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?


Reader comments

Poll: Will you talk to Cortana in public?



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? ◕‿◕

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

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!

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

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


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. 


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!

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 :)

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.

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!!

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

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

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)"

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

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?"

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

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 *******

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. :)

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"

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

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.

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!

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.

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).

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

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.

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.



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.

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...

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!

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

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!

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).

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

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.

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

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, 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?

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.

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

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.

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! --

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.

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

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. 

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!

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 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.

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

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

If Im in public and need to get something done, and talking to Cortana is the best option, heck yeah...who cares what someone else thinks!?!? They have their own life I have mine

I have Singaporean Lumia 920.
Using in United Kingdom.
Language, Region, Voice and Keyboard settings are "UK".
Can't see Cortana in app list.
I tries to change settings as well. Please help me to find Cortana.

You need to set region to US and English (US). Restart the phone and she'll be in the app list. I have a Lumia 620 and in South East Asia. Been using Cortana this morning to set alarms, schedules and reminders. Works perfectly even with my Chinglish pronounciation. Just speak with confidence and she'll understand :)