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How To

Use Cortana to wake you up

Windows Phone 8.1

Poll: Will you talk to Cortana in public?

With the Windows Phone 8.1 Preview for Developers out in the open and available for download, we're sure many of you are thoroughly enjoying the highly requested features included in the release. A major new feature is Cortana and we'd like to know how you plan to utilize the new personal assistant.

Voice assistants usually (as the name suggests) require some type of speech input from the user but not everyone likes this or feels comfortable speaking into a smartphone (when not actively calling someone). Luckily, Microsoft has made it so you can either use speech or text to interact with Cortana.

Which do you prefer?

While we're on the subject of Cortana and Windows Phone 8.1, why not check out discussions and more over on our community forum?



There are 240 comments. Sign in to comment

Sam Sabri says:

My relationship with Cortana will definitely be dependent on those around. In public with a bunch of strangers around? Probably not so much talking. At home? Well you've seen the movie 'Her' right? ◕‿◕

Zeroplanetz says:

That's way to funny lol!

ITMaster68 says:

I just saw it last night..It was very interesting to say the least..  Lots of different levels to it.. Very though provoking..

rockstarzzz says:

I already have touched second base with her. Our relationship has no boundaries anymore. We are cool like that. She already reminds me to buy her flowers!

NIST says:

I've touched her circle inappropriately. We're an item now.

blackprince says:

Dude its ok to love your phone but don't love your phone. Unless the headphone jack is your size of course.

wpguy says:

Thanks to you, the people in the next office over have invaded my space.

exkerZ says:

Hahahaha xD

-- Sorry if I am mean, I just dislike mean people! --

Nimdock says:

Yes, for me it will really depend on who's around.

I've found her sense of humor most enjoyable but unfortunately when I asked her to marry me she turned me down.

MrA2Z says:

I got this answer "Ok, we'll need plan. I'll work on being more human, you work on being more digital" lolsss

Bee Mon says:

I think she's already 'engaged' to your phone ;-)

ArchieVellie says:

Lmao that's a good one.

LSDigital says:

I think you should assume/accept your relationship or else she's going to whine about it and leave you, sooner than later :p


Bilal_Fakih says:

Oh btw i just watched it, and im wondering...Are we ganna full in love with the OS. Crap i think we are going towards this path and hey its a bit scary i guess. 


nakialj says:

@Sam I agree with you

Posted via the WPC App for Android!

arn6735 says:

Just learned that she's like to hear songs like

FUS3360 says:

Lol!! When they first unveiled Cortana, I immediately thought of that movie..

Jas00555 says:

In public? Nope

At home? She will call me chief

Yousef Kawmi says:

dammit but i'm the Chief ! 

Novron says:

Cut mine short, I'm just "Master."

punkJD says:

I'm master too.
I think we all have had the same ideas. Damm.

Pranay1995 says:

For me, "your highness"..


but I keep changing it... Superman, Kal-El, CyberAngel, etc

Peter, Tony, Logan, etc

Osmosics says:

No, I don't even talk to people in public... ;-)

iZangetsu says:

+1520 there's no need, right?

RyanAMG says:

I'm with you on that

wpguy says:

It's why texting was invented. Why converse, when your fingers can do the talking...

mikosoft says:

Welcome to introvert club 

lonerider_wp says:

Dan, im from India and i managed to install Cortana as per wpcentral directions. But just one the the music thingy on cortana doesnt appear. The where yoh can capture the sound and search for it. Please help. :) cheers!

KarateDad says:

SoundHound is much better anyways.  It shows the lyrics too!

lonerider_wp says:

Noted mate. Thank you so much :)

theesummer says:

Go to>account>region/location>change from India to united states. It'll work for sure bro..!!

MikeSo says:

Only if I'm drunk.

Rockartisten says:

Same here. So, always.

This guy is doing it right.

MilanTomic says:

This guy is going places

JoseCortesP says:

Yeah me too... So I'm getting drunk tonight

Zomby Jeezus says:

Hahaha, sooo true

More than likely. As long as it's not noisy

Dagolara says:

Nope, nor in private. If I use it it will be via typing. 

Laura Knotek says:

Same here. I prefer typing rather than talking for just about everything.

Bee Mon says:

I would thought so before too, but this morning I set a new alarm while still in bed with just one finger and the rest with my voice. "Wake me up at 8:00am". I think once someone needs it, and have used it, one may find it be not be as gimmicky as one thinks and actually find it to be quite irresistably useful :)

Laura Knotek says:

Surprisingly, I did try talking (mainly to help people in the forums--I asked Cortana, "What is the temperature in Celsius?" to get an answer to help a member). Cortana understood me with no glitches.

AgentSplurge says:

Interesting. I hate typing. Probably because I use a keyboard all day in work and I get lots of texts too. I prefer texting to phoning but if I can I'd probably rather use Cortana to text than type. That said, not in public!!

I'll use in public but just for reminders not anything personal

JPDVM2014 says:

Same here. The reminder functionality is great. But other than that, I don't see myself talking to her in public.

Loco5150 says:

No, I most likely wont be talking to her even when Im home ... I expect to be writing mainly, but well see...

I take craps in public... This is nothing

Arsee17 says:

That was you?

jibreezy1982 says:

You been eating corn huh?

Zomby Jeezus says:

You should crap and talk to cortana in public. "Cortana, where is the nearest public restroom?" "kaynachtsman, definitely not where you are shitting right now. I can make a note to not shit here next time you pass by (geofencing reference)"

Bee Mon says:

Well I think she can help remind you when and where is the best place to crap sorted by ratings.

kaynachtsman says:

I do not fear what other people think when i talk to my phone but I live in Germany so people will think :"Why does this A#$hole talks to his phone in English?"

greedypnguin says:

You either live in a extremely aggressive town, or your being a tad paranoid :P

kaynachtsman says:

A bit of both ;)

Bee Mon says:

Well just tell them you're just being nice to a foreign girl and she loves you speaking English with your German accent.

smartfonefan says:

Depends on how reliable she is. If she works well then she'll be practical and impressive but if she isn't reliable she'll make you look like a right *******

Not gonna be talking to Cortana in public.. But in the privacy of my own home? Serious interrogation

JRich442 says:

Only when I'm cursing Siri.

Bee Mon says:

I've not talked to her about Siri yet. It's a touchy subject that I think it's the best not to get into with her. :)

asoyemi says:

My wife has iPhone 5 and I have L925, she used Cortana and ask her "Cortana, Do you like Siri?" Cortana responded "Hard to say, So far our cversations have been kind of one-sided"

mango.lover says:

I've been whispering to her, lol

ventron says:

Oooo yeah. Just would be nice if it was the actual Cortana voice and not the generic female voice

HotJava says:

I suspect that I'll treat it like a phone call. If the setting allows me to have a phone conversation then I'd likely use Cortana the same way. However, I always use ear buds to chat on the phone so I have already been using them with Cortana in the same fashion.

Leon Frem says:

I don't even have the Cortana app. But the region is the US and I have windows 8.1. Someone please help me

Go to the settings(system), tap and change language, region, and speech to English (United States). Restart the cellphone & there you go. Wordflow is quick!

dwbmb says:

Nope, since it is not available here.

Nejcooo says:

Add option: I cannot even use it unless I change my language because MS loves Europians

Robewms says:

If I need her, I'm gonna use her.

ebradley says:

Bluetooth works great

Rockartisten says:

If she came in Swedish, I think I would use it for certain tasks. Quickly asking my phone for directions would be fine, but constantly speaking to it would feel weird. Also, it depends on the environment of course.

lubbalots says:

Cortana worked for me this morning. Now she keeps saying can't connect right now!

praveen11091 says:

maybe she is busy with someone else..... u should better breakup with her....

lubbalots says:

Our first date and she's already cheating.

Bee Mon says:

Maybe you should check her notebook to be sure before the accusations.

Sean D. says:

Add one more line; Yes if the situation calls for it (like one hand is wrapped around a drink, or a chick or something like that).

JoseCortesP says:

Once important thing is for those of us using Cortana outside US, we don't speak English in public... Not me at least

I already look like I'm talking to myself with the Bluetooth at least now I don't have to sound so robotic.

HotJava says:

My 1520 is my life in that I use it for everything. I am essentially paperless. I expect that Cortana will allow me to be even more efficient at getting things done!!! So yes in public absolutely but still with my ear buds on.

Prensescim says:

Nope..can't do! Θ_Θ ;D


She doesn't talk back to me. I just get searches.

davenom says:

Same here, has anyone found a fix for this? Lumia 1020 US.....

lubbalots says:

I know the issue now. Cortana doesn't work over wifi in my house! Fudge!

Frank_Yang says:

But I'm in China and speaking English is so weird

Sean D. says:

Probably as weird as being in china and being named 'Frank'.


Frank_Yang says:

Cuz Cortana can't support Chinese!

Bee Mon says:

Not now but maybe later. She's still in early Beta. You can still speak to her in English for the moment even with a heavy chinese accent as long as you speak with confidence. You don't have to grammatically perfect, just annunciate the key words clearly.



Coman Bogdan says:

Im a romanian who lives in Italy and speaks with his phone in  english  on the streets...Seems legit.ANd yes,every task i asked to make ,she performed,so you dont have to have a perfect english.

In her current state, I have no intention of using her at all. Not until they refine her for the UK market.

Novron says:

She already is refined for the UK. She has no teeth.

Fair point. Though she's clearly designed more for the American audience, being so round and all. ;)

DalekSnare says:


Well played.

HaibaneReki says:

Aww, you tell him. =P

asoyemi says:

Zeem Frostmaw says: In her current state, I have no intention of using her at all. Not until they refine her for the UK market.

Novron says: She already is refined for the UK. She has no teeth.

Zeem Frostmaw says: Fair point. Though she's clearly designed more for the American audience, being so round and all. ;)


ASoyemi says: Ouch - Aaagoony...I left that below the belt, it oits...

jibreezy1982 says:

Nope, not in public..

TJWINS says:

Hell yeah I will

daredevildan says:

Probably not but I will say it seems more socially acceptable to use your voice assistant nowadays.

Nick Derrico says:

Probably not that often, because I know if somebody sees me, they'll ask about it and I'll have to hear "oh, so it's your version of Siri."  Smartest thing Apple does is give names to everyday tech so things like Siri become the "Kleenex" of the digital assistants.

When I had my Zune, people would be confused if I called it an MP3 player to them.  I eventually had to tell somebody at the airport that it was my iPod so that they would finally let me through security!

Sean D. says:

Yeah that is already bugging me... everything Cortana related is being referred to as "Microsoft's siri"

LaNiQuE says:

We'll be bff I'll take her shopping with me and the movies and Starbucks of course

MikeSo says:

Ask her "Do these jeans make me look fat?" and see if she's BFF material first.

ALex Susky says:

Fuck yes i will. When i actually get it. I still can't use Cortana even though i have the developer preview, like wtf? I live in the united states!

RaRa85 says:


sumothong01 says:

Im more likely to talk to Cortana than other people in public.

When my Wife isn't around.  She's already pissed about her.

rQvsnaps says:


But probably while driving, "take me home"

sholokov says:

I sure will. Don't care what people say.

Nope, but in the car maybe.

hbjoroy says:

Well, being Norwegian I believe it will be long into the future before I can use Cortana, I guess if it's made convenient using English Cortana on Norwegian phone I'll start using her in my car. If after some use she proves her excellence, I'd start using her in public. (wow, the prediction engine is good on 8.1 in English).

kannavkingg1 says:

In "her" he actually talks to her in public.. Lol @samsabri

kannavkingg1 says:

No not in public.. Maybe for some note taking..

cybermoose89 says:

Most likely not tbh

moore1emu says:

Already tried in public, she picks up everything anyone says, so it doesn't work if you are around people who are talking

ade333 says:

Have you seen how much info MS collects on you if you use it? Its absolutely INSANE. No way that I will even Cortana at all. They should make each of those pieces of shared info selectable and at last least let you use it even if you completely opt out.

Zomby Jeezus says:

Kept locally in her notepad. You can chose not to disclose that information, unlike siri. Apple does not provide the option

Kadcidxa says:

Jack Vale needs to do a prank with her in public.

eduardopl says:

Yes. Just need to practice my English xD

YES! ON MY LUMIA 1520 :insanitywolf:

I have been talked to her today, seems nice! But in public only using a headset.

E.g.: when I received a SMS, she asked me if she can read it, and I said "read it". its cool :D

Yes. Somebody's got to.

Ecurb87 says:


xxcorpxx says:

Yes, all the time dependent on background noise. One thing I have to try is Cortana with My Ford Sync or whatever it's called. Anyone get that working with the touch of the phone button on the steering wheel?

Benjamin Gyr says:

yes I did. Well was a hire car but worked fine for me. Was 8.0 tough. 


Hey Daniel, "chit chat" doesn't work on my Lumia 1020. She just does searches every time I ask anything. And yes I am using the live tile.

tallgeese says:

Depends on who's around.

I talk to her while driving, i.e. find me directions to.....

edjr07 says:

This text message thing when she pick out dates and saves them on the calendar is crazy awesome

I had a hard time choosing. I already use my phone like that in public even with speech recognition. That last option was hilarious though. Mjolnir armor. Awesome LOL

Only near my friends. ;)

Zaki Smile says:

I would probably not talk to Cortana, mostly because it sounds stupid to talk to Cortana in english because I live in Sweden. Especially when Cortana asked me "do you want to add a meeting on 1st day, is that correct?" No I said Thursday.

ArchieVellie says:

Oh I'm gonna talk dirty to her.... In public. It makes my wife jealous lol

Both ...but talking to her is way cooler

sarim_xyz says:

Is it only me who couldn't understand what's MJOLNIR? :-/

Bee Mon says:

You obviously do not play Halo. Ask Cortana about the powered assault armor.

sarim_xyz says:

Yeah, I don't :-/ I will ask Cortana about this. :P

ssomzzz says:

Hey I talk to myself, why not a phone....;)

exkerZ says:

In the future, when i have her, of course. But not to show off cortana. To show off a sexy lumia 1520 AND cortana.

-- Sorry if I am mean, I just dislike mean people! --

ssomzzz says:

Can't be any stupider than Bluetooth headsets

For all you guys that want to be called "chief," ask her "who made you?"

badger8080 says:

Show it off a little

SwimSwim says:

Penalty not in public, at least: Not aloud. You can type queries and interact with Cortana that way, which I will probably use all the time.

Maybe if I'm with trusted friends, and our around people who are curious to see what Cortana can do (cheap party trick), then perhaps I'll speak aloud. Otherwise, our verbal relationship will be a private one.

fourbadcats says:

The poll link won't open from 8.1. Using the WP central app.

You would think it totally get wrong, but it didn't

pierrerv says:

Hells yeah. Not loud thou

Kleen Jimi says:

I have no problem booking appointments and setting up reminders in public so far!

terrokkinit says:

Meh...why not? I'm already known as a geek and unorthodox; why not have my best friend as the amazing Cortana? ;)

RoarinRow says:

Only in public with my bluetooth headset (nerd alert)!

For now, i think Cortana needs a lot of improvement. So i wouldn't need Cortana as much as i thought i need it before. 

dante501 says:

Sure why not?

seattlebob says:

I love setting nick names for people and she will reply to those names

Jack Janik says:

She doesn't actually reply.. She just searches on Bing.. :'(


I have the same issue. Is there a setting we are missing?

davenom says:

Me too wtf, answers with Bing searches and that is it.

I will probably take advantage of her naming feature to do some chatting.

A quick question though, and I will do due diligence scouring the forum for an answer, Cortana appears not to function properly given a weak cell signal, even with robust WiFi. Any idea why she might default to cellular data / a workaround? Thanks guys, and loving wp8.1!

freshfelicio says:

No, that's why I love that they support type input as well

erzhik says:

Not if I want to get punched in the face.

Jaco Ra says:

I'll use it in public, who cares what people think.. Fuck the system

Anyone else have trouble with it not working on WiFi?

Sean Lee1 says:

I have the same problem.

ortizang says:

Cortana is a b... She's cheating on me with all these guys.i had told her to be faithful to me.

mike small says:

Cortana is fantastic! Found myself using her for calling and texting out of habit already. I don't mind using it in public if its not distracting or confusing those around me.

I'll be whispering sweet nothings in her ear

Already did...and got wife jealous:-)

bhast2 says:

I want to know the Easter eggs hidden in her. Things to say to her. If I say I love you. She says thanks guess that means I don't have to say sorry much.

Rubios says:

Yeah why not?

Raalvige says:

I would talk to her if I had it on my phone :( when will Cortana be available in Latin America?

Antluv82 says:

That 8.1 is so sweet

ask Cortana: "who is your daddy?

I cracked up as she started with "technically speaking Bill Gates....."

WhoRUx3 says:

We were actually doing this at the work place today. It revived everyone's voice assistants.

pookyjoralyn says:

Sure, but I'll do this just to turn people's heads.

Will Cortana beta recognize my Indian accent?

Bee Mon says:

You can try, I have an accent as well (but not indian) and I find that she get it wrong if my voice is shaky but when I speak with confidence she get's it right everytime. She's actually training me to speak better :)

eharris560 says:

I updated and don't see Cortana

gauravc12 says:

The best part is you can also type or 'swipe' ;) your queries to her. In public I will prefer the silent mode. :)

hyperthermia says:

Cortana is very limited here in the Philippines. Every time i would ask her to look for the nearest jollibee she would just do Bing search instead of opening maps

eruptflail says:

Polls never work for me on this site. But no. I'm glad I can type to her.