Microsoft introduced Cortana, a personal digital assistant for Windows Phone 8.1

Cortana is the personal voice-assistant app for Windows Phone 8.1.  The current look of Cortana is both futuristic and minimalist, being represented as an orb with animation. You can activate Cortana in windows 8.1 by the Halo character. It works very similarly to Siri. You can ask for things in natural language, rather than worrying about learning set phrases as you do with Siri.

cat1

Cortana can set alarms, make calls and send texts, toggle settings on and off, give directions, play music and find local restaurants. It’s context-aware so, you can follow one request with another, such as “Find me the nearest pizza place” with “How long will it take to drive to the first place on the list”.

You can view what Cortana knows about you in the settings and edit it at any time. Some information she will know automatically, such as the times and locations of your meetings or forthcoming flights. Other information such as your family members or close friends you’ll have to program in, along with your interests.

cat3

You can also set reminders, including when you arrive at a certain destination. For example, “remind me to pay my gas bill when I get home”.

cat22

Cortana understands relationships so you can say “remind me next time I speak to my brother to ask about the new car”. The reminder will then pop up when you call, text or email that person.

cat4

If you’re in a situation where you can’t talk – because it’s too noisy or quiet – you can simply type the request. Cortana won’t speak back to you, instead relaying the information on screen silently.

Cortana makes you smile

Cortana was designed to have a personality. She can chit chat, and is funnier than 50% of your friends (we think). Go ahead, ask her anything.

cat5

5 Ways to Take Business Advantage From iPad

The invention of iPad has changed the way businesses work over a period of time. iPad has always been thought of as an Entertainment Toy meant for the social media buffs. It is generally believed to be a device that can be used to surf the internet, to mail, to have event reminders like birthdays, anniversary etc., to hook on to social media sites likes Facebook, twitter, to use different apps available on app store that make our life easy, read any kind of documents etc. with a great mobility. But this is not all that iPad can do.

Read More About ios8 : The Next Step With iOS 8

These days iPads are becoming very popular in the education sector. Nowadays, we know children go to their school with their iPads. They don’t have paper work; all their work is done just with iPad.

There are about 8, 00,000 apps available on iPad (more than 3, 00,000 native to iPad) and according to one survey, people have downloaded about 40 billion apps by 2013 from app store. So we can assume what we can do with an iPad or what an iPad can do?

But, this is not all, an iPad can be efficiently used for a variety of other business related purposes. In fact we can use an iPad for doing just about anything we do using our computers, it’s a mini mobile computer in your hand.

This article states the top five ways in which businesses can benefit by using iPads.

1) Document Management

In general we know, an iPad, is widely used for reading many kind of documents whether it is a PDF file, an epub file, a doc, an image etc. but this is not all, an iPad can be efficiently used for creating and managing documents.

There are lots of apps available on iPad application store that can be used to read any kind of documents. For example “iBooks” app, is a great app for the user to read pdf, epub or other files. It provides great functionalists such as while reading, one can put bookmarks, select some of the text as highlight while reading it, increase or decrease font size, do your own hand drawing in any file and also save it permanently so that when you see or read again you can get the particulars very easily.

Now let’s just extend this a bit and think what if I want to add my own content or create my own document and want to send it somebody via email or via any site, is there a way in which I can achieve this using an iPad?

The answer is “Yes”. Besides reading documents you can also create the documents and manage them your way and annotate them. There are some very good apps that provide these functionalists. For example “PDF Reader Pro”: using this app you can read your document, annotate the content of that document and also can attach to the mail and can send it to somebody.

Now lets talk of some advance features. Think of a situation where your signature is required on some document and someone is sending you the document on fax but you don’t have access to a fax machine. Now the problem is that how you will sign, scan and send it back again? There are some apps available on app store that can help in achieving this For example “EasySign”, this app allows you to create or edit and also you can attach your signature in a document and also attach the document to the mail and send it anywhere you want.

iPad Application Development

2) Online Payments & E-Commerce

As we have seen, now iPad is not just a device to use for limited features. iPad can also be used for accepting and processing payments. There are some card readers available that can be used for accepting the cards and using this we can process the payment transaction with an iPad or iPhone. This external chip will convert the whole iPad or iPhone into a credit card terminal. So it becomes very easy for anybody to accept and process the payment transaction.

For example an app available on app store named “Square” provides a great ability to process this type of transactions. This app provides its own card reader as you register in this app. Using this card reader you can read your card. This app provides you a wide range of services using which you don’t need to go anywhere for payments. This app will directly handle your payment transactions from your iPad or iPhone from the card reader provided by this app. Thus, an iPad can also work as credit card terminal.

There are some other apps also available, which can be used for the same purpose. For example: “Intuit GoPayment” and “VeriFone’s PAYware Mobile”, using these apps businesses can sell merchandise, tickets and other goods anywhere. So an iPad makes a very easy way for the purchase and sale transactions using this type of apps.

3) Business Presentation Tool

An iPad has a large variety of usage. It can be a great tool for making presentations. With VGA or HDMI iPad adapter one can directly run the presentation on TV or Projector or to a secondary monitor. So just think that if you are going for a business presentation, then all you need to carry is an iPad instead of a bulky laptop and you don’t need any other device for the presentation.

An iPad can also be used to create graphs, charts or presentations. There are some apps available on iPad application store that can help to create presentation. For example: “OmniGraphSketcher”, this app can be very useful to create charts and graphs with great visualization.

4) Web Conferencing

In today’s world as all businesses are expanding globally, being physically present for meetings can become very challenging. So for this, an iPad can be very useful. An iPad can make it possible to be present in the meeting virtually. There are some apps available that allow web conferencing. Before iPad 2, there were apps like “WebEx” and “GoToMeeting” that made it possible to do web conferencing, but now with iPad 2 having a front camera also, web conferencing becomes easier with applications like FaceTime using which video chat can be done in a fast and easy way.

5) Sales Force Automation

Another great usage of iPad is for the sales force on the move. Managing field data like orders, surveys etc. can be managed using an iPad easily. It’s a great tool to manage inventory data as well. There are some apps that provide functionalists like create and manage databases and projects in an easy way. For example “Bento”: using this app you can create and manage databases and projects very easily.

Using an iPad, you need not be connected to internet all the time. It has facility to create and manage database locally and then connect to the server and share the changes. These apps have a facility to allow users to create customized views and access it from home office through a mobile device or an iPad. This provides a great mobility to access data and manage it in different ways.

Now won’t you agree that iPad is not just an entertainment tool but a great piece of invention that will take businesses to the next level. It’s not just advice, it’s a great gift provided by “Steve Jobs”.

Source : http://blog.spec-india.com/5-ways-to-take-business-advantage-from-ipad

Java Programming with Greenfoot

What is Greenfoot?

Greenfoot is a Java interactive development environment designed to help students learn. Using Greenfoot, students learn the Java programming language in a fun, interesting, and visually engaging way! It allows easy development of two-dimensional graphical applications, like simulations and interactive games. Greenfoot programming environment is suitable for college- and university-level students.

Greenfoot

Benefits of Greenfoot

1.    Fun, and engaging

It’s fun and engaging because Greenfoot makes it relatively easy for novice programmers to create 2D games, animations, and simulations. Greenfoot full supports Java programming language.

Greenfoot

2.    Powerful

Greenfoot is really powerful because support Java programming language and programmers can use that code in a major Java project. Included in that power is the ability to do any or all of the following:

•    Execute the scenario (project) inside the IDE, either in single-step mode or run mode.
•    Export the scenario as a Java applet in a JAR file with an accompanying HTML file.
•    Export the scenario as an application in an executable JAR file.
•    Publish the scenario on the Greenfoot web site for review and comment by others.

3.    Greenfoot Support Classes

The following are generally useful classes that might be used in more than one scenario. They were usually developed in the context of a specific scenario, but should be useful in other contexts, possibly with a little modification. By publishing the classes here, implicit permission is granted for you to use these classes in your projects, modify and distribute them. You should not, however, remove the original author name. If you modify a class, add your own name as an additional author (with explanation of the modifications made, if you want), but acknowledge original authors.

Greenfoot Support Classes

 

Requirements

Greenfoot requires the Java 6 or Java 7 JDK. Note that you need the version marked JDK; not JRE, Netbeans or Java EE. Download JDK.

Conclusion

The hardest thing when talking about programming is the learning process: start implementing code is not something that can be done from one moment to another. But the difference of Greenfoot is that includes lots of documentation and examples, so it is easier to learn. In addition, it is focused on games and simple applications, which is much more attractive than other similar products you can find on market.

Microsoft + Micromax = Window Phone 8.1

Microsoft opened the door of support for its new partner Micromax – one of the leading mobile manufacturers. With this support WP8.1 was available for the Indian mobile giant and they launched 2 windows based phone for the first time named Canvas Win121 and Canvas Win W092.

micromax windows phone 8.1

Actually Microsoft made one announcement back in the month of the Feb 2014 at Mobile World Congress with Qualcomm Technologies, Inc that they will provide the windows technology at no cost for the instruments less than 9”. These two phones is the result of that announcement. Microsoft believes that providing windows without any single penny to its partners will make them able to bag in the windows phones swiftly in their portfolio.

Price of these phone is also very effective factor as one can buy Win121 & W092 at INR 9500/- & 6500/- respectively. In Asian market price matters a lot and with this cost these phones will become very popular.

Specification of these both phones is very interesting as below

Canvas Win W121: This dual-sim phone comes with 5” HD screen, 8MP camera with single LED flash and 2 MP front camera. 8GB internal storage with the option of expansion till 32GB, best thing is that it is backed-up with Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 quad-core processor with 1GB of memory. In addition this device has sensors for proximity, gravity, and light. Company provides this device with back panel made from pure lather.

Canvas Win092: This device is 1’smaller than W121 and had WVGA display. Back camera is 5MP with single LED flash and front is 0.3MP. Storage capacity and processor is same as W121.

Overall these phones are very good options for both the windows phone lovers and budget conscious. If you thinking to buy good smart phone you must have to think about these devices.

Just some month’s back Microsoft brings window phone 8 with new exciting features like below:

1. Customizable Lock Screen
2. Skype
3. Pandora
4. Kid’s Corner
5. Data Sense
6. Rooms
7. Voice Notes In OneNote
8. Skydrive Integration
9. Xbox Music

Find more informative Window Phone 8 Additional Features.

Apple vs Android

Choosing the best smartphone operating system from all available OS, is becoming a top priority for many type business owners. While there are many mobile OS players, from all that the major players are Apple iOS and Google’s Android. As far as hardware goes, Apple is the same in every model; making it simpler for users to upgrade phones without having to re-learn how to use it. Android, however, is designed so that the manufacturer of the phone can modify it according to their ecosystem, which can include completely changing the look and feel of the Android system. This can give the user to be flexible to select a phone, which has a system that is more suited to their needs.

There is Big Difference Between Apple and Android

Smartphone subscribers:  43.7% of USA user had an android device and only 27.7% of user had an iphone.

Smartphone subscribers

Tablets Market Analysis: iPad is more popular compare to android.  iPad had 66% of the tablet market and android tablets had grown to 26%.

Tablets Market Analysis

Which platform’s users are downloading the most apps:  According to Canalys 51% of android user download the android app and 40% of ios user downloads the ios app.

Which platform's users are downloading the most apps