Windows Phone 8.1, the next major update for Microsoft’s mobile operating system, is set to arrive on devices with a nice range of appealing features packed inside, but one of them stands out in the crowd, namely the personal assistant called Cortana.
The feature has been detailed a few times before, and a new video that offers a better look at its capabilities is now available for your viewing pleasure, courtesy of Unleashthephones.
The first thing that you’ll notice when it comes to Cortana is that it will ask you to sign in with a Microsoft account. Clearly, that should not be a problem, especially since many of the features packed inside Windows Phone require signing in.
Users will be able to launch Cortana in two ways, it seems. They can either find it on the Start Screen, or they can press the hardware Search button to bring it up (Windows Phone 8.1, however, will no longer require hardware buttons to be included on devices).
Cortana will work in a question-and-answer manner, supposedly in an attempt to better understand what the user wants and to narrow down search results.
The feature has been designed as “a personal assistant on your phone, ready to help with reminders, suggestions, tasks and lots more,” as the setup process visible in the video above shows.
Just as mentioned a few days ago, Cortana is contextually aware, which means that it delivers search results based on location, contacts, email information, text messages, search history, and the like.
Moreover, it is said to have been designed so as to learn more on the user through asking a series of questions:
“What are a couple of the most enjoyable parts of your everyday evenings?
When you think about food, what’s most important to you these days?
What are two of your main motivations for going out to an event/activity?
When you want to catch up on what’s going on in the world, which section do you go to first?”
Cortana is also capable of offering suggestions on the manner in which users can spend an enjoyable evening at home, with options such as reading, hanging out with friends, staying online, exercising, and more.
All in all, the personal assistant is indeed shaping up to be a great feature in Windows Phone 8.1, though it remains to be seen whether it will end up looking as seen in this video, given that it is still work in progress.
According to previous reports on the matter, we’ll be able to learn specifics on it only in early April, when Microsoft makes Windows Phone 8.1 official at BUILD conference, so keep an eye on this space for updates on the matter.