Microsoft Releases Cortana for iOS, Android, CyanogenMod

Today's topics include Microsoft extending digital assistant Cortana's reach, AT&T adding 38 metro areas to its GigPower High-Speed Network, Samsung seeking new business revenues in automotive technology, and Wal-Mart entering the mobile payments industry.

Siri is getting a roommate. Calling it a companion app for Windows 10 PC users, Microsoft today announced the official release of Cortana for iPhone (iOS 8 and up), Android "Jelly Bean" (4.1.2) and CyanogenMod OS.

Cortana, named after an AI character in the popular Halo video game series, first made its debut on Windows Phone last year. Now bundled with the latest version of Windows, the voice-enabled assistant has since made its way onto more than 100 million Windows 10 devices.

AT&T's 1-gigabit-per-second GigaPower high-speed fiber network is growing again, this time adding 38 U.S. metro areas that are scheduled to be served by the end of 2016. The additional metro areas will expand the GigaPower network to 56 metro areas around the country.

The phone carrier began its GigaPower high-speed Internet services back in 2014 for customers around Austin, Texas, which was one of the first cities where Google launched its own Google Fiber high-speed services.

Samsung Electronics is creating a new automotive technology development team aimed at in-vehicle entertainment, satellite navigation and autonomous driving as it tosses out a wider net in the pursuit of higher revenue and improved financial performance.

According to a Dec. 9 article by Reuters, the latest Samsung business initiative will be expanded into other vehicle-related markets in the future as it gets underway and gets its footing in the marketplace.

Retail giant, Wal-Mart, launched Walmart Pay service, which it expects to roll out across the United States by the middle of 2016.

The world's largest retailer announced Walmart Pay Dec. 10 as a fast and secure way for shoppers to make purchases in the company's stores using any Android smartphone or Apple iPhone at any checkout lane using almost any payment card.

The new free service works through the company's existing Walmart mobile app, which is already being used by about 22 million customers each month.

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