Cortana is not only a good-looking artificial intelligence character from the Halo game series, it has also become the official voice-operated digital assistant from Microsoft. And because it is also available on Android, it competes directly with Google Now.
Which one is superior? That is a topic for another day. What we do know is the Search Giant’s solution is not for everyone, so we thought we would show you a bit about how Cortana actually works. The application officially came out of beta about a couple of months ago, so it’s time to get playing with it, right?
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What is Cortana?
Cortana is Microsoft’s response to services like Google Now and Siri. In a nutshell, it is a digital assistant application that will help you better organize your life through voice commands, quick options and proactive information. You can easily set alarms, organize your calendar, get details on the latest popular sports games, contact people and even joke around (Cortana has a great sense of humor!).
Most of the magic will happen here. The Home section is where you can either type your inquiry or start a voice action. These commands are right at the bottom of the page. Simply type or use voice to perform any commands. One can easily ask Cortana to search for content, set reminders/alarms, place phone calls, send messages, show the weather and more. Just tap the text or microphone section to jump into action.
Look a bit higher and you will see a crowd information, though. Microsoft has decided to put its cards front and center. Much like Google Now, Cortana presents you with card-style blocks that offer a quick look at relevant information. This will include content like weather, local events, news, sports, travel info, finance updates, food within your vicinity and more. It can all be controlled from the Notebook section, which we will touch on next.
The whole point about services like Google Now and Cortana is that they are personalized. This is a digital assistant, and like a human assistant it has to know you very well. What kind of cards would you like to see in Cortana?
You can now customize your experience to help Cortana provide better information, proactively. Simply hit the 3-line menu button on the top-left corner and tap on “Notebook”. You will be presented with a bevy of options to customize the experience. Start by changing your name to a nickname (it can be whatever you want) under About Me. You can also make a list of your favorite places from the same spot.
Move down the list and you will find a long list of cards to opt in and out of. I would just go through the whole list and customize my experience as much as possible. We know it takes time, but it will really help Cortana get things started. It is pretty thorough, something I happen to like.
We suppose the main difference between Cortana and Google Now is that the latter is a bit more… knowledgeable, at least at first. Google can pull information from all your emails, calendar and other sources. It seems Cortana is a bit more limited in this sense, which is why you need to do things manually.
Cortana is simple… and that’s how it should be. A digital assistant should take a load off your shoulders, not add more chores and preparations to your daily routine. This is something one can clearly see when tapping that Settings option.
For starters, about a third of what we find here consists of legal literature. You know, service agreements and such. We will ignore these for now (as you do).
The settings we actually care about will be mostly on the top part of the Settings page. One cool option is the ability to choose whether or not you want other Cortana-powered devices to get missed call notifications when you… miss a call on your phone. It can be handy if you forgot to take your phone off silent, or you left it charging in a soundproof room somewhere else in the house .
Guys, this is the in-depth analysis of the Cortana App. Its a great attempt by Microsoft to help improve our lives and improve the quality assistance of out Android device. It’s the biggest competitor for the existing Google Now. So now it’s your choice. What will you prefer? Cortana or Google Now.