Cortana will now help manage appointments and keep promises

It’s January 25, and if you’ve been eagerly awaiting more details on the Rose Gold and Platinum versions of the Samsung Gear S2 smartwatch, then today’s your day. Samsung officially kicked off the global launch of the Gear S2 Classic today in China, with U.S. availability expected “early this year,” though we’re guessing in the next month or so.

The Classic is a slightly classier version of the Tizen-based smartwatch, and although pricing has not yet been announced for the US, European pre-order pricing suggests it will come in at around $500, a $200 premium over the standard versions. They are certainly pretty – the Rose Gold option comes with an ivory wristband while the Platinum sports a black band, but at the end of the day, it’s still a Gear S2 …a smartwatch our own Jeffrey Van Camp reported as a something of a hot mess – it’s got connectivity problems, and worst of all, there’s no apps for it. Perhaps because it runs on Tizen instead of Android. I hope all that changes soon, though, because the look, feel and user interface is awesome. Fix it up, and I’m sold. This coming from an Apple guy.

Speaking of Apple, another supposed 4-inch iPhone photo hit the Internet this weekend, this time with what is supposed to be a prototype of the phone placed next to an iPhone 5 for size comparison. This photo seems to suggest the new phone will essentially be a smaller version of the iPhone 6, while previous leaks suggested it would be along the lines of a 5C.

Other rumors are inclusion of an A8 or A9 chip, somewhere between 1-2 GB of RAM, and possibly touch ID and Apple pay. So … almost an iPhone 6, but not really, but it kinda looks like one. Actually, that totally sounds like something Apple would do. Guess we’ll know for sure later this year, but prepare yourself for plenty more rumors between now and then.

It looks like Windows 10’s Cortana will soon help you keep the promises you make in emails. The idea is Cortana will scan your emails for strings of words indicating a time-based commitment.

Let’s say, you tell someone you’ll get that spreadsheet to them by the end of the day on Tuesday – Cortana will interpret that to mean you should have a reminder, and then ask if you’d like to set one.

You still get to decide whether you do or don’t set the reminder, so it’s not as if this is a completely automated process. Still, it could save some time and embarrassment from forgetting to put the new cover sheets on those TPS reports.

Cortana will also be a little bit more helpful with your appointments, in case someone tries to slip you a last minute meeting request or move things around in a way that it royally screws up your schedule. I’ve been trying to think of some snarky stuff to say about this but … mostly I just think it’s pretty awesome. I’m just give it leave it there.


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