The Friday Five: Cortana for iOS, 3D Touch for Android, Verily and More

Punchkick Interactive
  • Punchkick Interactive
  • December 11, 2015
The Friday Five: Cortana for iOS, 3D Touch for Android, Verily and More

Siri makes a new friend

This week, Microsoft released an official Cortana app for iOS and Android that, after months of testing, will allow users to use that virtual assistant on other platforms than Windows Phone. Cortana is one of the most sophisticated virtual assistants currently available for mobile platforms, and allows users to store personal information about themselves that Cortana can reference later to perform advanced tasks. The Cortana app is available in the Google Play Store and the iOS App Store today for free.

3D Touch for Android—sort of

Instagram this week released an update to its Android application that brings 3D Touch–like features to the Android platform. Now, Android users can long-press on photos to get a preview of their contents just as they would on the iPhone 6s with 3D Touch. The Instagram update is available today for Android customers.

Lots of dot releases

Apple this week released updates to all four of its major operating systems with iOS 9.2, watchOS 2.1, tvOS 9.1, and OS X 10.11.2. The new iOS features bring 3D Touch enhancements to iBooks and more sophisticated playlist features to Apple Music, while the new tvOS allows Siri to search the Apple Music library, a feature which was missing in the first release. All of these updates are available from Software Update in their respective platforms.

Not even remotely

In an interview this week, Apple executive Eddy Cue announced that the company intends to release a Siri-enabled tvOS Remote app for iPhone sometime next year. The most recent generation of Apple TV and tvOS was incompatible with the Remote app on the iPhone until the iOS 9.2 update this week. But this announcement indicates that next year, Siri will be better able to integrate with the tvOS platform directly from users’ iPhones.

V is for Verily

Alphabet, the company formerly known as Google, has rebranded its Life Sciences division Verily, with a renewed focus on using technology to cure diseases. To date, the Life Sciences division was probably best known for a smart contact lens that could detect diabetics’ glucose levels in their tears. The company intends to solve all number of different diseases with a bunch of different technical applications in the coming decades.


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