What you need to know
- Johnson Controls is removing Cortana from its GLAS thermostat.
- Cortana will be removed in a forthcoming software update.
- Owners will still be able to use Alexa and Google Assistant to control GLAS, Johnson Controls says.
GLAS, the smart thermostat whose claims to fame were its intriguing design and Cortana integration, will be dropping Cortana soon. In an email to users, Johnson Controls, who makes the GLAS thermostat, says that Microsoft's voice assistant will no longer work with GLAS in an upcoming software update.
"The Microsoft Cortana voice assistant will no longer work on your device," Johnson Controls said in the email. "Moving forward, you will still have access to other voice assistants to control your thermostat through the Works with functionality of Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant."
Cortana's removal from GLAS shouldn't be surprising to those who have been following news about Microsoft's plans for the digital assistant as of late. The Harman Kardon Invoke, a Cortana-powered smart speaker that launched in 2017, was a one-off device that failed to make a dent against the likes of Amazon's Echo speakers and Google Assistant. Likewise, Cortana voice commands are being removed from Xbox One, though you'll still be able to use voice commands with an Amazon Echo or the Harman Kardon Invoke.
On Windows 10, Microsoft has broken Cortana out into a separate app and is opening the door to other voice assistants in upcoming feature updates. Going forward, Cortana is expected to have a more contextual future under the direction of the Office team. The goal is to make the assistant's AI smarts available to users across Microsoft apps and services without them even knowing they're using it.
Thanks to Vincent L. for the tip!
Latest and greatest
If you're looking for an alternative to the GLAS, Ecobee makes some excellent smart thermostats. Ecobee has taken the design of its previous-gen thermostats and improved the look, feel, and smarts of it — though without Cortana.
Portable (and affordable) power accessories we love
Each and every one of these charging gadgets will keep your favorite gear and gadgets going for longer, and none of them costs more than $30.
VisionTek 8,000 mAh micro-USB power bank ($13 at Dell)
This compact dual-output powerbank can speedily recharge any and all your devices, thanks to a two-amp "fast charge feature," using its micro-USB out port. Its simple design includes an LED indicator, and it costs about as much as a single ticket to the movies.
Panasonic eneloop AA batteries (From $13 at Dell)
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Belkin Qi Wireless Charging Pad ($30 at Dell)
This unobtrusive Qi wireless charging pad looks good (and kind of like a UFO …) and easily charges all your Qi-compatible device up to 5W. Its LED indicator lights up when you're charging. And it costs just $30.
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