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More details about Cortana – Windows Phone personal assistant

Cortana Personal voice assistant Windows Phone 8.1
  • On February 21, 2014

GDR2 and GDR3 (Update 3) didn’t bring significant changes to Windows Phone platform but the situation is going to change as Microsoft is working on a huge number of new features that will arrive with Windows Phone 8.1, making the platform competitive to iOS and Android. Among the most interesting new features is Cortana – a virtual personal assistant named after a popular Halo character. Combining functionalities from iOS’s Siri and Google Now, Cortana will replace the built-in search feature launched through the right hardware key.

Tom Warren from The Verge has been told more details about Cortana:

  • Cortana will access personal information such as contacts, location, data, behaviors and reminders
  • The personal assistant will learn things about users and ask them if the information will be stored, edited or deleted
  • The new information will be used for providing adequate answers to questions. Users can ask by voice or text. Suggestions, alerts and reminders will be provided in accordance with the search queries
  • Cortana will greet users by name
  • Using search queries or phone’s usage, Cortana learns about users and store information in its Notebook
  • The virtual assistant will react to messages and emails, giving suggestions for setting reminders, calendar entries and more
  • Weather, stock, directions, appointments and other contextual information will be provided taking into account location and other data
  • Cortana will have ‘do not disturb’ feature, so users can mute notifications and suggestions
  • Cortana will manage calls and notifications during ‘quiet hours’
  • The personal assistant will interact with third party apps

Microsoft is likely to include Cortana in the Windows Phone 8.1 update, expected later in 2014.