Uber’s first desktop app launches on Windows 10 (Updated)

10 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Cortana for iOS, Android Available Now.

But the app is dead on arrival because the experience is seriously flawed from the get-go. “You will still need a phone to complete the ride,” Microsoft said. 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.

Though Cortana lacks the deep operating system hooks of Android’s Google Now and iOS’s Siri, it could still be a useful companion for users of Windows 10 PCs. Cortana is the Redmond 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. 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.

Given that Microsoft and Cynogen are working together more closely these days, Microsoft said it “created a more integrated experience” for the open-source OS. Setting up the Windows Mail app allows Cortana to track flights and inbound packages, and you can specify favorite sports teams, weather locations, and news topics of interest in Cortana’s Notebook menu on the PC. Also, if you pin the Uber app to your Start menu on your Windows 10 computer, the Live Tile will display the estimated time it will take for your Uber to arrive.

For example, it has enabled “Hey Cortana” voice activation on Cyanogen devices “so you can call on her while on any screen or when you’re immersed in an app,” Marcus Ash, Cortana group program manager, wrote in a blog post. “The custom integration includes the ability to ask Cortana to toggle network modes, power down your phone, and turn on Quiet Mode amongst other features. With Quiet Mode enabled, all notifications, calls and alarms will be silenced.” “Hey Cortana” functionality is not available on iOS or Android, nor is toggling settings or opening apps. So instead, Microsoft is taking the opposite approach, and hoping Cortana’s availability on those platforms will help keep people attached to their PCs.

But you can do things like set a location-based reminder on your PC—just before leaving work, perhaps—and have it pop up on your smartphone once you’ve arrived at the set destination. There were rumors about it expanding beyond the Windows ecosystem, however, and that was confirmed in August, when Microsoft released a beta version of Cortana for Android. A beta for iOS arrived last month. “Cortana was created to be a truly personal digital assistant—available on the go, no matter where or when you need help, and on whatever device you carry,” Ash wrote.

To take Android integration even further, Microsoft is partnering with Cyanogen, which offers a custom version of Android for phone makers who don’t want to make their own. Even if you’re a Windows 10 Mobile user, why bother installing the Windows 10 desktop app if you know you’re still going to have to launch its equivalent on your phone? The company is much more interested in selling cross-platform services than artificially propping up a platform that has continually struggled to gain traction.

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