphone jack
Bluetooth 5.0
18W power adapter and USB-C headphone dongle in box
PIXEL 2 XL SPECS
Battery: 3520mAh
Screen: 6-inch, 2880 x 1440 pOLED, 100 percent DCI-P3 coverage, 100,000:1 contrast ratio
Size: 6.2 x 3.0 x 0.3 inches
Weight: 175 grams
PIXEL 2 SPECS
Battery: 2700mAh
Screen: 5-inch, 1920 x 1080 AMOLED, 95 percent DCI-P3 coverage, 100,000:1 contrast ratio
Size: 5.7 x 2.7 x 0.3 inches
Weight: 143 grams

Screens on these phones, both of which are OLED (though they’re produced by different manufacturers). The company claims they have a contrast ratio of 100,000:1.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB of RAM, OLED screens, 12-megapixel rear cameras and 8-megapixel selfie cameras. Google is sticking to a single lens on the back.

It’s switching to a dual-pixel sensor on the back,  means that every single pixel is made of two smaller ones.  Google is adding a portrait mode to the Pixel 2. Seang Chau, VP of engineering at Google, says they trained an algorithm on “millions” of faces to account for properly blurring around hair.

Google is enabling that background blur effect on the 8-megapixel front-facing camera as well. Google says that usually video stabilization on phones is handled by software only, cropping in to the image to remove jitters. The OIS module is often locked in place for video.

Motion Photos:  Apple’s Live Photos, the Pixel 2’s camera can be set to automatically record a short clip with every photo.

Google’s implementation is based on appending the moving image to a standard JPEG file.

Augmented Reality stickers: Google’s ARCore framework is fully active on the Pixel 2, so Google is building little moving “stickers” that you can stick into your scene in real time.

You can squeeze the sides of the Pixel 2 to launch the Google Assistant. Mario Queiroz, VP of product management for Google’s consumer hardware division, says, “What we tried to do with Active Edge was not make it a gimmick, [but instead ask] how could it perform a useful function.”

Google put a huge Google search button at the bottom, integrated into the dock. It also integrated the search box you see with the app drawer with that button. Pixel 2 will also  fully support Google Lens.

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Instagram Stories now let you add poll

instagram-1936912_960_720 Instagram is making  Stories a little more better with a new polling feature that users can add with a “poll” sticker.

Stories in the form of a new sticker. Once you’ve recorded video or snapped a photo for your story, you need only select the poll sticker and place it anywhere you like within the image or video. People viewing your story will be able to tap on a choice to vote.

Android and iOS users are getting a new color picker tool today, while iOS users will get new guides that help them place their stickers in the perfect positions.

 

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iOS 11.0.2 is now out

ios-11.0.2  Apple has just released a small update to iOS 11 bug that caused a crackling sound to occur during phone calls for some iPhone 8 and 8 Plus users.

Some users reported experiencing some crackling  audio coming from the iPhone 8 or 8 Plus earpiece when making voice calls.

Apple, however, said it was a simple software problem and that it affected only a small number of users. It also promised a fix would be coming soon, and, by “soon”, it apparently meant “in a week”.