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Windows Phone 8.1 to "get its own Siri"

Lumias

By Shona Ghosh

Posted on 17 Dec 2013 at 09:18

The next version of Windows Phone might feature its own Siri, a voice-activated personal assistant called "Cortana".

The company has reportedly been working on its own voice assistant for months, and will integrate the new feature into the upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 update, according to The Verge.

Cortana will replace the current Bing search on Windows Phone devices, and reportedly borrows features from Google Now and Siri, such as learning the user's location and meeting reminders.

The Verge also reports that Microsoft is going ahead with a new notification centre for Windows Phone, letting users view their settings and notification history by swiping from the top of the screen.

Microsoft is also making smaller usability tweaks, such as introducing separate volume controls for media playback and ringtone. It's also adding Bing Smart Search, Microsoft's comprehensive tool for searching photos, documents, apps and the web on Windows 8.1.

It may add on-screen buttons for search, home and navigation, in the style of Android.

It's expected that Microsoft will preview Windows Phone 8.1 at its developer conference in April.

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User comments

its a clear Halo reference. I wounder if that's a marketing thing or just they just thought it was apt.

By PhilGQ on 17 Dec 2013

Wonder if it will have the voice of the character.

By JamesD29 on 17 Dec 2013

I read about this months ago, apparently it was work in progress for a couple of years under project name "Cortana" in ref to Halo but the name has stuck as frankly it's pretty cool.

By JStairmand on 17 Dec 2013

Appetite?

Does anyone actually use Siri (or any other Voice search software)? I've genuinely never seen anyone use it in the wild. Maybe it's just an in car thing?
Do love the name though, althought I think Microsoft needs to be careful not to milk the Halo brand dry

By ElDiabloJuanCarlos on 17 Dec 2013

Meh...

As a WinPhone 8 user I'd rather have an easy way to switch Wifi on an off (like Android has had for ages) so I don't have to go digging in the bowels of the settings screen. Also having IE remember passwords, and a reliable media player with better controls and proper playlost support would be much more useful than a 2nd-rate Siri clone.

By stuarthamlin on 17 Dec 2013

@stuarthamlin

At the risk of advertising services:
You need either '" Connectivity Shortcuts" or "Outsider" both free in the Marketplace and offer Tiles that can be pinned to the home screen for various function including WiFi, Bluetooth and Airplane Mode.

By nickallison on 17 Dec 2013

As there isn't a swipe left from homescreen why not make this for the notifications and have them in chronological order and use the swipe down from the top, or swipe up from the bottom for quick access settings? Infact why bother with settings keys in app? Why not make these actions to default "settings" action?

By wyson on 17 Dec 2013

As there isn't a swipe left from homescreen why not make this for the notifications and have them in chronological order and use the swipe down from the top, or swipe up from the bottom for quick access settings? Infact why bother with settings keys in app? Why not make these actions to default "settings" action?

By wyson on 17 Dec 2013

Cortana will be useless in the UK if its tied to the equally useless Bing data. Once I was standing outside a Michelin Star restaurant near various trendy bars in Central London. I did a local search that only show up fast food outlets like McDonalds.

By wyson on 17 Dec 2013

@stuarthamlin

Just stick the settings tile on the home screen. Then it's hit the tile, hit wifi, then on or off. Takes about 3 secs max.

By TigerUnleashed on 17 Dec 2013

@ElDiabloJuanCarlos

Sadly it is not a car thing as it doesn't work in a car. First it can't understand you, and secondly it needs a 3G connection which rules out half of the UK. As 5 year old phones could do voice dialling I had expected things to have improved not got worse.

By tirons1 on 17 Dec 2013

@ElDiabloJuanCarlos

I have an original iPad Mini and have never used Siri, not even to test it.

By Alfresco on 18 Dec 2013

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