Microsoft's voice assistant from today starts his career in Italy. Here's what he can do
Cortana, the voice assistant who in the United States, the United Kingdom and China has already been in beta for a few months, arrived also from us. Until a few hours ago there was not even an official date for his Italian debut, but starting today the voice assistant will be available in alpha version also in Italian, French and Spanish and German for all the developers who have installed the Windows Phone 8.1 Developers Preview.
But what will you be able to do in practice?
The vocal assistant created by Redmond unites in one original recipe Siri's personality and flexibility in its ability to predict your needs which has made Google Now famous. The function is called up using the button with the magnifying glass, the one that until now brought you to the Bing search engine. A short press for requests in text format, a long one for voice recognition.
On request, Cortana fixes move appointments, sends messages, routes calls, takes you to your destination by activating the navigator for you, searches Bing, Wikipedia and other sources, monitors the weather, advises nearby places, keeps an eye on the traffic … In short, all that even opponents could do. Plus, ha several aces in the sleeve.
First, Cortana (as recently also Google Now) trained in collaborate with other applications. As long as the developers have provided this option, it is possible to activate different functions of third-party apps also by contacting her. For example you can directly start a video call in Skype, upload your latest video on YouTube, or tell the Fitbit app what you just ate or what physical activity you have just completed, to automatically record the calories you take or dispose of in your diary . With the spread and with time, it is expected that more and more software will integrate with Cortana expanding its capabilities.
Furthermore, like the Google Now cards, Microsoft's voice assistant keeps an eye on your habits: both by asking you questions during the setup phase, and by making inferences about your daily behavior. And based on your profile it provides you in advance useful information to everyday life.
When you call it it welcomes you with a customizable screen that can include news, weather, results from your favorite team, concerts, interesting places nearby and much more. If he has something urgent to tell you, Cortana appears in the form of a notification: maybe to warn you of a traffic jam on the way to the office or to the place of your next appointment on the calendar, advising you to travel early.
All seasoned with a series of little gems. Cortana can fix the reminders based on particular circumstances, like the place where you are ("Remind me to take soy sauce when I pass by the supermarket", with the possibility of choosing a particular store or any one) or the person you are talking to ("Remind me to congratulate Flavio as soon as I hear it"). Or highlight dates and times in your messages and emails and turn them into appointments with a single touch.
With the upgrade to Denim, coming up in the coming weeks, Lumia 930 and 1520 owners will also be able to call it from standby pronouncing the magic formula "Hey Cortana" – although this function is not yet provided for the languages released today. The localization of a complex software like the one behind Microsoft's voice assistant, in fact, impossible to do through simple translation: in order for Cortana to speak in Italian, the programmers had to start the development from scratch.