Digital assistants are just one of the fascinating and incredibly useful gadgets that make up the selection of up and coming features soon to be found on every smartphone. In the UK however, options are very basic, with Apple’s Siri the most obvious and most prominent choice for fans of cutting edge tech.
However, Microsoft’s Cortana, the new girl in town, is set to arrive on UK shores when the next Windows Phone 8 update comes around. Cortana boasts some of the newest and greatest features for a digital assistant, such as an even more intuitive interface and an intimate knowledge of the info stored on your phone, such as contacts. For example, you can tell Cortana to screen calls from certain callers after a certain time of night – that’s just a small example how complicated her systems are.
Here’s an advertisement from Microsoft showing off the intelligence of Cortana, and some of the tasks she can perform which Siri apparently can’t keep up with.
Now, we all know Cortana as the sidekick character from Halo, a smart AI whose problem solving skills help the player out in many tricky situations. The character in the games is voiced by Jen Taylor, who also lends her voice to Cortana’s phone counterpart. However, a leak via Twitter has outed the upcoming UK version of the digital assistant as having a British accent, voiced by a different as yet unnamed star. Halo fans in the UK may be disappointed.
In further development news, we could also soon have the ability to chat with Cortana in our cars, as the update notes for Windows Phone 8.1 GDR1, aka the upcoming ‘Update 1’ patch, adds a phone book entry for Cortana, meaning that users will be able to ‘call’ her from their in-car hands free or navigation system for help and info. This increases compatibility with Cortana in cars that arn’t able to link with her via Bluetooth.
We don’t yet know when Cortana is coming to the UK, but speculation states that, since the software is going out to China on the 30th of July, that folks in the UK should also receive the software around that time too.