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Browsing posts in: Microsoft

NDC Oslo Talk – Universal Windows Apps [VIDEO]

Last week I presented in Oslo on the new backbone of Windows 10 app development – Universal Windows Apps. The talk touched on all of the new initiatives coming out of Microsoft relating to building apps that run on anything from phones to IoT devices to HoloLens. You can even use your iOS objective C code and Android java code to create apps for the Windows eco-system.

The video is below. I hope you enjoy the session and the free bad jokes.

Universal Windows Apps – Develop for all Sizes – Lars Klint from NDC Conferences on Vimeo.

Continuum for Windows and Universal Windows Apps

There was soooo many cool things announced at //build and a lot of them I knew about with the rest of the Microsoft geek community. HoloLens is awesome and I want one, but we kinda know what it is and what it can do. And as a developer there is still a lot of unknowns on how I get my code onto it. I will touch on HoloLens in a separate post.

There was also the massive surprise that iOS and Android now have SDKs for Visual Studio so you can take your existing app and port it relatively smoothly across to the Windows platform.

What is it?

One of the announcements that was kinda brushed aside a bit and was given the “that’s cool, but what is next” treatment was Continuum. If you haven’t heard of it, it is basically new hardware inside mobile devices that allows you to use your phone as desktop computer. Attached a screen via HDMI or Miracast, mouse and keyboard via Bluetooth, and you have a desktop experience out of your pocket. To get a better feel for what I mean watch Joe Belfiore below introducing Continuum.

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Windows 10 & Cortana – Personal Assistance Everywhere

[This article was first published on gooroo.io]

Most people are familiar with Siri on iOS and Google Now on Android, but the much more personal and arguably more helpful Cortana on the Windows platform is not as well known. And that is a shame. In terms of contextual assistance and personalised service, Cortana is more advanced and more adaptive than her competitors. Yes, “her”.

Getting Up to Speed

Before I get into Cortana’s great promise, let’s have a quick look at how she currently helps out. Whereas Siri is a bit robotic and feels automated, Cortana understands almost natural language (I say “almost, as there are some quirks, especially with non-American English). You can for example tell Cortana “Remind me to pick up kittens next time I’m at the supermarker” and she will know when you are in a supermarket and then pop up a reminder on your phone. Continue Reading

Hello Microsoft Band. Goodbye Fitbit and Pebble.

For the last few weeks I have been sporting a Microsoft Band, a fitness tracker and wearable gadget from the software giant. It isn’t the first time that Microsoft has made hardware. In the past we have seen peripheral PC hardware such as mice and keyboards, and of course there is the Xbox franchise just to name a few. But this is the first time that Microsoft has created an almost Apple like interest in a product. The first batch of Bands that was released back on 29 October 2014 sold out in a matter of days. It is also the first time that software has been released for iOS, Android and Windows Phone to accommodate all three major platforms and allow non-microsoft users to pick up a Band.

It is in more ways than one a turning point for Microsoft.

Band Box


First Impressions

First impression of the Band is mostly praise. It feels like quality, it feels well-built and it has a nice finish to it. Having used a FitBit for about a year the Band does come across as a little bulky. It isn’t particular flexible and it takes a little practise to put it on without feeling like you are pulling it beyond what the strap can do.

The touch screen is small, but it works. It is a bit strange getting used to a tiny touch screen of 320 by 106 pixels when we are just getting used to touch devices growing in size all the time. But then again, I wouldn’t want a Lumia 1520 on my wrist. Continue Reading