Cortana questions answered about India, the recent update, new features and more

Yesterday we reported on some new features and enhancements that were rolling out to Cortana for some users. Twenty-four hours later and we still aren't seeing the updates on our phones, but other users in our forums are having better luck.

First up, we should mention that there is a user in our forum named 'Talderon' who claims to work for Microsoft with specific knowledge about Cortana. While we have not been able to verify his authenticity, the information he posts is fairly detailed and interesting. None of what he reveals is secret, but rather specific functions of Cortana and status updates on known issues, etc.

As an example, Talderon claims that with the GeoFencing feature of Cortana, it is currently using a Radius of 200-500 feet for location-based reminders. However, this was not the original plan, which involves a more sophisticated 'Distance and Polygonal special awareness.' When this feature gets implemented, the accuracy of GeoFencing will take on a new level of precision:

"This means that we will determine the size and shape of a location (not just where the pin is for the address but the shape of the building(s) related to that address) so that on large areas (College, Mall etc.) you can approach it from any direction and once you get within a distance of a "Border," you will get reminded."

Cortana and India?

We know that Cortana will be coming to the UK and China in the coming weeks, but what about that other huge market in India? Talderon responds thusly:

"India is still being worked on, but it will be sooner than later. No guess on a date yet."

Will Cortana come to Xbox One and Windows 8?

What about the future of Cortana, and whether or not Microsoft is porting it to the Xbox One and Windows 8?

"Yes, it's coming, no, no ETA but I have been testing it on XB1 and it's very neat, especially when playing a Halo game."

Such a revelation should hardly be surprising as Microsoft would be crazy to not expand Cortana onto their other platforms. The real question is When? But if Talderon is credible, it's still very much a work in progress at the early stages.

There are other bits of interesting information in his first post, updated on a fairly regular basis.

Recent changes to Cortana

Talderon has provided a list of the current changes to Cortana that some users are reporting. Most of these we have already reported, but a few are new to us. They include:

  • Lines between "cards"
  • Better Sports "cards"
  • More/enhanced News "cards"
  • Interest Improvements
  • Flight Improvement (email parsing for more airlines and more accurate information on the "cards")
  • More Jen Taylor voice smoothing (less robotic even more so)
  • Enhancement to Chit-Chat (more jokes and songs and whatnot)
  • LOTS of bug fixes. LOTS.

Indeed, as someone who is currently traveling, I can finally note that the flight tracking has improved. On my previous trips, Cortana would not parse my emails to find the relevant flight information, even though TripIt had no problems. In heading out to E3 this week, my flight tracking information was finally discovered by Cortana and working flawlessly.

As an example of more/enhanced News "cards" and Interest improvements, reader Ploydd provided some screenshots of the new News interests, which now includes the super useful 'news near me.'

In addition, Ploydd noted 'Eat + Drink' now has more features when you tap to bring up the feature's configuration. We're not entirely sure if those are new, as even we have those choices on our version of Cortana, but then again, we have never seen them either. So either it's new, or it's just something we have never noticed. Regardless, the ability to choose food types, distance and romantic/kid friendly, is very useful.

We're still waiting on the rest of the changes, including those lines and new layouts. Have you seen the changes? Let us know in comments!

Finally, make sure you subscribe to that thread if you want to keep up on the latest happenings. All you need to do is login and tap the 'Subscribe to thread' button near the top. That way you can be daily updates on all the new news.



There are 154 comments. Sign in to comment

itsbrandonyo says:

What are some new things to ask her for Chit-Chat

You can ask for your name

Pratik Mehta says:

You mean,what is my name? That opens up that rihana song -.-

sd173 says:

It works for me.

x_rus_x says:

I tried "Say my name" and it said my name, happily. At least it didn't sing Destiny's Child as a reply.

LOL! I guess you select the option with a little grayed text "music" at the right corner, just type the question and hit enter. She'll respond ;)
BTW anyone knows if we'll get an update to see weather forecast in Celsius by default? I don't feel like saying "Hows the weather in [ place ] in Celsius?"

just in case you forget out of awe.

pookyjoralyn says:

Mine can't. She can say her name (Cortana) but not mine.

anoop s says:

I hope she would say "namaskar" lol..

lol thats for sure. I would love to have whole converstaton in Hindi.

Me: aur cortana kya ho raha hai ?

Cortana: sab kuch ka thoda kuch aur kuch nahin ka zara sa... :D


Keep on dreaming xD

sab kuch ka thoda kuch aur kuch nahin ka zara sa

LMAO! You made my day!!!


Suhasa Su says:

LOL, great convo. If that became real then I don't want a wife :D

Mai puchta, tu ne kisi ke saath sex kiya hai ?
Nahi kiya toh pr0n chaalu kar, dikhata hu :D

blackhawk556 says:

I understood sex and porn :)

JoRdaNeK says:

I like the possible geofencing improvements

blackhawk556 says:

This sounds very awesome. I would like an option to turn 4G off automatically as soon as I walk in my house and turn WiFi on as well. When I walk out, the opposite occurs. This would be awesome.

CrazyQwert says:

Yes! This so much!

Lipe13 says:

Exciting news!!!!

anandv427 says:

Welcome to India...:)

Dantekai14 says:

Do not welcome it now.
Cortana is not coming to India before 2015.
Never trust the sooner words.

mpt15 says:

Must you be such a pessimist?

Dantekai14 says:

I am realistic

Shes in india ever since the developers preview 8.1 released,and am happy with her abilities to do tasks,i aksed her questions regrding india and she dint disapointed a bit,asked population,current prime minister,getting directions to local restaurents,chineese,indian,coffee shops,shopping malls,famous temples,$ to Indian ruppe conversion,setting alarm,texting my friends with indian names( have to pronunce in american accent for most of them and most of indian things)i travell a lot so to get directions having indian names to streets,cities,states never occured any problem,again u have to say the names with american accent,also tried current news,movies,novels, and many more stuff, so shes doin a lot of stuff for me in india so wont wait for official indian cortana.

Dantekai14 says:

Is this a sarcasm?

Yup. Second half of 2015.

anandv427 says:

No saying prime minister ...president etc...even before official release...so always be positive:D

Haha. We already have it in the US but judging by Microsoft's soon response for the UK, you guys have a long way to go...

anandv427 says:

Lol...Most common term seen by a WP owner will be "soooooon"...:D

tN0 says:

Don't really like those thin lines between the cards. This is not Excel and it doesn't fit with the metro style IMO.

girishN says:

Agreed, but they're easily ignorable

twelvetudors says:

Sure they do. They serve a purpose, they're not pointless.

girishN says:

Yes, they're lines after all.

josh8_1 says:

I don't think so.... It is now better to see where a topic ends.... It's more cleaned up!

OMG55 says:

I've got them, southeast Texas

ScubaDog says:

My wife got it on her Lumia 1020 a couple of days ago, but still nothing on my 920 or my 1020.  Southwest Texas.

xconomicron says:

I got it on my 1020 (that I don't use as a daily driver), but not on my 1520's. South Texas.

TashiJLE says:

Still haven't received Cortana update, but 5th!

enzom09 says:

She seems to have stopped with some chit chat suggestions like when you ask her about Halo specific things...

fwaits says:

Just starting to see some of these changes today myself.  In Interests section of the Cortana settings, I see my Finance stocks synced there now and have noticed a couple new animations on the live tile.

RyanAMG says:

My wife's phone has the new stuff and mine doesn't and to make it sting a little more my wife doesn't even use Cortana.

Feel for you bro :)

lum5 says:

Waiting for wp8,1& cortana to India....hands crossed....

chad08er says:

July the WP8.1 update should start rolling out.

When I ask who is the prime minister of India? She says Narendra Modi! Wowww

Dantekai14 says:

When I asked google now who is the first,second, third so on president of India.
It is able to answer accurately where as Cortana just show search results.

Still a long way to go. Way toooo long

dcutting says:

It answers correctly for United States presidents

keifwoki says:

Prime ministers of Australia work ;)

Dantekai14 says:

Try Japan president

It happened very next second when Shri Narendra Modi took oath.

girishN says:

No! she replied with Manmohan Singh as well when I asked her the same a month back.

he said after taking oath!!that was not a month ago i suppose??

OHardy says:

NL925 in Jamaica and seeing the update.

A fellow Jamaican!!
Which network you on, Digicel or LIME and do you get 4G LTE?

Aman2901 says:

Ask for his resume also..

rui.silva450 says:

Some "Tell me a joke" answers now has first generation robotic voice... don't like it at all :/

And "What is my name" answer has this kind of voice...

spicypadthai says:

I have the update on my Icon, noticed it a couple hours ago.

dcutting says:

I've got the updates but haven't seen the quiz question that was mentioned in previous posts

Head to Cortana app and go dooowwwn to the bottom you'll see it and answer her with yes to begin the quiz

dcutting says:

Nope. Not there

rizzo183 says:

I had the quiz feature this morning, and i opened it, but had to quit midway. I can't find it anymore. Any idea how to bring it back and answer the quesitons again?


Brad Rush1 says:

I have an update from last week and haven't seen the quiz feature as well

harisyousaf says:

I asked her what's my name.. She replied correctly

awneze says:

If I say "what's my name" I get the drake and rihana song, but if I say "What is my name" she answers correctly

awneze says:

Ask cortana Who is president of any cun3? Who is coach of any team? Who is who of any who? And she says the answer. I used to just get a Wikipedia link.

boxa72 says:

Yeah got the new stuff today and I'm impressed! She's actually getting smarter

Tell her to sing a song , the " oh Danny boy the pipes....." Is so good voice and less robotic !!! I got the updates today and its very good!!!!

acl14 says:

I asked What is Machu Picchu ? She knew it. What is the currency in India? She answered that as well. Really cool stuff.

DarwinPurol says:

Cortana is just being fair to the countries who sold more WP and not because they're english speaking country...i guess.

hopmedic says:

Talderon is the real thing. He gave me some information, said not to release it, and about week later that information became a front page article here.

fabiohvsilva says:

Hi, i dont know why, but my girl (cortana) dont have any update on that. I already try boot and nothing. Any ideia?

RyanAMG says:

It looks to be rolling out slowly. My wife's Icon has it but my Icon and 928 do not.

lienantchain says:

Guess Your Girl is No More Yours :(

Aman2901 says:

How do you boot your girl??

I am able to see the lines between the cards

Captain_Eric says:

What are "cards? “

Posted via the WPC App for Android!

girishN says:

Something similar to Google now cards.

Erick Rada says:

Lol chit chat is improved so.

osars ehi says:

Finally received the Cortana update here, now she calls my name

keifwoki says:

Got it all!! Hehehe, 925 & 920 Aus ;)

gamo62 says:

To get the update, I had to change my region to UK, and then back to US. Once I did that, it asked me the four questions and I was good to go.

fabiohvsilva says:

I already try "who am I, tell my name, what is my name" and nothing only opens bingo search. I will need to reset my phone? Our that is a problem because I'm from Portugal and I'm using the u.s settings?

I got the update yesterday morning here in India. All this features like weather on live tiles and lines between cards etc except I still don't see Cortana feedback at the end of today view

You must have set region to US, right?

Jeff Woods says:

I would guess they will release Cortana for Xbox one with either the halo master chief collection or halo 5. My guess is the latter. Here's hoping

Ploydd says:

What's interesting are the changes I posted about but still have yet to see the feedback link people have talked about. I'm just so excited about all the cool changes going on right now. Been discussing with the wife if we should make the switch to AT&T for a 1520 but still on the fence.

RyanAMG says:

I love my Icon but I used my brothers 1520 for a week and I miss it. The only thing keeping me from getting it is ATT does not work at my house and office.

ven07 says:

I think I have the new sports cards but not sure

narv says:

It's very exciting to see how much work ms is really putting in to Cortana and she isn't just a "oh look, we have a voice assistant too. "

Can Cortana inform me about the FIFA world cup score?

I asked "say my name"
"you are maddy" yes! She can say your name..

harisyousaf says:

Currency conversion works

ricky2venki says:

Its good to see India in the post lets wish this actually happened

I guess when cortana is available in a country, bing will be improved a lot for local search. Maybe this is the time we could see a huge improvement in bing

Very interesting, I really like what Microsoft has been doing lately :)

Only two lines I thought a detailed report of when it will be launching in India supporting Hindi language and all will be there. Lol.

Aashish13 says:

Can we ask d for cricket updates????

Goodbyemoff says:

Waiting patiently for Australia support. Hopefully it arrives here before wp8.1 does. :)

keifwoki says:

Me too! And some AFL (Australian football league) replies in there would be nice as well... ;)

iyae says:

Works pretty well for me in Australia. I use it all the time

md_minhaj says:

What are cards??

swyrik says:

Is the update 8.1 coming to India or not? Please tell me the date.

Neelim Shyam says:

Working for me.. :)

vinayscxbox says:

Finally available here in Bangalore.
Except ASKING FOR NAME what extra CHIT-CHAT is included?

vinayscxbox says:

New live tile animations.

keifwoki says:

Hmmm, haven't got that yet :(

vinayscxbox says:

Got them just now. The update is slowly rolling out...

gamo62 says:

What kind of live tile animations? Mine just flips. One side the news, the other nothing.

vinayscxbox says:

Say her- CHANGE YOUR NAME. And hear the reply.. :P

she says my name since yesterday!

Cerif27 says:

Please! Dictating punctuation! Something like that would enhance the user experience far beyond asking a computer AI immature questions and it simply spitting out rote responses.

edjr07 says:

Looking like its live for me here San Francisco at around 7pm

tnadera says:

I have just received the update, and finally answered the questions for cortana...
Lumia 1520 in Egypt

eugie says:

Ok i like it, the best.

salman 355 says:

I have most of the new changes ..
Like the news near me.
And. what's my name..

mighty_stag says:

Pretty sure that should read "Distance and Polygonal *spatial* awareness"

Hello to every one .all the things are pretty nice with Cortana along with this I would like to suggest it will be nice if Cortana can remember the info of our choice regarding variety of aspects including our personal info and can just tell it out whenever I ask for the details. This is just an idea if possible I expect this as an update too.

Cortana and India.. Ohh Yeah!!

Bryon Burns says:

Is "Special Awareness" supposed to be "Spatial Awareness"? Just sounded funny in context.

@daniel.... You might want to compare cortana to another app called indigo. While i haven't got cortana i don't think i will need it as indigo is perfect and i would be interested to see if its the same. I hate to say this but cortana has a lot of competition with indigo at the mo

As soon as i turn indigo on she tells me the weather for the day and if i have any appointments coming up and also request the news. She can write my Facebook status, tell jokes, be sarcastic...etc....everything i need and its free on the app store. Well worth downloading for anyone who hasn't got cortana yet

zandos says:

What about Cortana in other countries in Europe? Any update?

Bernard Lee2 says:

I cannot update Cortana

Its a backend update!

Achal Shukla says:

Yes we Indians are waiting for Cortana since it was launched first.. Update us for the same whenever it arrives..

McHendry says:

i can't active my quiet hours, whereas i have been activated cortana.
when cortana is activated my battery 100% be faster run out.
activating Cortana =  drain the battery power

iyae says:

Weather is still in farenheit

My Cortana is not showing my interests.... Don't know what is wrong with her..... Anyone facing same problem??

mrdvos says:

Two days ago I had the same problems . Today everything is updated .

swizzlerz says:

I think it may be a fake.

mrdvos says:

No it is not. Just a little patience is needed.

thommck says:

After looking at this article I checked my Cortana daily summary and noticed the lines between the cards but then I scrolled right to the bottom of the list and it said "I can be more useful if I know more about you, do you want ato answer some questions?"


I then got asked four questions about what I like to do in the evening and when I'm travelling and the type of food I like to eat as well as my news topic priority.

Is this what people usually get on the first run of Cortana (I skipped mine) or are they new?


mayblast says:

Because of some extremely obvious non-news chattering, I call shenanigans on this guy.

"..and it's very neat, especially when playing a Halo game."

Heh, whatever Sherlock.

Also, sorry fanboys but, instead of relying on Cortana to remind me of my flights, I'd have my memory checked. Sure it's fun to have computer program to say your name, but quite frankly the practical implementations of Cortana are highly limited as they are.

ScubaDog says:

You clearly have no clue about what Cortana can or can't do if remind a person of their flights is the only thing you think it can do.  In as much as ALL digital assitants on phones are limited, Cortana has some advantages already and, because of the way the system is designed to dynamically become more advanced, will steadily become LESS limited.  And perhaps your life is not so packed full that relying solely on your memory is fine, but some of us have such busy schedules that having a digital assistant helps keep us not only from missing important things but from over-obligating our time.  My schedule is so tight I have to schedule dates with my wife.  And we have no kids.  I can only imagine how intense it would otherwise.  So, yes, some of us find hands-free capabilities of a smartphone very beneficial.

Yep got the changes to Cortana and even took the quiz. It is quite Challenging lol

I accidently refused to answer her questions , any one knows how to take it again??

Please make sound activation of Cortana like"hey cortana" instead of pressing search button or tap on cortana icon. and some usefull Q/A such a what time is it? or what's up? to read my notifications when i'm lying next to my phone!

Whens she coming to UK please?!

ScubaDog says:

Huh.  Still no update to either my 920 or 1020.  Very disappointing.

akaliel says:

Crazy that Canada isn't even on the radar.

For India before UK, then MS. Will surely win Indian market.

lyubomeer says:

Found a bug. When she says my name, she says it the way she wants to pronounce, not like I told her to. 

We are waiting cortana coming to indonesia ... I hope Microsoft will release cortana in indonesian too

alukard says:

Offline support would be cool too.

Jani Turunen says:

or when it comes to Finland as Finnish one of hardest languages to learn and now in september Xbox One get Finnish Speech Recognition in the first time so i think the it comes to windows phone and windows 8 so when cortana comes to finland and start to learn finnish difference accents, cortana have base what to improve too as adding words to database make it better in the long term as that database goes better and cortana learns those too and make it more personal as well