As Microsoft continually improves their new Cortana voice-assistant, users are discovering more novice features every day. Recently, we covered all the new songs Cortana can either sing (or semi-sing), and today we are learning that she can now tell you the time or convert currencies.
Just by asking Cortana "What time is it?" and the assistant fetches you the present time. Although she does not yet read it out loud, making this new find slightly less useful. Actually, asking Cortana the current time itself is redundant since it likely your phone already has an up-to-date clock (especially since with Update 1, the OS can synchronize over Wi-Fi for the current time).
However, a more beneficial feature than asking Cortana the current time is asking Cortana the time elsewhere in the world. For instance, if I am here in the US and want to know what time it is in India or Berlin, Cortana grabs that information. We can think of a situation or two where this is useful (and even faster than maybe launching a world clock app).
Another handy feature you may not have known about is asking Cortana to convert your currency from one standard to another. For instance, if I ask Cortana "Convert $32 to UK pounds," she responds with the correct 19.25 Pounds Sterling, along with and up to date currency graph.
It is hard to tell when these things went live, and for some, it may be old news. Little things like these in and of themselves do not make or break Cortana, but over time, these features do add up to make a smart, intuitive assistant.
Thanks, tej, and others for the tips!
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.