Personal assistance apps coming to the desktop was only a matter of time and the Windows 10 preview build released a few days ago gives us a look at how Cortana will work on your desktop. Integrated with the search feature that debuted with Window 10, it’s more than just a way to push people to use Bing. We took it for a spin and here are three things you do with Cortana, and a guess at what else you will be able to do with it once the feature rolls out in the final version.
1. Look Up Weather
This is a seriously old trick for personal assistant apps/features. Siri can do it, Cortana can do it on the Windows Phone, Google Now does it, you can ask Chrome to look up the weather for you and with Windows 10, all you have to do is say ‘Hey Cortana’ and ask it what the weather is.
2. Add A Reminder
Cortana comes with a neat Reminder feature and you can use simple voice commands like, ‘Add a reminder’ to add one. The reminder can be set for a place or for a particular time. Not only can you dictate what the reminder is for but also speak where or what time you want to be reminded. Reminders can be set to repeat. For places to work as a trigger for the reminders, you will first need to add them.
3. Search The Web With Bing
This feature is pretty standard with most personal assistance apps and the execution is really what makes any difference. With Cortana, anything you say that it doesn’t comprehend as a command will be sent to an online search with Bing. It will use your default browser and not force you to use Internet Explorer.
These three features are currently up and running on the Windows 10 build released a few days back but there are a few commands that give us the message in the screenshot below, one of which was asking Cortana to find a place to eat. Cortana does come with a Places feature so perhaps in future updates, or as we continue to populate our favorite places, the feature might work.