Apple to Integrate Sound Recognition App Shazam into iOS 8

Apple is planning to include a song discovery feature in the newest update of iOS, which will allow users to identify songs and artists with their iPad or iPhone. Apple is working with Shazam, an app that can quickly recognize a song by collecting sound from the device’s microphone and matching it with an extensive song database. Apple hopes the feature will help encourage download sales. Although iTunes is the world’s largest music seller, sales have decreased dramatically in recent years.  Continue reading Apple to Integrate Sound Recognition App Shazam into iOS 8

Newsbeat Creates Custom Radio Show Based on Your Interests

Last week the Tribune Company released a new iOS and Android app called Newsbeat, which plans to change how we consume our daily news by offering a more personalized podcast-like experience. Newsbeat has access to more than 7,000 sources from major newspapers to smaller blogs. Users can specify what types of stories and publications they are interested in, and the app will create a customized newscast by using Pandora-like artificial intelligence technology. Continue reading Newsbeat Creates Custom Radio Show Based on Your Interests

Cortana: Microsoft’s New Siri-Like Personal Digital Assistant

Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8.1 update will include its new personal digital assistant “Cortana,” named after the AI character in the “Halo” game series. Designed to rival Apple’s Siri and Google Now, Cortana’s circular animated icon will replace the built-in Bing search functionality on Windows Phone, and will animate while speaking or thinking, creating a personality similar to the Siri approach. Cortana will save data in a Notebook system that will enable it to track data and generate notifications much like Google Now. Continue reading Cortana: Microsoft’s New Siri-Like Personal Digital Assistant

CES Panelists Discuss Entertainment Trends and Future of TV

Industry leaders speaking at two CES panels this week addressed new directions in entertainment media. During the panel “What are the Entertainment Trends at CES 2014?”, wearables were discussed, smartwatches in particular, and what it will take to spark consumer adoption. During “The State of the New TV Business: What Comes Next?” panel, speakers examined how networks are tackling distribution and monetization of content in an era of streaming media. Continue reading CES Panelists Discuss Entertainment Trends and Future of TV

Intel Brings Immersive Tech to Wearables, Tablets and More

Intel is embracing the Internet of Things, making a big push into the smart products space, including wearables, tablets and cameras, showcasing at CES a host of new devices that will be branded Intel RealSense, many of which will leverage its new RealSense 3D camera tech. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich wowed the crowd when he sent a giant whale swimming over the head of the audience at his keynote address at the Venetian Hotel Monday night, a glasses-free 3D effect that looked amazingly lifelike. Continue reading Intel Brings Immersive Tech to Wearables, Tablets and More

Apple Goes Social with $200 Million Purchase of Topsy Labs

Apple has reportedly acquired social media analytics firm Topsy Labs for more than $200 million. Topsy is one of four Twitter partners with access to the social network’s full stream of tweets, currently averaging about 500 million messages per day. The firm then analyzes the information and resells it to customers. Topsy markets itself as a global trendspotter and has helped Hollywood studios predict box office demand for movies based on social chatter. Continue reading Apple Goes Social with $200 Million Purchase of Topsy Labs

New Internet Era: Devices Emerging That Predict User Needs

The “mind-reading” keyboard app SwiftKey is what some tech writers say is part of a growing movement of devices and apps that will predict users’ needs and deliver them without having to be asked. Between the decline of computing costs and the ease of collecting data through apps, calendar appointments and more, companies like Google and Apple are rushing to deliver the best technology to anticipate what information or reminders users need. Continue reading New Internet Era: Devices Emerging That Predict User Needs

Tablet Review: Amazon Launches Kindle Fire HDX this Week

Amazon’s newest tablet, the Kindle Fire HDX, is a good color tablet with a few improvements, but isn’t as versatile as its current rivals, suggests Walt Mossberg. Its best feature could be the video chat-based tech support, activated by its Mayday button. The latest 7-inch screen version starts at $229. Mossberg describes the tablet as a “hardware gateway to buying digital content from Amazon.” The basic model includes ads, but a version without ads can be purchased for an additional $15. Continue reading Tablet Review: Amazon Launches Kindle Fire HDX this Week

Google Updates Search Engine to Handle Greater Complexity

Google announced that it is changing its search engine to handle more complex queries. This change has required one of the greatest modifications to the company’s search algorithm since 2000. Google will now focus on comprehending the meanings of searches as well as the relationships of words, as opposed to simply matching keywords. One reason for the change relates to the fact that users are asking longer and more complex questions. Continue reading Google Updates Search Engine to Handle Greater Complexity

Google Products Reflect a Renewed Spirit of Superior Design

Since Larry Page became CEO of Google, the company has been more focused on the elements of design and cohesiveness. Google has been pursuing aesthetic appeal in a way that may allow it to rival Apple, and although the process is gradual, Google products are beginning to show that the company has raised its standards. The change is obvious when examining Google’s mobile apps, its Chromebook Pixel laptop and Google Glass. Continue reading Google Products Reflect a Renewed Spirit of Superior Design

Staples Connect Offers Universal Hub to Connect Your Home

It may seem an unlikely source for managing home automation or the next step forward for the Internet of Things, but Staples will launch its $100 Staples Connect hub in November. The Internet-connected hub by Linksys centralizes control of smart home appliances and other devices with the help of a single controller app. Staples hopes its approach will help curb the need for multiple proprietary apps that are common with smart home devices currently on the market. Continue reading Staples Connect Offers Universal Hub to Connect Your Home

Apple Releases iOS 7, Pew Says More Americans Going Mobile

Apple’s newest version of its mobile operating system, iOS 7, was released on Wednesday, and is a significant design upgrade since the iPhone was first introduced in 2007. Its release comes as Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project reports that more Americans are using their mobile phones to go online. Mobile devices are rapidly becoming an integral part of American’s lives as an increasing number go online to access information and services more frequently. Continue reading Apple Releases iOS 7, Pew Says More Americans Going Mobile

Cortana: Microsoft Developing Next-Gen Personal Assistant

Microsoft is developing a personal assistant app called Cortana that will compete directly with Apple’s Siri and Google Now. Cortana derives its name from an artificially intelligent character in Microsoft’s “Halo” series. Essentially, the app will be able to learn and adapt while utilizing machine-learning technology and the Satori knowledge repository powering Bing. The app will likely be released somewhere between 2014 and 2016. Continue reading Cortana: Microsoft Developing Next-Gen Personal Assistant

Apple Unveils New Smartphones, Sets Launch of iTunes Radio

During yesterday’s press event at company headquarters in Cupertino, Apple CEO Tim Cook unveiled the iPhone 5s touting a 64-bit A7 processor with twice the number of transistors as its predecessor, promising speeds twice as fast. As rumored, the company is also offering the lower-cost iPhone 5c with polycarbonate design, starting at $99 with contract. In addition, Apple announced that its iTunes Radio service and redesigned iOS 7 are both scheduled to launch next week. Continue reading Apple Unveils New Smartphones, Sets Launch of iTunes Radio

Moto X May Reveal Why Google Acquired Motorola Mobility

Motorola introduced its Android powered Moto X on Thursday, the first smartphone released by Motorola since Google acquired the company two years ago. The new handset features persistent notifications, user-customizable design components, instant photo-capture and hands-free authentication. The defining feature, however, is the integration of Google Now. “The Moto X is the first in a series of hardware products that Google hopes will supercharge the mother company’s software and services,” reports Wired. Continue reading Moto X May Reveal Why Google Acquired Motorola Mobility

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