Meet Your New Digital Assistant
Many of you have used or heard of Siri and Google Now that helps you use your phone hands-free and makes things a lot faster. On Windows phones, Cortana has existed for a while to help you do all the same things Siri and Google Now do, by letting you control your phone with your voice.
Cortana is now going to be part of Windows 10. This means that whatever device you have that is running Windows 10; whether it’s your phone, desktop, laptop, tablet, or even Xbox, you will always have a digital assistant to help you out.
So who is Cortana? She’s your very own personal assistant who can help you search the web, find things on your device, keep up with your calendar, and even just have a chat and share some jokes with you.
In Windows 10; Cortana can be accessed by the circular icon next to your Start Menu button, by searching the Start Menu, or by hitting the Windows Key and S key at the same time. When you open up Cortana’s interface, you’ll be greeted by a quick overview of your day. In this overview you can see calendar appointments, reminders, alarms, and shortcuts to items that are most often used, like the calculator. Now we’ll get into some of the noteworthy features of Cortana.
Cortana has access to many things via the internet, and one of those things is to quickly pull up the weather forecast using your current location so that you can plan your day accordingly.
You can set up reminders using Cortana. When the time comes, she will notify you of the event and you can modify the reminders at any time. If you want to set a reoccurring alarm, you can also set the reminders to continue on a schedule.
Cortana’s notebook is where she keeps all of the information she learns about you. Based on where you are and where you’ve been, she can suggest new restaurants to eat at, places to see, movies and shows to watch, and even track your favorite sports team. The notebook is also where you can manage settings for your meetings and reminders, finances, events, and the latest news. Cortana’s notebook is mainly for her to keep up with you, but it’s also where you can manage what she knows about you.
To give an example of how Cortana can really make life easier, I decided to let her find the square root of 9000. I have no idea how to enter that function into a calculator, but all I had to do was ask Cortana what the answer was and she did the calculating for me. With even equations that sound a bit weird when typed in a sentence such as “what is 8 to the 4th power?”, Cortana knows what you’re looking for and pulls the answer right up.
If you’re on a Windows 10 phone or have a microphone on your tablet, laptop, desktop, or Kinect for your Xbox; you have the option to call up Cortana’s assistance immediately by saying “Hey Cortana”. You can even set her to respond to only your voice so that she doesn’t respond to background noise or other people talking. To have Cortana respond to your voice commands; you just preface a sentence, command, or question with “Hey Cortana..” and she will immediately start listening without delay. This means you can work with Cortana entirely hands-free.
These are just a few of the features of Cortana, she has many more uses that are found out by integrating her assistance into your daily life. If you don’t want her adapting to your preferences and tracking your info, you can disable all of her tracking capabilities and still use her for keeping reminders and locating information for you. She can also sing and has a sense of humor, so I’ll leave this joke for you.
Besides my love for computers, I am a motorcycle fanatic. I have a background in Office 365 support and windows server.