3 Things Cortana Can Do Better

Cortana is conceptually an amazing tool. Based on what I’ve read it’s a Google Now meet Siri on Windows Phone. A year ago I wrote the following:

The bigger problem with Microsoft is that while Apple & Google are perfecting Siri & Now, MSFT is busy figuring out whether Windows Phone is part of Windows or stands by itself, what core code it uses and who owns it. By the time MSFT figures this out, it’ll be too late to be relevant for at least a few years.

Cortana changes all that. Bing changes all that, that’s for those idiots who’ve been telling MSFT to abandon Bing. I’ve been playing with Cortana on 8.1 dev preview and here are 3 things I’d want from Cortana.

1. One Cortana

As it is in the dev build, Cortana launched from the Search button is different to the Cortana launched from the “app”. For one, that’s baffling, and two – Cortana’s not an app – it’s artificial intelligence. It’s higher than app, turning it into 1 belittles the power of Cortana.

2. Move Music Button 

This isn’t a big deal but more of a pet peeve on a large screen phone. During the days of Bing search on Windows Phone, tagging a song was convenient – hit search, tap the music icon at the bottom – and it starts doing its thing. With Cortana, the button has moved – somebody moved my cheese to a place where it’s just hanging in the middle. Instead, it can be moved to the bottom, next to the arrow. This a) brings it back to a familiar place, and b) it’s a quick 2-tap effort.

3. Make Cortana my assistant

I’ve never had an assistant but what I’ve wanted is someone to read me the top headlines of the day while I do my morning chores, tell me the weather outside, when’s my first meeting, and what my commute looks like.

Now if I had an assistant, would that person hand me a list of all this or recite these to me as I do my morning activities? Reciting makes sense since well, I can hear things without having to use the phone and fixate my eyes on the screen.