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Hands on with 'Hey Cortana' and the Lumia 930 Denim update

One of the more interesting features of the Lumia Denim and Windows Phone 8.1.1 updates for high-end devices is 'Hey Cortana'. The new feature was announced back in Berlin during the September Microsoft press conference for the Lumia 830 and Lumia 730.

Passive-voice listening technology found in the Qualcomm 800 and higher chipsets lets users call up the Cortana personal assistant by just using their voice, even when the device is in standby. It is a clever feature that Google first used with their 'Ok, Google' feature on the Motorola X series of smartphones.

Today, I'm demoing it on the Lumia 930, That phone is one of two expected to get the feature in the coming weeks (the Lumia 1520 is the other, in addition to the 930 variant, the Verizon Lumia Icon).

Overall, it is a very useful feature for using Cortana truly in a hands-free environment. So when at the computer or while the phone is on your desk, you can ask Cortana to call people, remind if you to do things, ask questions, and more.

Users do need to say 'Hey, Cortana' and wait until the OS wakes up. You can then continue your query when you hear the Cortana chirp. However, you cannot just say in one fell swoop 'Hey, Cortana remind me to get some bread at the store'. At least not yet, although Microsoft is likely toying with various iterations of this service.

Hey Cortana setup

Training is simple enough as users are walked through the process when it is first turned on (Hey Cortana is fully optional to the users). By training Hey Cortana with your voice, the phone only responds to your commands and not someone else's. Microsoft does not store your voice samples in the cloud, and instead they stay local (for those of you concerned about privacy). You can also wipe the training at any time to start over.

Finally, Hey Cortana is a proper system app, meaning once it is on the phone via the Denim firmware, afterwards Microsoft can dynamically update the app through the Store. This configuration is similar to how Microsoft can update Extras + Info or Display on Lumia devices. It ensures that new features or bug fixes can be applied to phones without the need for an OS or firmware update.

Overall, Hey Cortana is pretty neat and we cannot wait to see more devices pick it up in the coming weeks.

Daniel Rubino
Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

265 Comments
  • Disclaimer: Hey Cortana is not just a SensorCore technology per se, so this means devices like the Lumia 830 do not qualify. SensorCore has different abilities on the different level chipsets and it is not universal across the 400 and 800 series from Snapdragon. This is why the Lumia 630 cannot do Hey Cortana either. So please try to avoid "correcting" me, as what I have laid out here is accurate ;) Now, let's carry on. From my experience so far, Hey Cortana is certainly nice, but your level of usage will depend on how often you feel like calling it up without touching the phone. I cannot say it is something I am doing often, at least not yet.
  • Hmm interesting. Thanks for looking into for us Daniel! Appreciated.
  • I have some personal plans to make it switch on/off the lights in my apartment...
  • You should look at Snap Switch.  Very usefull home control.  I have it for all my Insteon and X10 switches.  It also has Cortana integretion and works great.  Just waiting for 'Hey Cortana' so I can do it all hands off.  Just slide phone in front pocket with 'Hey Cortana' and Snap Switch and bingo, its the Jetsons!
  • Thanks a lot! Although I've had an idea to build it myself, it's always good to take a look at consumer solutions.
  • +1 for SnapSwitch. I see tons of other random Home Automation apps getting lots of press, but SnapSwitch has been around for ages and does tons of stuff, plus the Cortana integration is really well done.
  • Have you tried using it in the car?  That's where I'd get most of my use out of this service.
  • I use it in the car all that time, and for me it is where it works best. It only works if you say it exactly like you did in the training, and I have a success rate of about 70%.
  • Have you had success with it when your playing music?  My most common scenario is that the phone is in my pocket and I'm playing a podcast or music through BT.  My hope is that it can still register the "Hey Cortana" when there is music in the background.
  • Your pocket will probably block a reasonable amount of sound, but that means it will block your voice too.  To get the most reliable results you might want to place the phone in a cup holder.  Does Cortana recognize your voice through BT when you get a text?  If she does, then you're probably going to have a good experience with the new feature too.
  • But it works on microphone too, so. Yes. It's nice on Bluetooth, since you have a mic on it too.
  • Best solution for me in the car is the MS Band. Antiques Hey Cortana imo.
  • Not a chance. It pretty much only works if its dead silent. Even in the car I have to temporarily mute the music/podcast if I want to use Hey cortana. Also as far as I can tell the active listening does not work with the phone in your pocket.
  • ... not if the media is playing from your Windows phone.
  • You might wanna train her better.
  • What kindof car bluetooth are you using? Ford Sync? Chrysler/Dodge Uconnect? Other? 
  • I use it in the car now. When connected to Bluetooth, you enable your car's voice command and say "call Cortana". ..cortana must be uploaded to car audio system as a Contact. You can then initiate a hands free Cortana conversation as you normally would without holding the search button. This works extremely well. 2012 Kia optima with uvo system
  • This also works in my 2011 Kia Soul; it will work with any Bluetooth enabled car in which you can call a contact by voice commands.
  • I actually have stopped connecting my phone to my car with Bluetooth, I just a wire now to a line-in.  The reason being is that the microphones on bluetooth systems are absolute CRAP compared to the amazing multi HAAC mics on the lumias.  I have to talk so damn loud to get Cortana to work well through bluetooth while driving in the car, but when I use a wire and let the phone use it's own awesome mics, the speech to text accuracy is like a thousand times better!  I don't have to yell, or talk slow, I can just use my normal voice.  It does a great job filtering out background noise, road noise, chit chat, and even music.  But NOT through bluetooth.  And I've used a dozen different systems from built-ins to third party. 
  • Mine actually works incredibly well. 2014 Ford Focus ST. The Mic is up by the rearview mirrior, and I've never had an issue with it.
  • I've been tempted so many times to go back to a wired connection for the same reason...
  • Thank you for the Demo Daniel, please when you imbed the YouTube clips include the option for thumbs up and down as it'll be good to give you thumbs up without having to go to YouTube every time.
  • ** This disclaimer required thanks to MicroWestcoast
  • God damn it, just got a lumia 830 the other week :(i find it stupid that they release new devices and then say that they cant support new features. oh well, maybe they will find a way in the not too distant future where it will work on less powerful devices
  • To be fair, it was known before its release that the 830 wouldn't support this feature.
  • its hardware dependant its been along time since the 800 series came out it was a selling point for that chip, works on android or whom ever has that 800 + chipset.. go to qualcomm's website to get more info, all microsoft did with denm is enable it
  • any idea if the latest developer preview is safe to update on Samsung Ativ s? I've been scared to do the update since start of December after reading about the update bricking devices but I've never seen any information if its safe to update now ​ ​
  • I have 2 ativs neos that have DP that worked fine. No issues
  • This is the best feature until now. It's practical, accurate, useful. I use a lot on my phone at work (yes, I use my phone). Very nice, hope this will be on my Desktop and Xbox soon :D :D
  • Can it use home automation app to control house systems like locking doors and switching off lights etc... Via Hey cortana
  • I can see using Hey Cortana in the car. I already use voice commands by holding the call button on my headset. This would keep it completely hands free. I also use voice commands to ask Cortana to set reminders and create appointments. I could do that without even picking the phone up off the table.
  • Not that it matters much, but I could prompt Cortana by long-pressing the Play/Pause/Answer switch on my Bose earbuds...pretty useful in places where you can't take your phone out. But passive listening would matter a lot if my phone were on my desk and I wanted to push and pull info (e.g. weather, scores, etc) without having to pick it up.
  • Daniel I'm a bit concerned about the settings of Windows phone. It's about to become a messy space. Organization is everything in the OS except settings:| get one heb for Cortana is everything! Better.
  • Just a little thing with milk at the grocery store it was not giving options of places to go... it needs you usual store so it can geo-fence you request/reminder so when you go grocery shopping/ or nearby  it reminds you.
  • So this will not work on my Lumia 2520 which uses a snapdragon 800 processor? obviously i would also need Microsoft to include it in the next windows mobile version thy send my way.....
  • Hey...Cortana, Hey sshhhh Cortana!! Ha ha..
  • "Hey Cortana" is a feature that must exist even if nobody uses it.
  • Well, nice, but where is the Denim update? I have Nokia DT-903 but, it is just dull charger without Denim.  And it doesn't seem to be moving. I am checking regularly the availability on http://www.microsoft.com/en/mobile/support/software-update/wp8-software-update/availability-in-europe/ 
  • Besides a Windows Phone, I also use a Moto X with the passive listening feature, and I have to say, it's not something I use that often. ( I even turned off the voice notification system for signifying new text messages on the Moto X.  It ended up getting downright annoying.) It's just not a natural thing we do, talking to our devices.
  • Daniel thankyou so much for being loud and clear about the 800+ chipset requirement. Im tired and fedup of correcting editors and article authors on other Windows Phone blogs/sites where they keep saying that "Hey Cortana" is sensor core based technology.
  • This is why I choose Lumia and not the others. Now come to my 1520!
  • Is there any reason to think this is Lumia exclusive?
  • For now it's Lumia exclusive, but it would be nice to have it baked in the OS for others.
  • Is it Lumia exclusive or chipset exclusive?  Daniel made it sound like it was specific to a series of Snapdragon chipsets.
  • The ativ SE has the same processor and the m8, has a slightly newer one so it seems to be exclusive to Lumia for the time being.
  • Bit of both. It does need SensorCore, which is a Lumia exclusive (and needs newer Snapdragon chipset). Other Windows Phone could do SensorCore too and could have a Snapdragon 800 chipset, therefore, they could do Hey Cortana. However, up until now, SensorCore is just on Lumia phones. We do not know if SensorCore + Hey Cortana will go to other high-end phones eventually.
  • Are you sure about that?  I think SensorCore is hardware built into Qualcomm chips and an SDK published by Nokia/MS.  I don't think there is "SensorCore" software on Lumia phones, per se.  MS Health and Fitness apps were written using SensorCore, and they work just fine on my One 8.
  • I disagree :)
  • its chipset exclusive.... meaning it needs a device with Snapdragon 800 to work.... not sure if the HTC was shipped with this or not though... it might be Lumia exclusive just becuase they are the only phones with the S800, i just don't know for sure
  • I still have Lumia cyan...!!!! any help guys??????
  • I want to be able to change this to "Cortana Now" and not hey Cortana. Anyway, in my apple device experience on the iPad mini, the command is serviceable. I use it to check weather when I get out of bed...hey Siri is it cold outside? Looking forward to getting this on my 1520.
  • On paper it might sound good (to you) but have you even said it out loud? It sounds so stupid to say it like that.
  • Yes I have. No matter what your say asa2015 you're talking to an inanimate object. Sounds stupid huh? So if I can say what I choose, great. If not, oh well. And Nik it looks like it and I hope its updated with the frequency of Cortana. Anticipation is building.
  • It would be interesting to see how well it works with different words. You would assume that it could be possible considering it seems to be actually matching against a recording of your voice rather than standard speech recognition.
  • It will require a lot of engineer. And sounds like Google Now.
  • Zap, you could make the same argument with Hey Siri.
  • No, hey Cortana is a lot better.
  • This is why opinions are a wonderful thing. Everybody can have their own!
  • Hey Cortana is way better than Cortana Now
  • I tried that one day with Siri, woke up and asked if it was cold out side.  She said "You live in Iowa and it's January.  Of course it's cold outside, you ninny!"   I kid, I kid...
     
  • Ha! I think Siri gets to wordy, Cortana to depending on the inquiry. Just tell me "its 23°". Siri says the current temperate in [city] is [temp] and then tells me something else. I'll have to try it again when I get home to be certain, but its wordy.
  • Cortana Help maybe funny
  • Awesome feature. Maybe I'll buy a flagship later this year. Rocking the 820 right now.
  • I moved up from the Lumia 820 to the Lumia 1520. The 820 is a good phone.
  • The article should reflect that this is an update for current/new phones, not high-end phones. The 730 and 830 aren't high-end devices.
  • Those phones do not get Hey Cortana. The article is accurate and very clear on this issue, as is my first comment.
  • I haven't read all the comments yet but I'm pretty sure there's a few more comments like nanowerx up top. Daniel just take it easy and when the majority of phones get denim software just repost you're 1st comment..
  • Daniel is giving us a great article, people must learn to read.
  • And Jesus said; "Forgive them, for they know not how to read."  lol
  • Dat charger, want.
  • Same here. Does anyone know what charger that is?
  • I saw Hey Cortana and Lumia 730 in the same para as I opened this post. Heart skipped a beat. Alas, 'twas not meant to be.
  • Microsoft could make Hey Cortana available to all devices when plugged into a power source but I'm sure they won't. If my lowly iPhone 4s can have Hey Siri when plugged in, surely all Windows Phones can have Hey Cortana when plugged in as the external power source nullifies the need of a high end Snapdragon 800 chip with low power passive listening capabilities. Sadly, I don't believe Microsoft will do so.
  • Since when does Siri do passive-voice? News to me...
  • iOS 8 and only when plugged in: http://appleinsider.com/articles/14/09/17/how-to-enable-and-use-hey-siri-handsfree-mode-in-ios-8
  • Since iOS 8.
  • She does indeed have a 'Hey Siri' option but it has to be manually turned on and it ONLY works when your device is plugged into a power source. Hey Cortana will certainly be superior provided the device doesn't need to be plugged in.    
  • It also can't train to just one voice: http://www.cnet.com/how-to/what-you-need-to-know-about-hey-siri-in-ios-8/#!
  • I perceive that as a good thing. We use ipad instead of tv remote at home and it would suck if it only listened to one person. So far amazon seems to mastered the technology the best with the Echo system.
  • It depends. Running speech recognition on all the audio your phone can hear is likely very taxing, and possibly why iOS requires you to be charging the device for it to work. Whereas with the Hey Cortana implementation the chip can be trained for a particular waveform, which would require a lot less power to compare against all incoming audio.
  • They brought it in an update, not sure which one. But it only works if plugged into a power source
  • this is cool, I did not know that! Hey MSFT, do this like Siri. Then, with wireless charging we can have Hey Cortana on all Lumias at our desks, cars etc wherever there is power source!
  • I believe Siri needs to be plugged in to work but Cortana works without the need to be plugged in. Hence Cortana is better.
  • Not exactly. Sure it only works when plugged to a power source but on Windows Hey Cortana only currently works on Snapdragon 800 chip set which literally represents about 2-3 devices. Minuscule compared to the wide low end window phones Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Apple and Oranges bud! "Hey Siri" only works on two devices as well, (iPhone 6 & 6 Plus.)  "Hey Siri" doesn't work on prior iPhones (5s, 5, 4s, 4, etc.) so your point is moot.  Also, Microsoft will be releasing new phones with the 800+ processor and "sensorcore" technology that will allow for more phones with "Hey Cortana" than Apple has with "Hey Siri" and you don't need to have a Windows Phone plugged in to use "Hey Cortana" but you do with "Hey Siri" on the iPhone.  = Cortana is better.
  • Not true, I use it on an iPad mini and an iPhone 5 daily...
  • I stand corrected.  It is not available on iPhone 4 and earlier, but it is available on iPhone 5, 5s, 6 and 6 Plus.  It is also available on all iPads except the original iPad.  It also requires iOS8 which cannot be installed on iPhone 4 or earlier iPhones, nor on the original iPad. Thanks for the clarification. However all of these devices are required to be plugged into the charger before Hey Siri will work.  Apple claims this is to prevent battery drain.  The difference between "Hey Siri" and "Hey Cortana" is the ability for Windows Phones to remain in an "always listening" state without using hardly any battery due to "sensorcore" technology and the Qualcomm 80* processor combination.  As Apple uses the A7 processor, this technology is unavailable and would require the Apple device to stay in an "always on in sleep mode" status which would drain the battery considerably.  There are some who have jailbroken their iPhones and added apps that will allow this to happen, only to find that they batteries have drained SIGNIFICANTLY in very short periods of time, so unadvisable, and probably why Apple didn't release "Hey Siri" in this manner.
  • You can say the whole command to Siri at once though.
  • But only when plugged into the mains. Very limited compared to use anywhere anytime Cortana.
    In addition, Cortana works through the mic on Nokia headphones as well as bt headphones. Totally hands free.
  • guys guys what are you talking about? "future phones", "will use Snapdragon 800+", "Cortana better"? How is it better if it is NOT working at all on MOST of Lumias? I'd rather have it working pluged in than have it working NOT ;-) And this is the case with budget flagship 830 :-/
  • Can you record any phrase that it will respond to. For instance, a Tina Belcher-esq "uhhhh...." and have it wake up?
  • As of now, no.
  • No, I've tried :/
  • Thanks. I wouldn't do it, but was just curious how it worked behind the scenes.
  • Does it feel like using the Kinect on Xbox one where you say Xbox and give it orders or is this only supposed to call up Cortana without touching the phone?
  • Once Cortana is listening you can say call, text, open, play etc. So play music or text Jane etc works.
  • Great!
  • Any news on the HTC One M8? This is my first Windows phone and I love it and think its way better than the iPhone. But something that is frustrating me is why Microsoft would ask HTC to make this phone, which is arguably the flagship at this point, but yet not include it in key updates. I get the "money" side or whatever but didn't expect to only have access to a limited number of here apps etc.
  • It seems Hey, Cortana is based on SensorCore + Snapdragon 80x. In theory, HTC One could do it, but it does not have SensorCore in the firmware. It is not clear what Microsoft's plans are for SensorCore and Hey Cortana if it will be a Lumia-only feature or they will spread it around in a future OS update.
  • Three HTC One M8 has those things do its just for HTC to release an update so we could have it
  • Yeah I'm hoping it will for your sake. Not good if your new wp experience sucks. Well maybe not suck but feeling left out won't help either haha.
  • Can the Android version do voice-activated Google Now?
  • If you have Google Now launcher yes. Anywhere on a screen including lock screen. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • When can I expect this on my 1520?
  • Coming weeks, as stated in the article.
  • still not available in germany :-(
  • Any word on the One M8 getting this? Could you ask?
  • This looks cool.  If I had a high end Lumia I would use it all the time...too bad there are no high end lumias on T-Mobile.  Or any new ones anywhere...thanks for nothing this fall Nokia/MS.
  • Where did you get that Nokia DT-903 !?!?
  • Exactly.... Why has this thing taken so long to come to market?
  • I cheered when you removed the hair from your screen in the video... it was driving me nuts. I'm curious how it'll work in a car.
  • It works quite well in the car using Bluetooth.
  • They need to be willing to "carry the weight" until there is enough of a financial motive for other companies to compete on this basis. HTC, Samsung (if they come) are going to spend 95% of their time developing apps etc. for android,
  • I really hope they keep updating hey Cortana, for as it is it is very hard to activate outside of the car. When the phone is even a couple of meters away it is especially difficult. I would have prefered if it was much easier to activate even if anyone could activate her and not only my voice.
  • Can Live Without This Feature, no big deal ;)
  • Too bad I cant afford flagships :'(
  • Great. Another tease for Icon owners.
  • It is OBVIOUS that Verizon is holding up our update.  The 930 is identical (outside of the CDMA radio) to the Icon so if Denim works on the 930 it should work just as well on the Icon!  As stated, the only difference is the CDMA radio, but I can't imagine it would have taken Verizon/Microsoft six friggin months to resolve an issue with only a CDMA radio.  There is OBVIOUSLY bad blood between Microsoft and Verizon and I seriously believe Verizon is acting like a spoiled brat, making obnoxious demands to delay updates for the Icon!  I think all Icon owners need to bombard Verizon with demands for the firmware update on a daily basis until they grow up and release our update!
  • Won't matter. Verizon has made it pretty clear that we'll get it when they're damn good and ready to give it to us. Their social media team are as condesending as they are clueless. 
  • I would very much like to know how well this works in the car.  I would love to be able to shot off text messages completely hands (and eyes) free.  Honestly thats probably the only scenario where I need this.
  • I do this already using a bt headset. Press and hold the answer button until you hear a beep. Cortana opens up and hears through the headset. Make calls send texts play music etc.
  • I didn't know that.  I'll have to try that out in my car.  Thanks for the tip!
  • Its brilliant, never need to touch my phone in the car. Take calls too. Even plays artists and playlists. Enjoy.
  • i have a jabra classic bt handsfree and whatever i've pushed ots buttoms i couldnt enable cortana through bt handfree any idea ?
  • Mine works by pressing the answer button and holding until you hear a beep sound, then let go. Cortana will then activate and you can speak. The only thing I could suggest is check under Bluetooth settings then advanced (W10) that use an alternative is unchecked. If this does not work then I can't help further. I checked your Jabra model and it should work. Try the above and hopefully it will work?
  • It works quite well, as long as you pause/mute any music you are playing before you issue the comand.
  • Not so with a bt headset. If you long press the answer button whilst music is playing, automatically the music pauses and Cortana activates, ready for commands.
  • i have a jabra classic bt handsfree and whatever i've pushed ots buttoms i couldnt enable cortana through bt handfree any idea ?
  • "hey cortana, when is AT&T coming out with a new nokia phone"
  • I'm pretty sure Nokia won't release a phone for a couple of years but Microsoft might release as couple high end phones on November.
  • I'm going to say wait until Microsoft's Build conference in April.  I'm asking the same question.  I'm still enjoying my 920 though.
  • im like my 920 too, but it time to go...
    was looking at the 1520, but im holding back.
  • Screw AT&T, T-Mobile is in much higher need of a new Lumia.
  • Just waiting to get this feature on my newly acquired 930!!
  • +1520
  • Convert it to a Finnish ROM. Instructions in the 930 forum. It's really simple and you will always have the latest OS releases first.
  • Yep, my 930 has been flashed, working fine on O2 in England
  • Apart from loosing O2 visual voicemail, you can only have that with an official O2 firmware.
  • I did the same with my 1520 for the UAE, but remember that anyone in the US can't really do this because it will screw up their radio frequencies which are completely different.
  • I believe it's 'OK Google', not 'Hello Google'. :P
  • I prefer goodbye google, just saying.
  • +One
  • That's funny when Daniel says "Hey, shhh Cortana" haha :D
  • ...
  • Any GOOD reason why they can't implement it on ANY phone while powered?  Because the processor could be running on those in an idle mode simply listening for the command. Wouldn't use much power which with charger would be negligable and would make WP similar to other phones that do this. I.e. while anytime Hey Cortana is good, when powered it should run on all WP phones and coming up, PCs.
  • Snapdragon 800 series chip brought Always Listening. Denim will bring Passive Listening. There is a difference between Passive Listening and Always Listening.
  • I remember i saw a news some time ago that there will be an update for lumia 1020 & lumia 925 for bug fixes, no updates yet.
  • I would like a fix for the annoying battery saver navigation light issue. My mums 1020 is also suffering from no end of random reboots & other frustrations - kind of embarrassing considering I moved her whole setup over to Microsoft services!
    MS need to stop releasing all these budget phones, and instead focus on releasing 4 or 5 phones that are capable of dominating their respective market segments. That way, their engineers can solve issues quicker than their current glacial rate!
  • My wife's 1020 was also rebooting very often. The cyan update didn't help the situation, so I ultimately added her phone to the Preview for Developers program to get the very latest OS update and now it is more stable and functional than it has ever been. Hope it works for your mum too!
  • Unfortunately, she has been on the Dev Preview for months (not that she knows anything about it!).
    I think I'll book it in for repair when she gets back from her charity work in Africa (annoyingly, she can't use her 1020 camera, and her Canon camera has also died. She also managed to smash the screen on her 820 'Africa phone'! So it's been a tech disaster all round!!)
  • Weird. I wonder what that's about - mine has been rock solid.
  • My 1020 has had a couple of random reboots....my dad's has been rock solid.
    Unfortunately, I'm not sure my mum will ever trust a Windows Phone again. My sis and bro have iPhone's - so I feel the inevitable swing to the Big Apple! The camera on the 1020 is immense though...and she has the 64GB edition. So maybe she will give the platform another chance.
    Microsoft need to polish up the OS though. We need to have actionable notifications, & a less cluttered settings menu. They also need to improve the backup system - Whatsapp chat logs often fail to restore, which means we lose our chat histories. No such problems on iOS.
  • I have been using WP from L900, L920 to L1020.  Zero hardware issues.
  • Cool, one day I'll buy a device with "hey Cortana". Just saying.
  • "Hey Cortana" will be available on all W10 PCs.
  • I can't wait to get this tomorrow!
  • You do know tomorrow never comes, right!
  • Wow! From all the years I've been living, tomorrow has been the day after today and it has always came. Tomorrow will come even if the denim update does not. Tuesday will definitely be here. I just hope the update comes along with it.
  • This is a little off topic, but where is the best, most reliable place to get a Lumia 930?  Unfortunately Verizon's exclusivity agreement is preventing AT&T from selling them.  I'm still enjoying my 920, but the 930 is the first phone in 2 years that I would ipgrade for.  I've checked eBay and Amazon, but I'm wondering if there is somewhere else I can go.
  • Try Expansys.com
  • Thanks for the tip.  Unfortunately the 930 on thier website is $50+ more expensive, after conversion, than going through eBay or Amazon.  Maybe I'll hold off until after the Build conference and see what is being developed for Windows 10.
  • Just got mine from ebay last week (nevermsrp).  Flashed to a different country and updated to denim.  It is an awesome phone. 
     
  • Lumia 930 was never designed for the odd one out US market, that's why a lot of the frequencies for US 4G are missing. In the rest of the civilized world carrier exclusives rarely happen as we are basically allowed to come and go as we please & take are number to any provider we like as long as any minimum contract term is paid of.
  • I agree.  Our frequencies are messed up, but so far AT&T has been the best for me when I had a Razr, iPhone 3, iPhone 4, and now the 920.  We have a similar contract term.  Most plans are for a 2 year contract, and you get the phone at a steep discount.  It seems like exclusives are going away here, and exclusives that never go to another carrier are extreemely rare.  I believe there are people that have bought an unlocked 930 and used it in the US, but I also don't want to pay around $450 for the phone.  I'm going to wait and see what happens at the Build conference.  I've waited over 2 years for a phone to replace my 920, so I can wait a bit longer.
  • Still not available in Saudi Arabia
  • It's ok. I have it on my converted 930 (Finland ROM). It's as simple as pressing the Cortana button but admittedly easier. I'm kind of disappointed in the 930's ability to pick up voice in the car. 5 mics and all. You basically have to yell unless its dead silent. Denim camera quality is nothing to joke about though. It's fantastic.
  • Agree, I impressed with the Camera.
  • Sounds like I will stick with my bt headset, it does the same thing and works 99% of the time.
  • Did the same on my 1520 and agree 100% with what you said. Hey cortana is a bit underwhelming but the camera improvements are awesome. Loving Rich capture and 4k video.
  • Excellent video Daniel, looking forward to your Lumia Camera video ... Denim is the deciding factor for me whether I'll get the 930 or skip it
  • Looking for Lumia camera review :)
  • UK now
  • I want to say Oi Cortana, like a bloke.
  • I'm sure Cortana would like a bloke
  • I want denim!
  • So, with a BT headset you have someting close - if yoour headset will wake the phone with a long-press of the call button. But, I wonder if the Moto Hint headset - which reportedly engages Hello Google using just your voice - will work with Hey Cortana...   Excited for Denim and glad to hear you infer that it'll be arriving for us Ma Bell users soon. 
  • So the HTC one wont ever get this feature, since denim is for Lumia only.
  • It is primarily a chipset limitation. If the OS has the feature and HTC wants to put in the time to enable the CPU feature to reach the OS feature via their own firmware solution then they will certainly be able to... but we all know HTC's history with supporting devices (any device, not just WP devices).
  • HTC has changed for the best in that regard updating devices 90 after the latest os. For Android anyways. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Does this work with a lock screen PIN?
  • Yup.
  • Imagine this scenario:
    Hey, Cortana
    ...
    Best pizza nearby?
    (cortana serves nearest pizza restaurants)
    Get me to the first one - nothing happens because Cortana is not listening. I'd have to press the microphone.
    So I go Hey, Cortana - what happens? Does it start listening or does it go from scratch? So my question is: can I use Cortana's context recognition with passive listening or not?
  • Can someone answer this?
  • Cortana usually starts listening right away when it asks you something.
  • That is true but there are ocassions such as I described where she doesn't ask and doesn't listen but can take commands that work with the results.
  • Will the "hey Cortana" work with a bluetooth/headset-mic?  Or do we have to still say "Hey Cortana" into the phone when either device is plugged in
  • I do not have denim so have used a bt headset for this. Long press the answer button until you hear a beep and Cortana opens. You can use all commands hands free. Wonderful function and safe too.
  • Silly question, but if you train it with a different phrase will the phone still recognize it? For example could you train it to respond to 'Hey Hal' or 'hey phone' or something along those lines? Cortana is a fine name an all, but as I never really got into Halo it really does not mean anything to me and I would love to call my phone device a specific name... this could be particularly important when win10 comes around and we get cortana on computers. I don't want to say 'hey cortana' and have 5 devices all wake up listening to me. I would rather have my phone, desktops, and laptop (or xbox1 if I had one) each respond to a different name or phrase. ... I would love to see a the conference on the 21st where they are going to say 'hey cortana' all the time during the demo and a bunch of attendees constantly having to dig out their phone to hit the back button. That could be better than the xbox commands being triggered by commercials and podcasts.
  • I have it on my 1520 since denim was released to Finland... Not new, but I have to say its not working 99% of the times I tried. Only when there is absolute silence
  • Interesting to know. I currently use my bt headset in the car with 99% success rate. Does the same, just through bt headset.
  • My 920 is sad.  Just joking. I cannot wait to see what Microsoft does in the high end space for W10.
  • It will work with Bluetooth speakers.so you can say hey Cortana of your phone is in another room and you have a jambox in another.
  • Great idea :)
  • Samsung is garbage. Samsung won't even update their firmware to support WP8.1. Meanwhile Nokia/Microsoft phones are getting these awesome "hey Cortana" features... Samsung is garbage.
  • The only feature my 830 lacks, and it's not a big thing for me anyway
  • Question. When you asked about the weather it then prompted you to press the microphone or type. Can you say Hey Cortana again at this point to get it to listen again. (you shouldn't use mobile keypad whilst driving).
  • Yes, it works when the phone is 'on' too.
  • Thanks :)
  • So I can stare at my phone for ten seconds until it decides whether or not it heard me (spoiler: It didn't) so I can then spend another 5 to 10 seconds waiting for it to do some mundane action like open an app that I could have accomplished in two seconds by unlocking the phone and looking for it? I wonder if Google now is as useless as that image makes hey Cortana seem (I don't use Android, but spoilers, it's probably way more advanced, useful and integrated into the OS than Cortana will ever be).
  • Cortana works almost instantly and does not steal all your data like Google Now does.
  • This picture of the Nokia on it's charger is spot on! Exactly where it mostly needs to be when using Cortana. (oh and don't forget, where tracking yo ass wherever you go ;)
  • Cortana with SensorCore will be minimal battery usage, from what I've read and will work anytime, anywhere. Unlike Siri, that only works when the phone is plugged into the mains.
  • Nothing to stop you saying 'OK, Google' when training the 930, of course :)
  • Wrong, only works with Hey Cortana.
  • So only flagships will have it?
  • I read all these articles about Cortana and time goes bye. Still no Cortana for the rest of the world.  No new sexy phones what makes me stay with my 920. 2014 was a lost year for windows phone and i'm becoming less and less optimistic for Microsoft's os.
  • Where I will be coming for low end devices, plssssssss
  • Hey Daniel,   Is that the DT-903 charger next to your 930? When the heck is that thing coming out?
     
  • Hey does "hey Cortana" work on the HTC One M8 for Windows?
  • No, its a Lumia exclusive.
  • I want that glowing cheating plate so badly. Where can I get one?
  • Charging....
  • Daniel Rubino...
  • When Denim will release to Lumia 1520?
  • If you're with at&t its suppose to be tomorrow.
  • Source?
  • Daniel Rubino
  • Awesome review.. Thanks Dan
  • I can't wait to try it on my Lumia icon :/
  • Woo woo icon ftw! First time ever saying that
  • When will denim come out for 1520??
  • Some countries still doesn't have an update in Asia..
  • hey Cortana, tell em!
  • hey Cortana tell em!
  • I guess 1020 is too old for everything now lol.
  • Going to be a great feature if icon ever gets it. Thinking of getting an unlock orange 930 with that charger. Is that a display charger with less behind it?
  • So,​ on the 930 (same phone as the icon) is there a battery hit for keeping "hey Cortana" enabled all the time ?
  • The impression is that SensorCore uses minimal power so you can use Cortana anytime, anywhere Where as Siri can only work when the phone is plugged into the mains.
  • You are demoing it to someone? Or are you testing it? I assume the latter.
  • "Hey Cortana. When will I receive my 1520 Denim update?"
  • Un freaking believable. I switched to Lumia 1020 from 900 hoping that i will get all the upcoming updates, and now this shit comes in. No comment. I just want to say: Fuck You Microsoft!!!!!!
  • "By training Hey Cortana with your voice, the phone only responds to your commands and not someone else's." ^^ This right here. Perfect.
  • Why others phone doesn't have hey cortana feature why is this difference between 400 & 800 chipset??
  • You guys are very slow in the fastest growing world when we will get denim update???
  • Am tired of hearing weeks to come. When is the actual date? Weeks to come can be a week, 3 weeks, or 5 weeks it can be even 12, 15 weeks. All we want to know is exact date when we getting the update in 1520.
  • Coming soon© Microsoft™
  • This is how all digital assistance should work across all platforms, this is the best way of using digital assistance....
  • Hey Cortana. Take my selfie.
  • Next feature: You tap the Cortana tile and Cortana in a physical body appears in front of you.
  • When is Cortana going to be released to the rest of the world where one is not required to change their regions? since changing our Regions affect our MS Store, some of us are forced to stick to our regions yet we also want to have this Cortana. We need international Cortana that doesn't depend on regions! please don't favour others, neglecting us as if we have paid less money for the phones than the others.  
  • Microsoft releases new features but it takes years to reach customers like us in India. Denim is still not rolled out to all devices including 1520. When asked Lumia replies your phone will let you know when the update is available as it is under testing with carriers. I have a written confirmation from one of the India carrier that they have nothing to do with any handset update. So is Microsoft fooling around? If yes, then they may be in big trouble soon. Customer is the King !!
  • Carriers never lie or bend the truth, right?
  • Windows Central must pass on this message to Microsoft sooner than later as the patience amongst windows phone users is becoming thinner and thinner.......
  • One question for Daniel Rubino, does the feature work even when phone the locked with a pass code? If that's the case, then anyone who happens to get through to Cortana can perform tasks. Can you please explain more on this? I can't wait to get it on my Lumia 930 already!!
  • Is"hey Cortana" what everyone agreed upon? Thought people would go with something different from Siri with a more Halo feel. Personally i wanted it to be "listen Cortana"
  • Me: Hey Cortana! Find a quite place.. Cortana: What?  Me: ಠ_ಠ
  • Well it seems the 1020 is now too old for new features so they had better announce a replacement soon because this was a feature I was looking forward to..
  • In the coming weeks ?? You must be kidding me
  • How good is the voice recognition?  Will it still recognise my voice if I have a cold or I am out of breath whilst running? 
  • They say you can train it, so when you get Denim catch a cold and try.
  • Looks awesome and the voice training puts it one up on Google. Can't wait for a new flagship that I can get this on!
  • Whats the impact on battery life with "Hey Cortana" feature turned on?
  • Dang my Lumia 928 can't. Sigh.
  • Is it possible that the HTC 8x will receive this?
  • Hey Daniel, so glad you moved that hair off the screen... was irritating me ;-)
  • Still no denim at Asia
  • This 21ts make us happy with good news....
  • Tried this on my Lumia 520 and nothing happened.
    LOL
  • "Microsoft does not store your voice samples in the cloud, and instead they stay local (for those of you concerned about privacy). You can also wipe the training at any time to start over." Ohhhh maan, ohh maan, how stupid MS considers their consumers....!
    What about the voice searches? Those must ALWAYS and UNCONDITIONALLY go to the cloud, the phone is unable to do voice recognition locally. Bummm, 1 single  heycortana voice sample of yours will not be stored, and the other hundres are still stored forever in Azure.
  • Now if MS would just stop dicking around and release it for sim-free 1520 I would be happy, but they haven't, :/
  • I still dont have Denim yet so how can I try this out? Lumia 930
  • Really bummed that this will not work on my Lumia 830 :(
  • So 800 and above chipsets are getting "hey cortana" activation when the screen is off. Is their any on screen "hey cortana" activation? Like with the phone screen is on and you get activate cortana without touching the live tile or search button. I meant to ask if lower chipsets are eligible for "on" screen voice activation with denim update or not.
  • Still waiting...☹
  • My Lumia 625 is still waiting...