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Cortana, Microsoft's Siri and Google Now-like search app, shown on video

News by Andrew Kameka on Tuesday March 04, 2014.

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A day after a screenshot emerged of Cortana, the voice assistant that will offer a Siri and Google Now-like search option for Windows Phone, a brief hands-on video of the device has appeared online. UnleashthePhones.com has obtained a leaked version of Cortana and shown in onscreen. The person recording the video doesn't say anything during the 2-minute clip, but it does offer some important information.

For starters, the video confirms what Tom Warren's original report said about Cortana being a glowing circle that animates when users interact with it. It also points to some Google Now-like features being included, meaning we can probably be even more confident about the other features Warren mentioned would soon arrive for Windows Phone.

Cortana requires a Microsoft account, which isn't surprising given the learning aspect. In order to track information across devices, which is optional, there needs to be a background sync option. Google Now also needs a Google account in order to get the full range of options.

Cortana starts by learning about the user. A setup process asks owners to identify what he or she would like to be called, and then asks some questions that are not being saved. An onscreen message states these are just test questions, so a different set of questions may be used when the project moves beyond beta testers. Current questions include queries about activities, general interests, food venue preferences, and news topic interests to gauge what information will be shown later.

"Quiet Hours" will be moments when Cortana springs into action an automatically silences notifications, calls, and text messages. Users have the option to allow calls from known contacts, and let Cortana turn on certain periods or during a calendar event.

Microsoft will showcase the new features of Windows Phone 8.1 next month, and you can bet that Cortana will feature prominently among those new capabilities.

source: Unleash The Phones, via: DailyMobile.net

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Andrew Kameka
Andrew is based in Miami, Florida.

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