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Microsoft Adds ‘Digital Health’ Feature On its Beta Android Launcher

The new beta version is available for testers on Google Play Store and should be rolling out to all users in the coming weeks, the report added

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Microsoft's beta Android launcher has digital health feature. Pixabay

Microsoft has added a “Digital Health” feature with Cortana support on the beta version of its Android launcher that will enable users to track app usages.

The Microsoft launcher “Version 5.1” is an attempt to give users more control over how they interact with social media, Windows Central reported on Wednesday.

Along with the “Digital Health’ feature, the new update integrates the “To-Do” list and “Sticky Notes” to enable users to sync their tasks and notes.

“The launcher’s ‘To-Do’ card now shows tasks from apps Outlook and Skype along with the ‘Notes’ card showing your listings from ‘Sticky Notes’ on Windows, Outlook and OneNote mobile,” the report added.

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A sign for Microsoft is seen on a building in Cambridge. VOA

The new beta version is available for testers on Google Play Store and should be rolling out to all users in the coming weeks, the report added.

Major tech companies like Apple, Facebook and Instagram have recently added features like “Screen Time”, “Your Activity” and “Your Time on Facebook” respectively to alert users about their use of apps.

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In October, Microsoft announced that Windows 10 would soon fully embrace Android to mirror mobile apps on computers so the company has been aggresively updating its Android launcher over the past year.

Earlier this year, the tech-giant added family-focused location-tracking feature to the Android launcher app along with an activity report feature that maintains record of what apps are being used on a device and for how long. (IANS)

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AI Helping Differently-abled to Become More Independent: Microsoft

The showcase will feature technology-based projects from non-profit organisations, assistive technologies developed by leading technology companies, Microsoft partners as well as Microsoft solutions, the company added

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Microsoft, Taiwan AI
A man walks past a Microsoft sign set up for the Microsoft BUILD conference at Moscone Center in San Francisco, April 28, 2015. VOA

Cloud and Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions are empowering differently-abled people with tools that support independence and productivity, a top Microsoft executive said here on Friday.

The software giant last year launched its five-year, $25 million “AI for Accessibility” programme that harnesses the power of AI to amplify human capability for the more than one billion people around the world with a disability.

“At Microsoft, we believe there are no limits to what people can achieve when technology reflects the diversity of everyone who uses it,” Sriram Rajamani, Managing Director, Microsoft Research India, said on the inaugural day of the two-day “Accessibility Summit – Empowering for Inclusion” here.

Real time speech-to-text transcription, computer vision capabilities and predictive text functionality are just a few examples of how AI is useful to people with disabilities.

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Logo of Microsoft outside it’s office. Pixabay

Inaugurating the summit, Shakuntala Doley Gamlin, Secretary, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities at the Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry, said that a strong public-private partnership can go a long way in empowering the differently-abled with equal access and opportunity.

Microsoft hosted the summit in collaboration with the National Association of the Deaf and National Centre for Promotion of Employment of Disabled People (NCPEPD), a non-profit organisation.

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The two-day conference will also combine a rich mix of master classes and access to Microsoft’s “AI for Accessibility” resources for the developer community with a showcase of inclusive technology, Microsoft said.

The showcase will feature technology-based projects from non-profit organisations, assistive technologies developed by leading technology companies, Microsoft partners as well as Microsoft solutions, the company added. (IANS)