News: Win­dows 8.1

The new OS pulls on to Nokia’s Lu­mia 930, with Cor­tana firmly in the driver’s seat

Australian T3 - - CONTENTS -

Win­dows Phone 8.1’s voice as­sis­tant is still in beta, but we down­loaded her for a quick in­ter­view any­way. But just how does Cor­tana stack up so far in the help stakes?

Well, she’s cer­tainly very thor­ough. Cor­tana wants to know ev­ery­thing about you, from Face­book de­tails to con­tacts, cal­en­dar ac­tiv­i­ties and even your aver­age nap time. Once you trust her with these de­tails – don’t worry, Cor­tana may be pow­ered by Bing, but she doesn’t share your de­tails with its servers – you’ll re­alise just how dis­or­gan­ised you were be­fore. Cor­tana is in­cred­i­bly good at keep­ing you on track, re­mind­ing you of events and find­ing con­tex­tual info, from traf­fic jams that may make you late for a meet­ing to po­ten­tial restaurants for din­ner.

You will have to speak up, though: no mum­bling on Cor­tana’s watch, she wants you to speak clearly and loudly as she learns your ac­cent. Per­se­vere, though, and there will rarely be any min­sun­der­stand­ings.

More in­tu­itive than Siri, more per­sonal than Google Now, Cor­tana is WP8.1’s se­cret weapon. Con­sider her hired.

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