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Friday, February 21, 2014

Windows Phone Cortana will bring the best of Siri and Google Now


Microsoft wants developers and manufacturers to take Windows Phone seriously. Because unless we see more brand an app options for Windows Phones, customers will continue choosing Android and iOS as their next platform. In order to achieve this Microsoft has been working hard to bring Windows Phone in line with the most modern versions of iOS and Android, which means that Windows Phone will have to match its competitors feature for feature.

Now with their Cortana digital assistant Microsoft seems to want to take this one step further.

According to The Verge, Cortana will have personality just like Apple's Siri and it will have the intelligent push and learning of Google Now, but it will also give you more control over what information you share with it. We recently saw a video which represented Cortana as a circular icon but the new information says that the Cortana icon will take the accent color of your Windows Phone setup and it will be animated, meaning it can smile or frown depending on context. These animations will combine with a conversational tone from Cortana to give it more personality, much like Apple's Siri.

Cortana will be able to call you by name and it will learn from your usage things like where you live, where you work, and what interests you have. All of this information will be stored in the Notebook, which is where you will be able to review the information that Cortana knows about you, and control that information. You will be able to review information before it is stored, and remove or edit anything that is in your Notebook. You will also be able to limit Cortana's access to things like your email, calendar, contacts, or location data.

If you do share location data and other info, Cortana will be able to give you suggestions, alerts, and reminders on a range of topics, including weather, stocks, directions, appointments, and music. It will even be able to manage do-not-disturb times to mute notifications, and provide exceptions for contacts that are in your Inner Circle. Interestingly, Cortana is expected to completely replace the Bing Search app, much like Google Now essentially replaced the Google Search app in all but name. You will be able to ask Cortana questions and issue commands as you might expect.

Understanding natural language is a very complex job, but Microsoft has years of experience with voice command and has demonstrated this on their Kinect for Xbox. We're certainly excited to see what Cortana can do and hope that Microsoft can deliver on these high expectations. Cortana is expected to be a part of the Windows Phone 8.1 update, which is due to be released in the summer with a developer preview in April. The voice assistant is also expected to make its way into Windows 9 in future. You can learn more on Windows Phone by checking out this huge list of Windows Phone 8.1 features, which was recently leaked.


source - The Verge
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