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Windows Phone 8 lets you have 'conversations with apps'

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Microsoft has announced that developers can integrate speech recognition and response features into Windows Phone 8 apps.

Windows Phone voice control
Windows Phone voice control

Microsoft is hoping to do Siri one better by letting developers integrate speech response and recognition directly into apps for Windows Phone 8. APIs will be available for building in standard speech controls, which can then be run from the main search function. In a demo of Audible, which Microsoft partnered with for the voice features, the app was able to recognize a search for "Game of Thrones," then pause it or skip to the next chapter based on voice prompts. It worked pretty well, though there were a few rough spots: it took a couple of tries for the app to hear the commands. The apps can respond with vocal instructions as well, leading Microsoft to refer to the whole interaction as a "conversation" with them. Audible will be available to download for Windows Phone 7.5 later today, but we haven't heard whether these voice features will work on it.