Cortana set to make Canadian debut with Lumia 830

Canadian users will be able to access Cortana (albeit in alpha form) once the Lumia 830 launches in the country later this month.

Although Microsoft announced that Cortana localization for Canada would be ready by the time Windows Phone 8.1 started rolling out, the voice assistant was only available in select countries. The software maker later announced that several markets would be getting an alpha version of the voice assistant, which is what is rolling out with the Lumia 830 in Canada.

Cortana will be available on more devices in the country once they start receiving the Lumia Denim update. As for availability, the Lumia 830 is slated to launch on major carriers and retailers.

Canadian readers, what Cortana feature are you looking forward to the most?

Source: MobileSyrup

Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia for Android Central, Windows Central's sister site. When not reviewing phones, he's testing PC hardware, including video cards, motherboards, gaming accessories, and keyboards.

  • I thought she's already there
  • Well, seeing as I don't live in Canada, I can't be sure: But I assume only for DP devices and/or those who changed their regional settings?
  • I have Cortana alpha version on my L920 and I am also running DP, which recently received the cyan update. Still no sign of L830 at Rogers, physical location or website. I read it here in one of the articles that Bell and Telus are expected to launch theirs October 15. So maybe all carriers in Canada are launching the device on the same day; not a bad idea imo.
  • I believe for Rogers their policy is to launch phones on Friday's still. So 17th perhaps
  • It's the first official phone with her pre installed
  • Yeah she's been here since they rolled out the alpha. You just need 8.1 on your device.
  • Wrong, currently you need 8.1 DP, my wife has 8.1 on her 920 with no Cortana.
  • Correct but I was in the same boat and puzzled why is didn't get Cortana upon updating my Lumia 1020 in August, until a week ago when my friend pointed out that all I needed to do was go into Settings and change my Region and Language to English USA and from within that specific page make sure the USA English was above the Canada English in Priority and Position and, again within Page click on Restart Your Phone. Once I did that 'Cortana' appeared in my list of installed Apps.
  • There is so much confusion i the article and comments. Let me clarify: Cortana ALPHA is already available in Canada on the regular 8.1. To access the alpha you must be using CANADIAN settings. However, many people (including myself) use the USA settings and prefer to use Cortana (Beta) from the USA because it is far better
  • @Bradleyj. Alpha is only available via update 1 for PfD. Nothing to do with settings :P, unless you want the original Cortana.
  • @RobR. Nope Cortana is enabled by default if your in the US if you have 8.1 (otherwise you need to change your region, enable the US keyboard etc to get Cortana outside of the US). However to get the "default" version of Cortana for any other released countries you need to have update 1 installed hence why you need the Lumia denim update if you have a Lumia wp (as it contains update 1 + firmware updates). I'm not sure about China however.
  • Will the 830 be launched later this month. Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • That's what the article says in the first sentence.
  • I did the needs for Cortana alpha...but still unable to find her in app menu or search option (INDIA) stuck with us region settings. :/
  • The Alpha is shit! You're better off with US settings. I'm in Australia and I gave up on the Alpha in about 5 mins and I think it's a bad mistake by Microsoft coz its sending the wrong message to people who might be looking to move from Android or Apple coz when they use the Alpha they might believe that's the real version and be wondering what all the fuss was about when the Alpha is so limited.
  • so true. i guess they don't have different teams. like there are only one separate team of china working on Cortana dont know about other countries.
  • What's wrong with the alpha?
  • The alpha is extremely limited. If you're used to the US version you're going to be horribly disappointed with the alpha as it is NOTHING like the Beta. The alpha is basically Bing with Tell Me not Cortana. It had a tiny bit of Cortana functionality but its minute. Put it this way, I felt insulted that Microsoft would think I'd settle for that shit after using the Beta (yes its that bad!)
  • I never tried the US version so I don't know what I'm really missing!  But I find I don't use it really.  I did think that cortana was supposed to actually speak, but maybe I just got it wrong.
  • She does in the US version but not as much in the Alpha, in fact u have to play around with the settings to get her to talk at all in the Alpha. You're missing quite alot as it turns out
  • like when you press the search button, is she even supposed to say Hello blah blah, or is it just text? I guess should find some of those cortana example videos.
  • If u press and hold the search key she will talk but if u just press search but don't hold she will be silent. This is so if your in a meeting u can get your answer discretely
  • thanks for that... while on the topic, is it supposed to read your calendar?  LIke I said when is my chiropractor appointment... can't find it.... but I have one on saturday.  It's on my gmail calendar though, does it matter?  it shouldn't right?  It's on the phone.
  • I don't think it's supposed to matter but it is safer to assume it will work better with Outlook
  •, just kidding., don't get mean
  • What comes to mind when I here this word is
  • Use her all the time in Canada. I love it!
  • How do you get it to notify you on work and hime travel ?
  • Either tell her "remind me ... at 8 PM" or "remind me ... when I get home" or "remind me ... next time I talk to ...". Or to do it manually go in Cortana, hit the three little lines on the top right and click on Remind Me.
  • I think you mean that you want her to tell you the time it takes to get to work out home, so it's in her settings, interests, add interests, daily routine.
  • I have my device set to Canada, she has alpha written on her. It's been that way since update 1. She's been here for a while.
  • Yeah, but not everyone has access officially yet since you have to set your speech setting to "English (USA)" to access the Alpha.
  • My language is set to Canada, my region is Canada, and I have the alpha.
  • Yeah, it's not the language or the region that needs to be US, it's the speech setting. In setting, go in Speech, it should be English US.
  • There is no English Canada speech setting.
  • Well... This is strange... 'Cause I remember changing it to English Canada to have access to the alpha of Cortana... I wonder what it was set to before that...
  • I think it was pretty obvious.
  • I thought Cortana is already dead. Never heard of her. Btw. I'm living in Germany, perhaps that has something to do with it -.-
  • She will only die 500 years in the future... :P
  • You got a crystal ball or something? :p.
  • That's what happens in the game...
  • When will the UK get Cortana? Does anyone know.
  • It has "As expected, China and the UK are now getting access to Cortana on a beta status, with substantial customization done for both countries, especially in China where some significant changes to the UI of Cortana have taken place. Additionally, India, Australia, and Canada are now part of an "early adopter program" where users can "opt-in and…try Cortana using English language models from the US and the UK."   UK and Cortana finally meet The UK is also now getting its own customized version of Cortana, with regionalization implemented to better suit the British market, including: UK spellings and pronunciations Bing-provided local data on sports teams (for the EPL), the London Stock Exchange, commuter conditions, and more Localized voice, accent and personality for the UK"
  • "Localised voice, accent and personality for the UK" such a big mistake by MSoft, not sure how they can call it Cortana with a British voice / accent. And what on earth a British personality will be I dread to think
  • I wonder if Canada will get saddled with a terribly clichéd accent, too?
  • Canada, in English, anyway, sounds the same as USA.
  • When does she talk??  Haven't heard anything yet :)  Just text on screen
  • @ROldcorn - Not really, the pronunciation of words presents a problem as well, so it is better to have a regionalised accent.
    Also you would be surprised how many people outside the UK prefer that accent and dislike the US accent (in the UK as well). Also unfortunately the impression most people have of the English is what they see in shows like downton Abbey -.-.
    I for one, dislike the posh accent in the UK version of Cortana as it just makes me cringe in agony... I don't why but it just does. It's a similar reaction to screeching chalk on a blackboard.
  • If the claims that Lumia Denim will be released by the end of the year turn out to be true, then Update 1 (with Cortana UK) should arrive with Denim. No idea of a timescale on that, all of the official channels are saying "Q4 2014". For UK 930 users, Update 1 is already available for most, but without Denim, and for 730's and 830's, it's all preinstalled.
  • It's a boat time
  • One thing i want cortana to work with (here in Montreal) is to be able to tell stm info, when and where, how long the next transit is, etc. Etc.
  • I have her giving me TTC info in Toronto
  • HERE Transit???
  • I am running cortana alpha in Australia and I am really happy with the experience, I get traffic updates, calender reminders and using cortana to email, text and call while I am driving makes my day a lot more productive.
  • Same... Except I'm seriously thinking of reverting back to US settings as there is heaps more in the beta version the US has than the Alpha version we are stuck with.
  • Not to mention that faux pommy accent is bloody terrible. I swapped back months ago.
  • It's the worst aye! I could only stand out for like 5 mins n I switched back to US n haven't looked back. They made a horrible mistake with languages. They should have just left her as is for English speaking countries n only localized non English
  • I just don't understand why the speech couldn't be independent of the phone language and region If it's a software limitation, then remove the limitation. Don't half ass it.
  • If no one uses the alpha, Aussie Cortana will take much much longer to move to beta. The more people using the alpha version the better.
  • And I'd be happy to use it in Alpha if they didn't force us to use the UK voice.
    I'm the "Windows Phone guy" for everyone I know. I ask them if they want the voice assistant to sound American or British. Everyone opts for American after I let them hear the difference.
  • I'm not surprised lol.
  • I agree. UK voice is a bit boring. MS should allow people to choose which voice to use.
  • Wonder if it Will Be available in french. (Canada has 2 official langage, french & eng.)
  • Yeah, I was hoping the article would mention it. I hope french will be available because I know a couple of people who are waiting for it, who didn't want to unable the alpha because it was english only.
  • Cortana has started to answer in French sometimes (sing me a song returns a French lullaby for instance)
  • Yeah but when the hell are we getting the 830??????
  • Cortana is overrated. Need basic functionality like attaching docs direct to emails instead of fluff.
  • I use Cortana dozens of times a day. I'd say it's probably the most used feature on my phone especially while driving. But yes, I'd like to be able to attach documents to emails in which I'm replying.
  • its not at all overrated. Its acess is onky to windows phone how it can be overrated. plus the feature u told is useful and for that the files app should be integrated by Microsoft.
  • You can do it directly from the files explorer, but yeah it'd be nice to also be able to do it right from the new email windows.
  • Cortana will become far more useful once hands free control has been implemented. Then I could picture myself leaving my phone on my desk/in my pocket all the time and using a bluetooth headset to use it.
  • Just unlock cortana for everyone already!
  • Cortana is Bing, and Bing is good just in the USA... Also, not everyone speak english...  
  • We noticed
  • Don't get me started on Bing :) Microsoft is big enough financially and physically to get bing everywhere out of beta, I sincerely don't know why they only target the US in all their decisions when Europe and Asia are very large markets. If Bing is becoming the core platform for their services why not get it right first? It is clearly no match for google outside the US and that is a rather bug chunk of the world population. I hate having to resort to google when I can't find something. About Cortana, even though many people can't understand English, it doesn't mean that the option can't be available for the ones that do right? I mean, people would still be able to keep Bing search and leave Cortana disabled while they optimize it for different regions.. I would suggest enabling Cortana alpha solely in developer preview devices, as typically theses are enthusiasts and want the latest features and should know the caveats for using unfinished software.
  • This is true. Microsoft is a huge company. 
    Bing here in Brazil is improving (Bing Places is better than Google in this regard, and even Here).
    Also, Bing Images and Videos are better than Google too.
    Whereas in the research, there is still some stuff and the main one is the ability to answer questions like "How old is Bill Gates?". When you do that, it just gets the right panel.
  • Give us all US Cortana. We don't like reading how great she is but not having her in our fourth world countries.
  • +1020
  • I think the Lumia 830 launch in Canada has been delayed for multiple reasons. One of those reasons could be Cortana localization for Canada. Hopefully the device is launched by the end of next week.
  • The coin flip is cool.. But not part of the Alpha experience. I've had Cortana here in Toronto for about 3-4 months (before that I changed my region to US) and I've maybe used her a dozen times. I mostly had her remind me to take out my laundry and find me a few places in my area.
  • I like the eliminated dirty word Nokia, things fall apart!
  • Lack of Microsoft in Canada. High end devices love my L920 but nothing to look forward to. MS store in Montreal. Apps apps apps. Android has better MS apps like OneDrive and one note. I love WP platform but it lacks too much. MS seems to be winding down with WP's. Finally where's the smartwatch. Looking to switch to android...
  • I had the Alpha version running on my 920 but then I switched back to US regional settings because Canadian Cortana was weak. She could do about half the things the Cortana I was used to can. I don't see what's so hard about it, all they had to do was take American Cortana, change to the metric system and change the spelling of a few words. So hopefully Cortana will still "get to know my region" while I use the good cortana up here
  • It seems MS don't give a shit about MS Windows phone ! The thing is of they leave windows phone - I and others will never trust any other MS product again and will get a lot of bad attention from everyone by word of mouth.
  • The thing is of they leave windows phone -
    Eh, what? Satycool, please make sentences that make some kind of sense. 
  • Hardly use her, would be nice if at least some interests would be added, still the same news and weather only.
  • They're adding some once in a while. They added music a couple of weeks ago to notify you of concerts around you from your favorite artists. Cortana is already more useful than Siri. It has less predefined answers for jokes and internet stuff, but it has more useful features for reminding you to do something when you get to a certain place or when you talk to someone and stuff like that. I use it all the time!
  • India?
  • Congratulations Canada!!!!
  • Does anyone know when the Lumia Denim will release?
  • Is it customized for Canada? "What would you like to know about, eh?"
  • Wow... Original.
  • If you are in the dev preview stream and on update 1 you can turn her on.
  • I think everyone can turn her on, not only dev preview, but you have to change your speech setting to English (US) and she's only alpha so a lot of stuff is missing. Or you can change your entire phone to US and then access the real thing, and I also think everyone can do, not only developer preview.
  • 8.1 cyan with no dev means no Cortana. I have 2 1020s one is not on the dev stream and cannot get Cortana. You can region switch to USA and get in the USA beta, but search results are in imperial not metric and searching for locations is a nightmare. Most results are in the USA.
  • Change your regional format to the country of your choice and you will get metric results for everything other than weather
  • My contract is almost up and I have a 920, should I be looking at the 830 as a replacement or wait for Canada to eventually get a 1520 or 920 successor?
  • I think the 830 is a side-grade from the 920.  The 930 and 1520 are the true upgrades, and are just about identical  to each other except the 1520's screen size, microSD slot, Glance support, and extra battery life.  I've moved from the 920 to the 1520, and the bigger screen size has, well, grown on me.  I had to import the 1520, though, so if you decide to do the same, make sure it's the 1520.3 (aka RM-938) to get the most from the Canadian frequencies.
  • As if beta fatigue wasn't enough for wp users... Cortana alpha here in India is good for nothing :(
  • I have cotton on my phone and I live in canada
  • I have Cortana on my Rogers Lumia 920. However, it is still in Alpha form. I think I got Cortana in Windows Phone 8.1.1 update which was from the DP.
  • I have tried everything to get her onto my L920 and nothing works what's your secret?
  • Hi, First of all, I have the Developer Preview installed on my phone. The current version is 8.10.14176.243 Secondly, check your region settings,  Country/Region: Canada; Regional Format: match phone language Thirdly, speech--> speech language is set to "English (United States)". Good luck.  
  • I'm currently using Cortana on my Rogers L920, but the thing I'm most excited for with the release of Cortana in Canada can be summed up in one word: METRIC.
  • I'm waiting for it in South Africa
  • Wish in the meantime they'd detach Quiet Hours from her which should be an OS feature. Especially since 8.1 killed off the ones that previously worked on 8.0. Not holding out for Cortana in NZ anytime soon.    
  • I'm running the DP on my Ativ S and I've had the Canadian Cortana Alpha build for a while.
  • Got Cortana on my L920 the day W8.1 was released on Rogers... And she's awesome!
  • If the "local" tab in Bing search results would return something, that would be really nice! I don't know if it's a Canadian problem or if they don't have data for Quebec. Like it's not possible to ask for the closest coffee shop or something similar.
    Edit: Ok... It seems to work now :) I'll have to give it an other chance!
  • The alpha version is already available. Unfortunately it is s very basic version, which lacks all the advanced features like interests, and weather. I tried to switch and Cortana just complained she could speak my language. Then after seeing the alphas version on a friends phone I was extremely disappointed... WP+US!=WP-US.
  • When it comes to India Posted via the Windows Phone Central App for Android