If it seems like you're always hearing about Cortana updates, it's because you are. It was earlier this month that Cortana picked up a coin flip/dice rolling feature for all of your tough life decision needs. Around the same time, Cortana received an update that allowed her to speak Klingon. Those updates are fun, but now Microsoft is providing a much more serious update to Cortana on Windows Phone that includes practical features. So what's new?
- Daily Glance (Evenings): Typically, you get commute times to work and a weather forecast in the morning but nothing really for the evening. Users can now access Cortana to provide things like commute times home, dinner plans, alarms, etc. to make sure you can finish the day the way you want to.
- Concert Watch: Cortana learns your musical preferences based on Bing-powered searches. The more you search using Windows 8-based or Bing services, the better Cortana can provide concert updates in your area (within 100 miles of your location). Using the notebook setting within Cortana and selecting Music will give you the option to activate automatic alerts when you enable "Concert Watch".
- Chat Cards (Flights): Cortana is always analyzing your behavior with your devices, so it's no surprise that Cortana will now look for flight inquiry patterns. Looking up the same flight twice in one week toggles a prompt in which Cortana will want to know if that flight is important. Flight information will be accessible directly through Cortana until the flight event passes. This feature is launching in the USA only for the time being.
- Chat Cards (Apps): Another chat card addition is coming in the way of location-based app recommendations. If you're near an area like Anaheim, CA, Cortana will scan your phone and suggest apps useful in your area. If you owned Disney Expedition, Cortana will display a notification on your screen to use the app. Ignoring the notification multiple times will teach Cortana not to suggest it in the future.
If the barrage of commercials pitting Cortana against Siri isn't already an indicator, the team behind Cortana is working hard and fast to make the Windows Phone assistant a cut above the rest. Perhaps that's why Cortana will be at the heart of all Windows products with the release of Windows 10 next year. If nothing else, Cortana has become the platform from which to sell Windows Phones.
Source: Microsoft | Image via Playtech