Best note-taking app for iPad Pro of 2018

For Apple devotees, the iPad Pro is a mobile platform offering an impressive amount of computing power in a tidy compact package with all-day battery life, all adding up to a more portable, but not quite as powerful version of a MacBook. 

The ‘killer app’ of the iPad Pro is its honed ability to function as a note-taking device, making it popular with college students and business professionals alike. Like everything else in iOS, this functionality is based around having the best app to do this, and these are some great choices when it comes to note-taking. 

  • Also take a look at the best free iPad apps

Notability

Notability, from Ginger Labs, is an excellent, general purpose note-taking app for the iOS platform. It has won multiple awards over the last several years.  

This app allows the user to combine multiple inputs, including typing, sketching, handwriting and photos in a single place. It also supports annotating PDFs. Notes can be shared via email, and cloud-based services including AirDrop, Google Drive and DropBox.  

Notability is available on the app store for $9.99 (£7, AU$13). 

  • You can download Notability here

Evernote

For those looking for a note-taking platform that works with their iPad Pro, but also Android devices, Evernote straddles the two mobile platform camps with ease.

Evernote is a great app to collect multiple inputs, including images, text notes, recorded messages, and clippings of web pages – all in one file for storage and collaboration. They can then be accessed via the iPad Pro, Android, or via a PC though the web browser interface for ease of workflow, and the notes are also searchable.  

The iOS app is free, and offers in-app purchases. However, the free product is restricted to syncing only two devices, and uploads are limited to only 60MB per month. Step up to the Premium tier to sync all your devices, gain a more generous 10GB of uploads in a month, as well as the additional features of live chat support, and offline access to your notes, for a subscription of $69.99 (£50, AU$92) annually. 

  • You can download Evernote here

GoodNotes4

For those who want to use their iPad Pro to easily take handwritten notes, GoodNotes 4 is the answer. With the focus on handwriting, it makes it easy to enter complex mathematics and chemical formulas that can border on the impossible via a traditional keyboard.

The GoodNotes approach can also be used to annotate PDFs, search handwritten notes and convert handwriting into text. The notes are also synced via iCloud, and can be backed up to your choice of cloud providers, including Dropbox, Google Drive, or Box.  

The GoodNotes 4 app is available in the iOS store for $7.99 (£6, AU$11). 

  • You can download GoodNotes 4 here

MyScript Nebo

For note-takers with needs that go beyond the basic, MyScript Nebo can handle the challenge. While plenty of note-taking apps allow text to be entered, Nebo can also easily structure notes, allowing you to add paragraphs, titles and bullet lists for organization.

It also handles ‘rich content,’ such as diagrams, sketches (with different colors and pen widths), flow charts, and formulas, letting you integrate them into the document. Once completed, documents can be exported in a variety of formats, including Word, PDF, and even HTML.  

Nebo is available for multiple platforms, including Windows 10, Android, and of course, iOS, for $5.99 (£4, AU$8).

  • You can download MyScript Nebo here

Whink

Whink is an iOS app that is equally at home taking notes via handwriting, as it is with text. Whink uses a gel ink pen and a smart eraser to make the handwriting process as smooth as on real paper.

Other media can be added and incorporated including photos, diagrams with colors and “perfect geometric shapes.” Documents can also be marked up, and it supports multi-tasking so notes can be taken while reading another document (we have witnessed folks walking around with two tablets to accomplish this feat when it is not supported).  

Whink can be added to your iPad Pro for $4.99 (£4, AU$7). 

  • You can download Whink here

Notes

The Notes app comes with all iOS devices. While some default apps just beg to be replaced by a third-party solution (Windows Paint, we’re looking at you), Notes is actually quite useful, and even dubbed an Evernote replacement, so be sure to check out all it has to offer before bypassing it.  

Of course, the title of the app tells you that Notes can create and edit notes. However, there are plenty of advanced features, such as adding a table, scanning a document with the device’s camera, and incorporating photos and video content as well.

Additional features include Quick Draw to make it easy to add a sketch via a pencil in a blank area of the screen without having to enable draw mode, an integrated checklist creator, and shortcuts to be able to include a map in a note. Notes can also be organized into folders, and even password protected.  

Notes can be synced via iCloud, although there are reported difficulties in using other providers, such as Google Drive. 

  • You can download the Notes app here

One of Waymo’s self-driving minivans gets caught in a road crash

One of Waymo’s self-driving minivans has been involved in a road crash in Arizona, the company has confirmed, though in this instance there doesn’t seem to have been much the autonomous car could’ve done to avoid a hit – the video you can see below shows another car swerving straight into it.

Waymo became the new home for Google’s self-driving car efforts back in 2016, and recently started testing some routes without safety drivers. In this case a driver was on board and was injured in the accident.

As per the Chandler Police Department report, a vehicle on the other side of the road had to swerve to avoid a collision, only to cross over to the other side of the road and smash straight into the Waymon minivan. You can see Waymo’s footage of the incident below.

“Today while testing our self-driving vehicle in Chandler, Arizona, another car traveling in an oncoming lane swerved across the median and struck our minivan,” Waymo said in a statement to SlashGear. “We are concerned about the well-being and safety of our test driver and wish her a full recovery.”

Uber has suspended its self-driving car operations in Arizona after a pedestrian was struck down and killed. On this occasion though, the blame would appear to lie with old-fashioned flesh-and-blood human drivers.

There are conflicting reports about whether the minivan was in autonomous or manual mode at the time of the accident. Waymo regularly publishes safety reports on the progress of its autonomous technology and we can probably expect to hear more about this incident in due course. 

  • Waymo: everything you need to know from Google until now

The US-China trade war: does this mean more expensive TVs and phones?

What do many TVs, batteries, computer monitors, and printer ink cartridges all have in common? They’re made in China, of course. 

They could all also cost about a quarter more if the talked-up trade war between the US and China becomes reality. 

However, unpick what’s happening, and why, and a Pandora’s box opens that reveals just how much this is not only about trade, but about domination of future tech like AI, autonomous cars and 5G.

The Trump administration doesn’t think China properly protects intellectual property or sufficiently opens its markets to US companies. 

It also happens to have a massive trade deficit with China, with Americans importing vastly more goods from China than it exports. 

Which is why it proposes putting 25 percent tariffs on imports of TVs and over a thousand other product categories from China, ostensibly to help create a level playing field. 

Those tariffs equate to about US$150 billion in total. The trouble is, the cost could end up simply being passed straight back to anyone in the US that wants to buy Chinese-made electronics.

Chinese-made TVs could be about to jump in price for buyers in the US Credit: Jamie Carter

How expensive could they get?

Chinese-made electronics could become as much as 23% pricier for US shoppers, according to a report from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) – which stages the CES in Las Vegas each January – and the National Retail Federation (NRF). 

A TV made in China that costs $250 today would cost $308 after the tariffs are applied, it says, while one that costs $500 today would cost $615. “These proposed tariffs are bad for the economy, businesses and American consumers,” says Gary Shapiro, CEO and president, CTA.

“For TVs, just one of the 1,300 products on the administration’s list, American pocketbooks will suffer.” The US imported 23 million TVs from China in 2017, according to Sigmaintell.

Skyworth, TCL and Hisense together account for a fifth of TVs Credit: Jamie Carter

Does this mean all TVs?

That 23% price increase applies only to TVs imported from China. “The top three Chinese brands (TCL, Hisense & Skyworth) combined accounted for more than 20% of worldwide shipments during 2017, and manufactured many more sets for other brands too,” says James Manning Smith, Research Analyst at Futuresource Consulting

China is currently experiencing a boom in TV-making factories, and it seems inevitable that China will pretty soon dominate TV production. 

“The likelihood of this policy proposal becoming law is still in the balance, but the impact on consumers would be considerable,” says Manning Smith, suggesting that the average price of a TV in the US could jump from $450 to $500.

However, there are always loopholes. “Companies such as TCL, which has grown rapidly in the last 24 months in the US and now finds itself competing closely with LG, has manufacturing facilities all over the world,” says Manning Smith. 

“It would be likely that they would be able to pivot production of sets destined for the US to countries unaffected by the tariff.” Both TCL and Hisense have assembly plants in Mexico.

Chinese telecoms and handset-maker ZTE just got a ‘denial order’ 

Smartphones & cyber-espionage

The US is very suspicious of Chinese telecom-equipment makers, and the end result is that Americans can’t buy a Huawei P20 Pro, and soon, the ZTE Axon 7. Why? National security. 

“Cyber espionage has been a recurring theme shaping American technology and internet related policy for some time,” says Manning Smith. 

That’s why Huawei got dumped by AT&T in January, and it’s also why the Trump administration last week slapped a ‘denial order’ on ZTE, banning it from importing US components. Now the UK is nervous

“With ZTE reliant on components, IP and software sourced from American companies, the restrictions effectively inhibit ZTE from producing and selling further devices,” says Manning Smith. 

ZTE suggests that the decision, if implemented, could bankrupt it. “The Denial Order will not only severely impact the survival and development of ZTE, but will also cause damages to all partners of ZTE including a large number of US companies,” said a spokesperson.

It all goes to show just how reliant US and Chinese tech companies are on each other. ZTE may have been the third or fourth largest smartphone-seller in the US in 2017 – and 60% of the world’s smartphones are sold by Chinese owned companies – but without one thing from US companies, the business doesn’t work. That thing is the microchip.

Key to understanding the dispute is microchips.

Cheap as microchips

Tariffs aside, the US is mostly concerned with protecting its microchip business, which is considered critical to future tech markets. 

Although China might be the global headquarters of electronics, it doesn’t dominate the really advanced tech – semiconductors – which produce the processors and chips at the heart of all phones, tablets, and smart devices. 

China’s high-tech sector hugely relies on overseas chipmakers. Taiwan’s MediaTek and Taiwan Semiconductor, and South Korea’s Samsung Semiconductors and Hynix, are all major players, as are US companies Intel and Qualcomm (in March a Presidential Order prevented a proposed takeover of Qualcomm by Broadcomm on national security grounds). 

With the future of AI, autonomous cars and the rollout of 5G at stake, this is a politically sensitive industry.

Although Chinese companies do make chips, such as Huawei, RockChip and Foxconn, the industry is a work in progress that the country’s ‘Made in China 2025’ is trying to address. 

Its aim is to have 70% of microchips produced by Chinese companies by 2025. And that means buying up technology from around the world.

“Chinese companies want to create semiconductors inside China, rather than import from the States, but they know that the only way to do that in the next few years is using intellectual property,” says David Harold, VP Communications, Imagination Technologies, whose technology enables the creation of chips. 

He says that right now about 25-30% of Imagination’s new licenses are coming from China, but that US semiconductors are not irreplaceable in Chinese assembled systems. 

“In the immediate term, there are plenty of semiconductors available for TV and mobile from Taiwan, or automotive from Japan and Israel,” he says.

Qualcomm makes the Snapdragon chips in premium Android phones

Is the global tech market history?

“Long-term, I think the expansion of the Chinese chip industry is likely to be good for world electronics consumers,” says Harold. “Though not necessarily in the USA.”

While it’s calculated to punish China, banning the likes of Huawei and ZTE could force them to more quickly advance their chip-making businesses.

However, Dr Joe Zammit-Lucia of think tank Radix and co-author of Backlash: Saving Globalisation from Itself is not convinced that a decrease in global supply chains will push up prices for tech goods. “Prices are determined primarily by what people are willing to pay, not by the cost of manufacturing,” he says. 

Others think that the global tech industry’s sheer complexity makes it difficult to predict the consequences of any single policy. 

“These companies and technologies are so internationally intertwined it is difficult to separate the layers and understand the potential impact on the worldwide market,” says Manning Smith. 

“It is certain that should a 25% US-China trade levy be enforced there will be a worldwide effect on the cost of consumer electronics.”

The tech industry is globalisation writ large, and it’s probably staying that way, but one thing’s for sure: no trade dispute has been this fascinating since the opening sequence of The Phantom Menace.

  • Want to pick up a TV now? Check out: Best TV 2018: which TV should you buy?

Lenovo Mirage Solo, the first standalone Daydream VR headset, is now on sale

Hot on the heels of Oculus Go’s release earlier this week, Google and Lenovo have made their own standalone virtual reality (VR) headset available starting today. 

The Lenovo Mirage Solo is the first standalone VR headset that runs on the Google Daydream VR platform, meaning it doesn’t require a smartphone. Its biggest highlight is WorldSense, the positional tracking tech that lets you walk around inside of a virtual world without external sensors. 

Mirage Solo’s Daydream library has over 350 experiences for purchase, including around 70 that use the exclusive WorldSense tech. 

We tried out some Mirage Solo experiences, and felt that the WorldSense bubble was is unfortunately small at times, yet carries a ton of potential for future experiences.

Blade Runner for Lenovo Mirage Solo

In terms of tech, the Mirage Solo has a 5.5-inch 2,560 x 1,440 IPS LCD screen, 2.5 hours of battery life, 64GB of storage (plus a microSD slot), and a Snapdragon 835 processor. 

As for the Lenovo Mirage Solo price, the device will set you back $399 (about £293, AU$530). 

For comparison, the 64GB Oculus Go price is $249 / £249 / AU$369, while the PC-tethered Oculus Rift sells for $399 / £399. 

You can purhcase the Lenovo Mirage Solo at Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, and from Lenovo

Lenovo Mirage Camera release details

In addition to the first standalone Daydream VR headset, can also purchase the Lenovo Mirage Camera starting today. 

Marketed as the first VR180 camera, the Mirage Camera utilizes two 13MP fisheye lenses to film VR-enabled 3D content—just not a full 360-degree view. 

With it, you can film VR experiences and then watch them through your Lenovo Mirage Solo. 

In our review of the Camera, we found that the 4K footage was sometimes brilliant but often had inconsistent visual quality, and we were frustrated by the lack of a previewing screen on the back. 

The Lenovo Mirage Camera price is $299 (about £220, AU$400), which is comparable to many 360-degree cameras. 

You can purchase it on Amazon, Best Buy, or from Lenovo.  And anyone who knows they want both devices can also pick up a Solo + Camera bundle for a $50 discount on Amazon

  • These are the best VR headsets of the year

Google Daydream news, features and everything you need to know

Update: Standalone virtual reality has finally come to the Daydream platform. This is thanks to the Lenovo Mirage Solo headset, which is on sale today.

The headset works much like your standard Android phone, though of course, once you slip it on, you’re transported to a world of VR. The headset features impressive WorldSense tracking, so it will track your head in the real world as it relates to the virtual one. 

The Daydream platform itself is still limited in terms of apps and games available, and at $399, the Lenovo Mirage Solo is an expensive piece of hardware. However, it’s very comfortable and easy to set up, making it a solid new entry into the VR headset space.

Original article continues below…

Daydream is Google’s platform for bringing virtual reality (VR) to mobile devices and standalone VR headsets, and it’s quite different than Google Cardboard, to say the least.

Unlike Cardboard, which aimed to get people in the VR door with a low cost and lenient power requirements, Daydream is a more robust vision that has its sight set on providing higher-quality experiences to Android Oreo users and beyond.

But it goes beyond Google’s own hardware and software. Google has teamed up with partners to create Daydream headsets, namely Lenovo and the just-launched Lenovo Mirage Solo headset. 

Google Daydream is all about bringing exciting and absorbing VR experiences to those who don’t want to invest in a pricey HTC Vive or Oculus Rift VR headset (though the Lenovo Mirage Solo costs just as much as Oculus Rift). Here’s everything you need to know about it.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? Google’s high-quality VR platform
  • When is it out? Now
  • What will it cost? $99 / £99 (around AU$125) for Daydream View, though standalone headsets are more expensive

Google Daydream View headset

Want to get started with Daydream? Google has its own headset that you’ll be able to use with Daydream-ready phones. 

It’s called Google Daydream View (2017) and, unlike other VR headsets we’ve seen before, it has a material design … just like the Android operating system. There’s a latch on the front to slide your phone in and the controller for the headset is included.

Google Daydream View (2017)

Last year, Google invited other device makers to create their own Daydream headsets. At Google IO 2017, it was made obvious that said device makers responded, with dedicated, standalone Daydream headsets in works, though one prominent maker eventually dropped out.

Netflix, HBO and Hulu all have Daydream-ready apps available now, plus The New York Times has launched an app, too, for its VR videos.

Plus, Google has also made its own apps compatible with the Daydream platform. That includes Play Movies, Photos, Maps and YouTube.

Lenovo Mirage Solo

Daydream goes independent

During Google IO 2017, the firm officially confirmed the well-reported rumor that it would be launching standalone Daydream headsets with select hardware partners.

This means that all of the parts needed to drive the Daydream experience will be found inside these headsets. No need for a phone, PC or even any cables.

Those early partners included Qualcomm, with which Google built a reference design, HTC and Lenovo.

However, HTC eventually dropped out of making a standalone Daydream headset, opting instead to focus on its own standalone VR headset, the HTC Vive Focus. 

That headset is launching worldwide later this year.

The standout feature of the Lenovo Mirage Solo is Google’s new WorldSense tracking technology, a series of sensors that provide all of the motion tracking and sense of presence that, say, a smartphone’s sensor array would.

As Daydream is deeply integrated into Android, Google has put the entire Play Store within view while wearing a Daydream headset.

The Google Play Store takes on a familiar look in the VR space, with each individual app having its own rating and description. Google has also added the level of motion that you’ll experience within each app, just so that you know what sort of immersion you’re about to get yourself into.

Google Daydream

Performance

Daydream requires these three pillars in order to be a viable VR option: smartphones that are optimized for VR, with a high quality system on chip (SoC) to maintain 60 frames-per-second playback, low persistence displays to eliminate ghosting and lag, and finally, top-notch sensors that operates with minimal latency to boost the sense of presence.

So, what sort of performance can we reasonably expect out of it? Well, you’d be right to think that it really depends on the power of the phone that’s inside.

Google’s new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL phones pack a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor and 4GB of RAM. You can bet that these devices are primed to push high-quality VR experiences.

What’s more, the Lenovo Mirage Solo also packs a Snapdragon 835 chipset and 4GB of RAM.

Google Daydream is baked into the OS on the Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, and has since been added to many other Android phones.

It’s important to note that while not included on the list now, the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus will have Daydream support, eventually.

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus

Samsung’s last-gen flagship smartphones feature Daydream support.

These phones are among the most capable smartphones that can pop into a Daydream View headset. Equipped with a Snapdragon 835, 4GB of RAM, and, depending on which phone you have, either a 5.8-inch or 6.2-inch screen, these beg to play the latest Daydream apps and games.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

The Note 8 has the best big display on a smartphone, coming in at an expansive 6.3 inches. It also features 6GB of RAM and runs a Snapdragon 835 processor (or Exynos 8895, depending where you live). It’s big and powerful, and just right for Daydream.

ZTE Axon 7

ZTE Axon 7

The Axon 7 stuns with its 5.5-inch AMOLED display that runs at 2,560 x 1,440. This resolution will provide a more crisp experience than a 1080p screen, much like the ones you’ll find on the OnePlus 3 and Nexus 5X.

A bleeding-edge display is a crucial ingredient in modern VR, but the Axon 7 also looks to offer up plenty of power to back it up.

It will launch with two variations: one with 4GB RAM and another with 6GB RAM. Each will feature the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 clocked at 2.2GHz.

Google Pixel

Google Pixel and Pixel XL

Google’s Pixel and Pixel XL launched alongside the Daydream View headset, and among the other compatible devices, will currently provide the best VR experience thanks to their Snapdragon 821 and 4GB RAM outfit.

Moto Z, Moto Z Force, Moto Z2 Force

The multi-talented Moto Z and the Verizon-exclusive Moto Z Force are compatible with the Google Daydream View.

Each is stocked with the Snapdragon 820 and 4GB RAM, and shine with 2,560 x 1,440 OLED displays, which make them ideal candidates for mobile VR.

Huawei Mate 9 Pro

While this phone is very similar in specifications to the Huawei Mate 9, it boasts a QHD AMOLED screen instead of FHD LCD used on the lower-end Mate 9, which makes it a prime candidate for Daydream compatibility.

Unlike the other options, Huawei’s bucks the Snapdragon SoC in favor of its own Kirin 960 octa-core system on a chip. Paired with 6GB of RAM, this is one of the best ways to experience Daydream VR.

Asus ZenFone AR

The Asus ZenFone AR debuted at CES 2017 and is one of the most impressive phones to run Daydream. It houses a Snapdragon 821, like the Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL, but also comes in 6GB and 8GB variants.

It features a QHD Super AMOLED display to allow for rich colors and deep blacks, a necessity for Daydream VR.

What’s most impressive is that the ZenFone AR is also Tango-compatible with its dual-camera setup on the phone’s rear.

  • Everything else you need to know about the Daydream View headset

Microsoft Build 2018: what we expect to see

Microsoft Build is starting in just a few days, and with it we’ll see what Microsoft has in store for us in the coming year. With the first keynote starting around 8:30am PST (11:30am ET / 4:30pm BST / 1:30am AEST) on May 7, 2018 – Microsoft has a lot to talk about, with Redstone 5 and Microsoft Office likely being at the center.

Some of the major updates we’re expecting to see at Microsoft Build 2018 teases of Redstone 5 (the codename for the next major Windows 10 update), Windows Mixed Reality updates and some AI news. It’s unlikely that Microsoft will announce anything beyond software, so you shouldn’t be expecting the next Surface devices here.

So, let’s dive in to what we expect to see next week during the Microsoft Build 2018 keynotes. And, be sure to keep this page bookmarked, as we’ll keep it updated throughout next week.

Cut to the chase

  •  What is it? Microsoft’s developer conference
  •  When is it? May 7 – 9, 2018

Microsoft Build 2018

How to watch

If you don’t want to pay the $2,000 to attend the event in-person, you can fortunately watch the keynotes for free right here from the comfort of your home. You’ll be able to catch them live on May 7 and 8 at 8:30am PT (11:30am ET / 4:30pm BST / 1:30am AEST).

What we expect to see

Microsoft Build is sure to include some impressive updates for Windows 10, new software, advanced in AR and VR, here everything we expect from the show next week.

Microsoft Build 2018

Redstone 5

Sure, we just got the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, but Windows Insiders are already testing Redstone 5. So, we expect to hear a bit about the exciting features rumored for the next major update to the landmark operating system. 

This is the update where we’re expecting to see Microsoft’s cool new Sets feature – which will allow users to group different apps and websites together in one window, much like tabs in a web browser. We’re also expecting to see some quality-of-life improvements to the Windows 10 Taskbar and Search. 

Office 365/Office 2019

It might not be the most exciting thing to non-professionals, but we’re expecting a focus on Microsoft Office 2019. The software maker just released a preview build of Office 2019 for businesses, and seeing how we haven’t seen a perpetual release of Office since 2016 – Microsoft Office 2019 is going to be a big deal.

We probably won’t see much for Office 365, as users already have access to all of the new features in Office 2019 – rolling updates is the main selling point, after all. However, that doesn’t mean that Microsoft doesn’t have any surprises up its sleeve. We’ll just have to wait and see. 

Microsoft Build 2018

Windows Mixed Reality

We just got a slew of Mixed Reality updates in the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, but we don’t think Microsoft is going to slow down here. We’re not sure exactly what Microsoft has planned for Mixed Reality in Redstone 5 and beyond, but we’re expecting to at least see a continuation of their recent efforts to improve performance and ease-of-use. 

Microsoft Build 2018

More AI

AI is one of the biggest things in the tech industry in 2018, and Microsoft has already made huge steps to capitalize on it – and you can be sure it’ll be a huge focus at Microsoft Build 2018. Windows Machine Learning (WinML) is an API allows developers to incorporate machine learning models into their apps. And, because WinML is a relatively recent technology, we’re expecting Microsoft to go into a lot of detail about it. 

This is a developer event, after all. 

Whether it’s improvements to the WinML API introduced in the Windows 10 April 2018 Update or just showing off its capabilities to developers, we expect a lot of sessions to focus around AI, its capabilities and maybe some new features.

Azure and the cloud

Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing service, has always been a big piece of the Build conferences and we see no reason for the trend to stop now. Especially as the segment grew by whopping 17% according to the company’s latest quarterly financial results. As with previous events, we expect Microsoft to wax on about all the improvements they’ve made and how it will meet developers’ every demand.

Microsoft Build 2018

Smart home and IoT devices

It isn’t hard to see that in 2018, Microsoft is a little bit behind Google and Amazon when it comes to the smart home. However, we can see Microsoft trying to implement its Cortana virtual assistant into more devices – perhaps even announcing some new hardware partnerships. 

Thanks to the Cortana Skills Kit, Cortana is more capable than ever before – and even cares if you live or die. So, we should see Cortana improve over time, it has a huge install base, after all – it’s a potential goldmine.

As for what devices Cortana will make an appearance on? Who knows. However, the Harman Kardon Invoke, while it wasn’t particularly popular, was still a promising device, so we may see a follow-up.