Microsoft delves deeper into Android with directory app for its own apps

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Microsoft Builds Android App Store For Its Own Android Apps Inside Of The Android App Store.

Microsoft Translator, the iOS and Android app that enables people speaking different languages to hold a smartphone-assisted conversation, has been updated to include two-device conversation support for those platforms’ respective smartwatches.

Translation apps are useful in two key ways: interpreting an unfamiliar foreign phrase in your native language, or else quickly translating your speech into another language as part of a conversation.Microsoft has a new app out called ‘Microsoft Apps‘ on Android that contains a list of its Android apps that you can download on the Android app store.The voice-activated digital assistant, designed to organize users’ calendar and email items, the weather, and news interests, is available from Apple’s App Store and Google Play in the U.S. and China starting Wednesday, Microsoft said.

Cortana is the Seattle-area company’s entry in a crowded field of assistants aimed at simplifying basic tasks and Web searches by allowing users to carry out functions without fumbling on a phone keyboard or opening a Web browser. The first is that Microsoft’s cross-platform work continues, and that the company has yet to let up an inch on its work to bring its software and services to users on every rival operating system. The updated version of the app for Android and iOS takes this a step further, allowing back and forth conversation: One person can speak into the phone, and the translation appears on the smartwatch, and vice versa. To some software developers working on the tools, digital assistants promise the next advance in human interaction with computers, perhaps supplanting the Web search box or mouse and keyboard for some tasks. Both apps are powered by the same translation engine: the one behind Skype Translator, the futuristic tool that performs real-time voice translation between speakers of different languages.

In addition to providing a central location for Microsoft’s apps, the app also includes a feedback option and a telemetry feature that is automatically enabled after it has been installed. ?While the new app may seem redundant—after all, users can already search and sort for Microsoft’s apps that are available on the Google Play Store—Microsoft has stated that additional features will be made available in the near future, though it is not certain what these features will involve. The technology underpinning the engine requires both complex speech recognition and language translation capabilities, achieved through machine learning. At the same time, it can be difficult to sort through tens, and hundreds of thousands of apps to find the precise one that you are perhaps looking for.

Companies have been inching ever closer to the ultimate goal of seamless, real-time translation since at least 2011, when Google brought Conversation mode to its own language app, Google Translate. What this means for you: I’ve used visual translation apps abroad with middling success, finding them helpful in museums where I can take pictures of exhibits and their descriptions. Microsoft says that the device-to-device translation allows you to have a more “comfortable and fluid translated conversation,” free from background noise and without the need to huddle around a phone.

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