technology

Get The Most Out of the Window’s Cortana Technology

technologyIf you have a Window’s phone then you are already familiar with Cortana. Cortana is the voice assistant integrated into the Windows 10 software. This assistant can help you search the web, check the status of your flight and so much more. We have compiled a list of 15 tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your new desktop helper.

1. Setup
To use Cortana in a way that works for you, simply type “Cortana” into her search box. At the top, you should see a toggle entitled “Cortana & Search Settings”. Click to open. From here you will be able to select settings such as “Let Cortana Respond to ‘Hey Cortana’”. Turn this option on if you’d like to search by voice. You can also select options to have her show you suggestions, alerts and more. Turn this on to get the most functionality out of your assistant.

2. Ask a Question
Simply ask Cortana a question. Many simple questions she can reply to with a voice answer. Other questions will pull up a Bing search with your results. Some questions that she will answer with voice are:
What is the weather today?
What’s the status of my flight?
What is on my schedule?
How long will it take me to get to (destination)?

3. Voice Commands
Cortana not only responds to questions, but she responds to commands as well. Depending on what services are linked to your computer, she can assist with the following:
-Set a reminder
-Show my schedule (shows Google Calendars with no extra integration).
-Set an alarm.
-Move my appointment.

4. Web Search
Cortana automatically performs searches with Bing. Asking specific questions like “How tall is Barack Obama” will open a new browser window with links to answer your question. If you wish to use another search engine, you will need to download an extension. Chrome offers an extension “Chrometana” which redirects your Cortana searches to Google.

5. For a Laugh
Just for a good laugh, ask Cortana to sing a song. When the hilarity of that wears off, ask her “What does the fox say?”. Below are some other questions that will result with an amusing answer.
Can you dance?
What do you think of Bill Gates?
Do you like Google Now?
Are you awake?

6. Quick Math and Conversions
Ask Cortana to solve math problems and conversions for you without the need to open the calculator.
How many cups are in a gallon?
What is 1,000,000 divided by 36?

7. Tell Cortana Your Interests
To help Cortana search and find things that are of interest to you, simply open the Cortana bar and select the notebook. Here you will find a list of topics, each of which has settings that you can turn on to apply to your interests.

8. Oxford Dictionary Definitions
Need to know the meaning of a particular word? Ask Cortana to define any word you like and she will respond with the Oxford Dictionary definition.

9. Open Programs
Looking for a buried application to use? Instead of searching manually, ask Cortana to open it for you!
-Hey Cortana, open Microsoft Word.

There are numerous other things Cortana can help with. Find current sports scores, send an email and so much more. To see what else she can do for you, simply ask her for help. Are there any other fun tips or tricks that you know of to make the Cortana technology more useful and entertaining? Leave them in the comments below.