Windows 10 – Cortana

Anyone who has played Halo on Xbox knows who Cortana is. Those of us with Windows Phones have been using Cortana for a few years now. Very soon Cortana is coming to the Xbox One dashboard, woo hoo.

Menu (Hamburger) Icon

Many are calling the three line menu icon the “hamburger” icon so I’ll go with it. The menu icon will show us titles of the icons in the menu bar.

Home

Home is where we can see quick information. Weather uses the location service to show weather for our current location. The first time we use Cortana, she will ask what things interest us based on our location. These items can be added or removed depending on what you want to see at a glance. There are many categories; just a couple would be Best nearby Restaurants or Lifestyle. If you added your gym to Places; under Lifestyle you could add the Health Tracker to manage your workouts, see traffic conditions on the way there and more. Lots of things you can do here.

Notebook

Notebook is where we configure some of the items that we see on the Home panel. If we are logging in with a MSA (Microsoft Account) and have a Windows Phone 8 or 10 (I’m running Windows Phone 10 Preview on a Nokia 920 I have here), what we see here we see on our Windows Phone. If we change something here it is automatically changed on our Windows Phone and vice versa. On a Windows Phone to see Cortana’s notebook tap the Magnifying Glass then the Hamburger (three lines) icon.

Reminders

We can add and view our reminders here but usually we just tell Cortana to remind us. We set reminders by using the microphone or typing in the field at the bottom. The reminder you see in the image I:

  • Clicked on the Microphone
  • Said “Next time I’m at Albertsons remind me to get milk”
  • Cortana presented me with a list of Nearby Albertsons and asked which I preferred. I responded.
  • She set the reminder.

So now I’m in my car, in the parking lot that Albertsons is located; My Windows Phone goes off with a reminder to pick up milk.

If we add street addresses or flight information in our calendar entries. Cortana monitors traffic conditions and will notify us “you better leave now, if you want to make this appointment”.

Places

Music

Music is similar to Shazam. Click Cortana’s music icon and Cortana will listen to the music playing on our tv, radio or whatever; She will then display the song, album and artist. We can click on the results to get more info or purchase the music.

Help

As the title states; pretty self-explanatory.

Settings

Here we make changes as to the way Cortana acts. If you have Hey Cortana on, make sure you go through the Learn my voice steps.

Search

The field on the bottom is where we pretty much do everything. Type in, or use the microphone, to search the web or computer or set reminders. Below I wanted to find all things Corel physically on my PC.

I typed in Corel and then clicked the My Stuff button; You can see the results.

The final icon is Feedback. Feedback is currently for Preview users and at this point may or may not be in the final release.

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