The 5 Best Features of Microsoft Windows Phone 8.1: Cortana
One of the most glaring advantages both Android and an iOS have over Windows Phone is in the hot category of intelligent personal assistants.
Siri and Google Now may not be perfect, but they are getting better and represent showcase technology — the kind of features iPhone or Galaxy owners show off to their friends — that Windows Phone completely lacks.
That makes Cortana, the new Bing-powered digital assistant, the star of the Windows Phone 8.1 release.
Named after an AI character from Microsoft’s Halo Xbox games, Cortana is a slick new implementation that combines the best features of Apple’s Siri (doing things for you) with Google Now’s proactive learning and notification. Cortana’s speech recognition is solid, Microsoft added the ability to easily modify what personal information it tracks (via a user-editable Notebook), and it’s adding hooks for developers to be able to integrate Cortana in their apps — something Apple does’t offer with Siri.
When Windows 8.1 is released, Cortana will still be in beta, but already looks to be serious competition for Google Now and Siri.