How to use Cortana with the Microsoft Band

The Microsoft Band works with the iPhone, Android devices, and Windows Phone, but they don't all get Cortana integration. If you're running Windows Phone 8.1 Update, you can use Cortana on the Microsoft Band. How does it work? How does it look? We show you in our hands-on video.

In order for Cortana to work on your Microsoft Band, you need Cortana to be installed on your Windows Phone. If you press the Search button on your Windows Phone and see the Bing image of the day, Cortana isn't on.

To bring up Cortana, press and hold the Action button on your Microsoft Band for 2 seconds. You can use Cortana any time, even when the display is off. You do not need to tap the Cortana tile. Your phone must be nearby, however. Cortana uses the mic on your Microsoft Band to "listen" when you speak.

After you speak, Cortana opens on your Windows Phone and responds to your request. Depending on your request, it displays the response on the Band itself or it lets you know if you need to view your phone.

Cortana Microsoft Band

Things like setting reminders, alarms, creating notes, initiating calls, fact checks, sports scores, and chit chat are displayed on the Band without the need of looking at your phone. Some things like asking for directions or other information that cannot fit in the Band tell you to continue on your phone.

Need some ideas on what to ask Cortana? Try these:

  • Wake me up at 6 AM.
  • Remind me to get cash when I leave home.
  • Convert 1 US dollar to Philippine Pesos.
  • Add surfing to the beach to my calendar for Saturday.
  • Tell me a joke.
  • How many calories in a bagel?
  • Text Sam: Want to play FIFA?

The Cortana tile on the Microsoft Band sends notifications such as news, sports, reminders, etc. to your Band. You can turn off these notifications, but it does not turn Cortana off.

So while people on iOS and Android can use the Microsoft Band, they miss out on the Cortana integration available for Windows Phone 8.1 users. How do you feel about Cortana on Microsoft Band? Sound off in the comments!

Mark Guim

Mark Guim is Video Editor at Windows Central. He switched to Windows because the MacBook Pro isn't Pro enough. You can follow him on Twitter at @markguim.