Having a personal assistant on your phone is a must have feature for most modern Smartphone operating system, and Microsoft doesn’t want to be left behind as they struggle to convince the IOS and Android users that this is the mobile OS of choice. Microsoft is currently testing and readying a Windows Phone 8.1 update that is believed to include a new personal assistant. According to report from ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley the Siri-like feature, codenamed “Cortana” after the Halo Character, will let Windows Phone users interact with a handset through voice commands. Let’s note that the Windows Phone already includes basic voice commands, but Cortana looks to be a step further with a system that will learn and adapt.
It’s not clear exactly how Cortana will work on Windows Phone, but screenshots of Windows Phone 8.1 leaked earlier this year revealed that Microsoft is already testing the technology. Below are additional screenshots of Cortana in action. It looks like Microsoft is testing the ability to pull in weather information, notifications, and calendar events into a single central interface. The interface also includes location information, and access to Bluetooth controls.
The screenshots show an early test version of the app, and Microsoft’s Cortana UI and features are likely much more advanced now. Microsoft is expected to roll out its Windows Phone 8.1 update in early 2014.