The first successful implementation of a radical idea is usually and correctly lauded as the innovator. The second is derided as an imitator. But by the time you get to the third and fourth, the idea becomes a category. - John Gruber


Microsoft showed of Cortana today, its answer to Apple's Siri.

They improved on Siri in two big ways:


The ability to enter information manually for Cortana to use. Like favorite locations, relations, and other general information. So when repeating my asking for a favorite X, Cortana knows what to answer. But where Siri knows is and only tells you that information, here you can visually check what information Cortana uses to answer your questions.

An assistant should handle everything.

Microsoft took all the OS's new features and put them under Cortana's brand. So where Apple has Do Not Disturb as a feature, for Microsoft it's Cortana that manages when to notify you, or who's allowed to call you.
The end result is the same. But Microsoft turned a feature in the settings menu into a quality and something's that's handled by a 'person'. They gave our digital assistant one more task to manage. They turned something complex into something that my mother can understand.

I really like what they showed today. And hopefully, pressure from both Google Now and Cortana will force Apple to keep on improving Siri.


These last couple of days I left home with one thought on top of my mind: is my iPhone's battery charged, and does it hold a big enough charge to make it through the day? Or should I take my battery pack with me? And did I charge that one?

I never had any real trouble with my phone's battery life. It never lasted longer than a day, and charging it halfway through the day and at night were habits. But it wasn't something that worried me. I knew that, if I charged my iPhone at night then it would certainly last until late in the afternoon.

Something changed going from iOS 7.0.4 to 7.1. And it drastically changed battery life.

Worrying about taking an umbrella. Or worrying about a red traffic light that will probably make me miss my bus should be things I think about when leaving my house.
But my iPhone's battery? No. That should just work.

So Apple: for the iPhone 6: don't make it thinner. Make it a little bigger. And give me a battery that lasts me through the day without any doubt.