Twitter hashes out future changes, Microsoft steps away from phones, Siri SDK

We’ve got more details on the changes coming – and not coming – to Twitter. According to a blog post from Senior Product Manager Todd Sherman, future changes will include the ability to attach photos, GIFs, polls and videos without it counting against the 140-character limit. Also, you’ll be able to retweet or “quote tweet” your own old tweets, so you can rebroadcast that smart-ass political remark you made a while back.

What’s going away? The need to do that “period-at-handle” thing in order to show replies to users not following certain other users. Also, adding user handles will not count against the 140 character limit – which, by the way, is one of the things NOT changing about Twitter.

There were rumors that the service was going to change up the character limit, but CEO Jack Dorsey nixed that idea, saying the iconic 140- character message limit was a hallmark of the service.

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The axe is falling at Microsoft’s mobile phone division, with news from C/NET that nearly 2,000 jobs were going away, and that follows the 4,500 job cuts announced just last week.

A lot of those jobs losses will be in Finland at Nokia. Microsoft bought up Nokia mobile phone division in 2014, and despite numerous attempts, just never could gain any traction in the mobile phone marketplace. Redmond will also write off nearly a billion dollars in losses over their failed attempts to go up against Apple and Android.

So is Microsoft totally done with mobile phones? Doesn’t look like it. C-NET says Microsoft may introduce some sort of “mobile devices” next year. And Nokia? Yep, there will be new Nokia phones… but they’ll be running Android.

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Apple was one of the first tech firms to offer an intelligent assistant, whom we now know as the cheeky chatterbox Siri, way back in 2011.

But as fun as Siri is to tease, she – or it – has fallen behind in the face of competing digital bots like Alexa, Cortana, Amazon’s Echo and Viv, who have expanded capabilities, especially when it comes to smart home capabilities. That’s about to change. Apple is now planning to release a Siri development kit for app developers so their tech can run on voice commands and, basically, just do more stuff.

No specific release date has been specified, we’ll likely know more at WWDC next month. The Siri SDK is just another indication that our tech future will be voice controlled as we move away from apps and into a future where out tech listens to what we say – and predicts what we will need.

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