Cortana, the virtual assistant, on Windows Phone comes with so many features that using it for the first time is fun and productive at the same time. Even though limited there are a couple of things Cortana does well. Below is the list of features that you should be using with Cortana.
Note:If Cortana is not available in your region, switching region can enable it. Read How
#1 Location Based Reminders:
Want to get reminded about picking up your kids on the way to home or call your wife once you are at work? Cortana can do that if you can help her pin point your places. If you have already used Cortana for a while, it would have already tracked your home and work location. If not follow up these steps first :
- Hit the Search button to launch Cortana.
- Open Cortana’s Notebook by tapping on the three horizontal lines stacked on top of each other on top right.
- Select Places
- Add your locations
Once that’s done, it’s time for reminders. You can say “Remind of picking up kids when I leave from work or leave to home or leave to any of your favorite places”. Once confirmed, as you move away few meters of your office, a reminder should popup.
#2 Reminders When You Call:
Want to make sure to ask your Grandma about her health next time you call her? Cortana has nice solution for this. Set a reminder based on your contacts and a small inline reminder would show as the call connects. You’ve got to see it in action to love it.
#3 Turn on or Wi-Fi on demand
Some of you just hate that the Wi-Fi button is not a pure toggle you wanted, so you can just say Cortana “Turn off the WIFI” and she will switch it off for you. Say “Turn on Wi-Fi” and the Wi-Fi turns on for you.
Note: This can be applied to any of the settings on Windows Phone which works on toggle. Bluetooth, Airplane Mode and so on.
#4 Find which Song is being played:
A song you are listening on phone or one being played around you, Cortana can find the info for you just like apps like Shazam. Just say “What is this song that is playing” or “Which Song is this”.
#5 Tell Cortana your Contacts Nick Name:
You would want to say, “Call My Wife” instead of “Call First Name, Last Name”. Cortana lets you do that. Add nick name to your contacts using Crotana’s Inner circle and it will easier for you to make calls.
Thanks to Facebook Integration, people who are close to you, have same family name and in your interest list are automatically added here. You can add up to 3 nick names per contact.
#6 Change Appointments & Alarm
Cortana can change your appointments on the fly. If you remember you have an appointment at 12 next day, just say “Change tomorrows appointment at 12” and then follow up to change time. BTW, Cortana can also tell you the conflicts when you are changing appointments.
You can do the same thing with Alarm as well.
#7 Change Music
Just say change track or next track and Cortana will change it to next music in your playlist or anything if random.
#8 Open Websites
When you pin website to start screen, Cortana can launch it like any other app. Just say the name of the tile. I really wish it was as simple as Launch WindowsPhone.com
#9 Pin Cortana to Start Screen
Cortana gets into “Daily Glance Mode” when you launch it from Start screen than from Search button. It will tell you about latest news, calendar appointments and so on. The live tile is transparent, notification and the pulsating cortana circle just looks supercool.
#10 Get Instant Directions
Visit a place often? Add them to favorites and ask Cortana to drive. So for example you can just say “Drive to School” if school is included. This will launch the navigation app you have selected in your maps settings.
#11 Let her read your text messages and reply
This is not new but it’s Cortana doing it for you and it’s pretty sweet. Just enable auto read functionality in your text message settings and Cortana will prompt you when a text message arrives. You can use your voice to reply back to take over using the prompt buttons.
#12 Open Sites:
Just say Open Google or Open Yahoo, and it will launch the most popular sites without you needing to add extension.
#13 Offer Greetings on Special Day
Festivals are important, and precious for everybody. Cortana being a personal assistant can not free you on such happy occasions. You need to enable this manually by going to Notebook > Settings > and Scroll down to find the new Special Days section. Enable this and you are all done.
#14 Find Flights, Payment Reminders and more:
Similar to Google now, when you allow, Cortana can look for Flight Information, Bill Due Dates, and set reminder for you. You an enable it form Notebook Settings.
#15 Missed Call Notifications:
If you are busy working on your Windows 10 PC, and had no time attend you phone, Cortana makes sure that you don’t miss your calls. Turn it from the settings, and Cortana tells you on your other devices when you miss call on this phone.