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cortana says hi

After seeing Windows Phone 8.1 shown off earlier this month, developers can now get their hands on the software. Engadget saw that Microsoft released the update on Monday for any Windows Phone 8 device. While the software is meant for those who make Windows Phone applications, anyone can technically download and install it either by registering as developer for $19, register for free using Microsoft’s App Studio software or follow a process to developer unlock their handset.  The new software includes Cortana, Microsoft’s voice-centric assistant, personalization tools and support for Universal Windows Apps to name a few functions.

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In Brief

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The conditional rule setting service, If This Then That (IFTTT) is on a roll with some new channels for internet of things lovers. The site has new options for the connected Quirky products that use the Wink app. So now your connected egg tray, piggy bank, A/C unit or even your power supply can tie into your email or other web services. I haven’t shelled out (heehee) for the Egg minder yet, but if I did I’d set up a recipe connecting it to Evernote so when I’m close to empty I could add eggs to my grocery list.

In Brief

Like many of its chipmaking competitors, Texas Instruments is really stoked about the promise of connected devices. It all boils down to more chips sold. So TI has built out a partner program for the internet of things to help manufacturers link together devices and services from different companies. Participants in TI’s ecosystem include 2lemetry, ARM, Arrayent, Exosite, IBM, LogMeIn (Xively), Spark, and Thingsquare. Basically if a company buys TI chips they’ll work with software, hardware or cloud offerings from the above vendors.

In Brief

HTC One M8 in hand

After weeks in Verizon stores only, the HTC One M8 finds its way to other carrier partner locations. On Friday, the company said the flagship handset can be picked up from AT&T and Sprint retail stores for $199 with contract; T-Mobile is still taking pre-orders. The phone has earned positive reviews and my own first impressions are very promising; the more I use the HTC One M8, the more I see welcome improvements. HTC is also selling an unlocked, no-contract version of the device for $699.99 directly through its website while Google is offering a Google Play Edition with pure Android for the same price.

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