Lenovo's REACHit with Cortana gets demoed on video

For those using Lenovo tablets or PCs, REACHit is not a new app. In fact, it often either comes preinstalled, or Lenovo informs you about the app's availability through their Store. REACHit lets you connect up multiple devices and cloud storage services to make finding your files easier.

Late last night, Lenovo and Microsoft announced a new partnership to hook Cortana's power into REACHit so that you can make the Lenovo service feel much more native. Now, a new video posted explains better how the two services work together and what the result for regular consumers will be when Windows 10 launches this summer.

Although Lenovo is one of a handful of companies to announce deeper Cortana integration, the truth is any company can do this due to Cortana Extensibility in Windows 10. Uber, Shopular, and Vine are other services tapping into the power of Cortana, and we are confident other firms will join as well.

REACHit plus Cortana

  • Allows users to search for photos, videos, documents and music across devices, including Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, OneDrive, PCs and tablets
  • Gives users the ability to add location to searches, cross-referencing the file event with the location data to produce the most relevant results
  • Cortana and REACHit works on Lenovo PCs and tablets running Windows 10.
  • Since Lenovo and Microsoft collaborated on this project, this results in a seamless, enhanced Cortana search experience
  • A single place to search for your content, whatever it is and wherever it may be
  • Support for cloud storage providers like OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, and Box
  • Support for email services like Gmail, Exchange, and IMAP
  • Support for calendar services* like Exchange, Outlook.com, and Google Calendar
  • Support for search across multiple Windows 10 devices
  • The most natural search – express your search as you would normally speak it, based on what you can remember
  • Contextual awareness enables you to search in ways you never thought possible

Finally, while Lenovo loaded apps have traditionally been referred to as 'bloatware', increasingly OEMs are offering useful tools for consumers. REACHit, WRITEit, SHAREit while not for everyone are very helpful and interesting creations, filling in gaps in Windows 10 and letting manufacturers still differentiate.

As someone who uses multiple Lenovo products (X1 Carbon, Yoga 3 Pro, Yoga Tablet 2, ThinkPad 8) but who doesn't currently use REACHit, this Cortana tie-in certainly piques my interest. I can't wait to try it out.

Source: YouTube

Daniel Rubino
Editor-in-chief

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.

63 Comments
  • Nice, windows 10 is a big hit
  • Great!
  • "REACHit" reminds me of another Halo reference, the planet Reach! Probably just a happy accident, but it's still funny.
  • As a test I'm going to install regular REACHit on my X1 Carbon to try and start using this service. Never seemed like something I would use but I might as well give it a shot. PS Yes, the X1 Carbon is my favorite laptop. Will do more on it maybe in the coming days if people are curious as to why.
  • Yes, I'd like to read more about it :)
  • If I were in the market for a laptop it would be the X1 Carbon for sure. Love the slightly larger screen and keyboard!
  • Yeah, for me those are probably two of the biggest reasons. LTE modem built in is a huge third for me as well. Now I may work on that as a top five reasons post...
  • Hi Daniel,
    Please do...
    I have the surface pro 3 for personal use but I need something else for work and my job told me that I can choose any laptop from lenovo for work when I'm not at my office. And the X1 Carbon looks amazing...   Thanks!      
  • Wow wish my workplace offered such a choice!
  • Maybe a smack-down between the X1 and SP3? :)
  • the X1 Carbon is sooo sexy! but i'm saving for SP4 :) My Thinkpad W510 is getting kind of old with its 1st gen i7 :)
  • Daniel please do a review on X1 carbon, looks like a perfect laptop with perfect screen size, weight and dimensions.
  • I really wish that the X1 was expandable up to 16GB RAM.  Perhaps the next version.
  • Now they will have access to all my files everywhere
  • I hate to be the grammar police, but "I can't way to try it out." Shouldn't that be "wait"?
  • Surely this is more of a spelling issue than a grammar issue. You have joined the wrong police force. ;-)
  • LOL True!
     
  • Lol
  • LMAO, you win 20 cookies. 10 for being correct and 10 for humour, enjoy :)
  • Extremely cool. I wonder if it will work that well in real life use.
  • That is really the big question. Often, they show these things in demos and 'natural voice' and it seems awesome. However, in real life, it often falls short. I am moderately confident this will be interesting, but holding back on the 'groundbreaking' assessment for now.
  • Most of the time, though, Cortana recognizes my regular voice. So, I have confidence.
  • Is that awesomeness for all Lenovo PCs, Daniel? I own Lenovo G40.
  • Yup, I can even download it for the Yoga 2 tablet.
  • I have said this before and I am saying it again - bring scientific and engineering data into Cortana. Would be awesome!
  • ...and Wizardly stuff, right?
  • Yeah, and a little alchemy. ^.^
  • Sarcasm?
    Edit: Oh! You are saying that because of my picture? Nice of you to notice and yes, that would be nice too :D
  • What no Superfish comments yet! I expected at least 10 by now. You guys are slacking!
  • I'm relieved to see us moving past that. Everytime I use my X1 and read those comments I'm like "Man, these people just have nooo idea on what they are missing"
  • I agree. I still have an x220 tablet and it has been a workhorse for the last few years. Plus my wife has the original Yoga and it still works like a charm.
  • Seems like it would just be better to save your files on OneDrive. Doesn't require a Lenovo device, automatically downloads files (for computers), you can share files with a link... If you need more than 30 GB cloud storage, just hand over the $2/month for 100 total. What am I missing?
  • I mean, it works with OneDrive. What you are missing is for work, many people have to use other services that their company requires, so not everyone can "just use OneDrive". Doesn't really make sense to be constantly replicating data (pulling from Dropbox, uploading to OneDrive) just to avoid using this app.
  • Ok, that makes more sense. As a student I get to handle my data basically however I want so I guess it's never been an issue for me.
  • Yeah, to be a little more clear, a lot of "Lenovo stuff" is enterprise-focused. Like my X1 Carbon. Sure consumers can use it, but it is 100% made for road-warriors and corporate. They do a lot of consumer stuff now and REACHit is kind of in between the two worlds. Corporate gets the most out of it, but consumers may also find value.
  • This, to me, seems like an extension to Cortana. Picking up on places and dates to search for photos, files etc. As I find Cortana really useful for playing music, emailing, sending texts, making calls etc, to asking "directions to Birmingham International Airport" and Cortana does all this and more. Then REACHit seems like an exciting add on to Cortana. Will it be available for all W10 devices?
  • No, only lenovo PCs and tablets.
  • Thanks. Guess Microsoft could consider a deal to incorporate this into Cortana, if possible. It would be very useful across Windows devices.
  • All i see is people talking no real demo of the action , it sounds too good to be true for me but we hope this turns to be as good as they claim
  • Now if only Lenovo would bake this into a Motorola Windows Phone. Hmmm... Lumia 940+Surface Pro 4, or Lenovo Carbon x1 + Moto W10?
  • Yeah, will be interesting to see if their mobile division bites and makes a phone someday.
  • This looks like a useful service... I will seriously consider Lenovo for my next PC and my work PCs.
  • Does the partnership mean that Microsoft can't make their own version of this to implement for Windows 10 itself? If it does, this area of Cortana is going to stagnate for most users....
  • I think they kind of are by opening up OneDrive and Office to other services. But they can't just flat out steal this from Lenovo, as Lenovo will use this to stand out in the PC crowd.
  • All other OEMs need to take notice.
  • I think its a great example of letting an OEM differentiate on the platform without cluttering up Windows with crapware. With MS making hardware too, they have to let the OEMs compete too or they'll find themselves all alone like they did with WP.
  • probably one of the truest comments I've ever read here. I think if windows phone 7 launched more open and had much more mature APIs and tools for OEMs to differentiate from the others, the OS would of had more success. Not sure how much but definitely more than it did.
  • These are not the Droids you are looking for.
  • Since this apparently isn't using any Lenova unique hardware, it won't be good if Microsoft has an agreement with Lenova that prevents MS from from implement any of the same concepts into Cortana or generic W10 in the future. And if it runs on generic hardware, it should also be offered for sale to non-Lenovo users. If MS' belief that services and apps should be available on all OS platforms (and they are) the same logic applies to brands of hardware. I hope Lenova follows MS' lead.
  • "And if it runs on generic hardware, it should also be offered for sale to non-Lenovo users."
    Microsoft is smart enough to try and not tell their partners how to run their business. Microsoft may want to try and buy it, but I doubt Lenovo would sell. Manufacturers are and should be allowed to differentiate through hardware and software. If Microsoft closes that off, like Windows Phone, they see little value.
  • I doubt it benjer3, deep Cortana integration will be available to any software developer, obviously including Microsoft. Lenovo just gets to do it earlier than most.
  • Daniel, I am missing something... What role in this excerpt did REACHit played?. I thought Cortana will be able to do those search words in windows 10, which part of the seachwords did REACHit worked on?
  • You may find your answer in the first paragraph :)
  • REACHit goes beyond your local PC and OneDrive, which is Cortana's limitation. Cortana does not hook into all of those services. REACHit is like a hub for your cloud and PC stuff. Cortana hooks into hub, boom, exponential search value.
  • Thank you very much. WPUser2; you are probably correct, even reading it again did not expose it to me from the standpoint that I thought Cortana can search deep into any configured storage on the device it is on cloud and phisical, but Daniel now noting that it has limitation in that aspect and there is where REACHit comes in, now makes sense as you alluded to in first 2 paragraphs.
  • Latest updates in Lumia 520
  • Please someone respond to that stupid comment posted 34 minutes ago on that video. It claims a high school student could do better than MS. Loads of bull
  • So,a windows10 based smartphone by Lenovo is needed.a mid-ranger like Lumia 640
  • I've never been a fan if Chinese brands,but Im loving lenovo
  • THANK YOU DAN RUBINO!!! This is what I'm talking about. An assistant that is there when you need it. I am more pleased with Microsoft with Cortana than ever.
  • Daniel Rubino, I hope so. They sure do throw around "exclusive" and "collaboration" a lot to make it worrying. It was emphatic in the press release and this video. Since when do software developers make a big deal about using OS APIs and then start calling it exclusive? It would be great if you could get the official Microsoft position on this to clarify what makes this exclusive?
  • Well, REACHit is exclusive to Lenovo devices, they're just hooking into Cortana as a front-end to make it a more native experience. REACHit is just a hub that Lenovo made to pull in all your cloud services, computers, phones, etc. Cortana now taps into that.
  • YouTube from this app doesn't work, API 3.0 problem.