Windows Phone 8.1 Cortana features we know so far

Cortan 920

Yesterday a bunch of new details emerged about how Cortana will work in Windows Phone 8.1. This was the first time we really got a look inside how Microsoft’s voice-assistant will work, and how it will compete with Siri and Google Now. The features can best be described as a mix between what Apple and Google offer: a helpful assistant that can give you answers instantly, but also help you plan your day.

Since our post yesterday was essentially a wall of post we thought we would make a list of all the features we know so far. This list is liable to change as we learn more information about Cortana. As of the publication date on this article this is everything we know. Take a look below.

  • Launched through Bing search button
  • Looks like a circular animated icon
  • Animates when speaking and has a “personality” and “emotions”
  • Uses Bing, Foursquare, and other sources for contextual data
  • Notebook feature to control how much Cortana knows about you
  • Learns your behavior
  • Personal reminder
  • Searches can be done with voice and text
  • Can greet you by name
  • Reacts to certain phrases in messages and emails such as “let’s meet tomorrow at 8pm”
  • Provides info on stocks, weather, direction, music, appointments, and more
  • Do-not-disturb feature
  • Inner-circle of contacts that can break through do-not-disturb

All of these features make for a very impressive experience if it all works as described. That is where Microsoft will really have to prove itself. Users are salivating over these alleged details. If Cortana ends up being a half-baked product that doesn’t really work well it will be a huge disappointment. We need you now, Cortana.


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