A new addition to Windows Phone 8.1 update is the voice assistant called Cortana. While it might take some time to arrive, we try the beta app to see if Microsoft is going in the right direction.
The latest Windows Phone 8.1 update has been officially announced and the developer version is already seeding to a number of (Lumia) smartphones. Taking this advantage, we updated a Lumia device and managed to run Cortana. It does take a little bit of an effort, but it isn’t impossible.
After setting it up, you can launch Cortana by hitting the search key or by launching the app from the menu. The voice assistant is actually quite fluid and doesn’t take ages to respond; of course you should have a decent internet connection.
To test the assistant we first asked it to set a reminder for the coming day. It asked us the reminder, and then the time for the reminder. After a quick confirmation it saved the reminder.
Cortana can also open apps installed on your device and by just asking it to “Open (app name)” it opens up the app without any issues.
Next, we asked Cortana to play some music, and by simply saying “Play Meshuggah”, it picked up a song by the band Meshuggah from the playlist on the device and started playing it. In case there is no such artist/band/song on the device, it does a quick web search.
It can also send text messages for you and has the ability to pick up contact details quite well.
For an app that is still in beta stage, it is quite impressive and very accurate. And just for fun, we even asked Cortana, which is the best smartphone and the response, well check it out below.
Microsoft is definitely falling behind with its features, but as they say, better late than never. Currently, Cortana is still in development stage and might not arrive as soon as the official update arrives. But Microsoft has assured that it will reach major countries in a few months.
Check out a short video showing how Cortana works