Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 16th Dec 2013 22:57 UTC

Microsoft is preparing to ship its Windows Phone 8.1 update with two significant changes: a notification center and a Siri-like personal assistant. Sources familiar with Microsoft's plans have revealed to The Verge that the company is currently beta testing copies of Windows Phone 8.1 internally, with plans to fully detail its features at BUILD 2014 in April. A highly requested notification center feature will be added to the software, and we're told it's enabled by swiping down from the top of the screen in a similar way to iOS and Android.

Pretty sure this update will turn it all around.

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Voice interfaces
by atsureki on Tue 17th Dec 2013 12:00 UTC
Member since:

I'm waiting to see just how Siri-like they can get. Bill Gates was the torch bearer for voice-controlled interfaces for at least a decade, and here Microsoft has just released the Xbox One, with the worst kind of rigid lexicon of context-ignorant voice commands, a complete throwback to the very reasons voice didn't take off as an interface until Siri (which it arguably still hasn't, since speed and accuracy remain problematic). It's like if they just now released a touch device that required the user to learn a gesture alphabet. If they can get a real natural language assistant working, it'll be a nice check in the feature column for the phones and tablets, but potentially a huge upgrade for the iffy Kinect.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Voice interfaces
by MOS6510 on Tue 17th Dec 2013 12:18 in reply to "Voice interfaces"
MOS6510 Member since:

Siri works pretty well for me, even though I'm Dutch.

But what I find annoying is that it's kind of cumbersome to access Siri. Holding the home button and waiting for a reply takes enough time to make it annoying. It would be great if I could activate Siri, or any voice recognition, just by starting to talk.

They could to it on Star Trek and that was in the last century.

However, it's often still awkward to talk to your phone. If you do so in public people look at you wondering who you are talking to.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Voice interfaces
by Fergy on Tue 17th Dec 2013 14:16 in reply to "RE: Voice interfaces"
Fergy Member since:

They could to it on Star Trek and that was in the last century.


Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Voice interfaces
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 17th Dec 2013 22:11 in reply to "RE: Voice interfaces"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:

Not to troll or anything, but the Moto X and Nexus 5 just respond to "ok Google". No buttons to press or anything. I agree 100% that the whole button press to speak was a significant detriment to adoption. I'm going to use google now a lot more now.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Voice interfaces
by lucas_maximus on Wed 18th Dec 2013 12:04 in reply to "RE: Voice interfaces"
lucas_maximus Member since:

Siri works pretty well for me, even though I'm Dutch

These voice recognition stuff works well as long as you have what I call (I dunno the correct term for it is) an American or Internation English Accent ... I call them the people that can't say Tomato properly.

With Scottish accents it just doesn't work and the accuracy for my accent is 50% at best.

Most Dutch people that I have me that speak almost perfect English sound quite American to me.

Most non-native English Speakers and native English speakers who aren't from the UK have a real hard time understanding my accent, so I doubt that a machine will be able to be taught any time soon.

Edited 2013-12-18 12:06 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3