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Microsoft is 'actively working' on improving Cortana support with Bluetooth for Windows 10 Mobile

Microsoft's launch of a new preview build of Windows 10 Mobile late last week brought a lot of bug fixed for the upcoming smartphone OS. However, there are still some issues with using Cortana on Bluetooth connection, and that's something that the Windows 10 is "actively working" to improve upon in future releases of the OS.

Many Windows 10 Mobile testers have had issues using Cortana with a Bluetooth set-up, including wireless speakers and using it with a car. In a response to a user question about that topic, Windows Insider head Gabriel Aul recently stated on Twitter:

"Cortana over BT is something we're actively working on."

Certainly, many Windows 10 Mobile users would like to be able to speak to Cortana on a Bluetooth set-up in a hands-free mode. Hopefully those improvements will come sooner rather than later.

Source: Gabriel Aul (Twitter)

104 Comments
  • I suspect that's why I can't do voice-to-text with my Bluetooth headset.
  • TBH, Lumia's bluetooth support has been appaling for years (my car needs to be repaired everytime it is turned on, how serious a flaw is that, at that point, Handsfree might as well not exist). The only thing that works well on bluetooth  is the MS Band, but even that doesnt work for Cortana.
  • So has android's for that matter, all the issues described I have with my android phone (5.0) on bluetooth and even 3.5mm audio clink.
  • I have no issues with BT to my car stereo (or my Nokia MD12). It works the same as if I spoke to the phone directly. Granted the MIC that came with my Kenwood DDX392 is not as good as the MIC on my phone (Lumia 830) but Cortana and other BT function all work as expected. When I had an Alpine deck, the BT was about 80% working. My Wife's Subaru stock desk is about 60%. The stock deck in a 2013 Nissan Altima I rented a while back worked 100% (Where an iPhone failed to even connect to it). So maybe it's your car stereo, not Windows Phone?
  • I generally don't have any issues with my 1520.  My car pairs everytime, my headset has only had one or two issues.  The FitBit Charge HR I had for about a week worked fine.  The only device I had issues with was a MS Band.  I had some minor issues getting it to pair initially, but ever since has been fine.  My experience suggests your comments might be a little too broad.  It's possible I am the exception, but at this point it also seems possible your experience is the exception.
  • Thanks Captain Obvious!
  • I hope they are doing something to improve BT support with EVERYTHING!  I have an ATT branded 830 and MS Band. Trying to maintain connectivity for a day is a lost hope.  Getting the 830 to not cut off the first 3-5 seconds of announced directions on my car's BT stereo is a task beyond discovering cold fusion.  Half the time my 830 just disappears from my car stereo. My 920 was rock solid on BT. I hope that MS doesn't use the moniker "affordable flagship" on any of their next devices. I truely wonder if anyone at MS understands anything about BT to make Cortana work. Ugh!
  • And thats why as of 8.1.2 they took control of the bt stack
  • FS2001, I'm a little confused!  MS has always had control of the BT stack.  I'm guessing that they aren't buying 3rd party software from www.wonkybtstacks.com for integration into their Phone OS.  If MS is then there are big problems in Redmond! Now they might not be able to deploy the BT stack because of screwed up carrier testing restriction but guess what, even "as of 8.1.2 they took control of the bt stack" they are still going to have to get carrier approval.  You really don't believe that MS is going to deploy firmware/communications level updates without some buy off by the carrier do you in the U.S.A? Oh, and when is my 830 going to get updated?  I'm guessing that with the new Lumia's coming soon (definitely a relative term and MS's "coming soon" is probably more tied to the Dynastic Cycle than what most folks in tech think of as soon) ATT will just drop the 830 and have no flagship (affordable or otherwise) so that they don't have to comply with the manditory requirement to have a "kill function" in the phone.
  • regardless of what ATT does, you can get Win 10 on your phone, so there is that.
  • T11, But you still can't get Denim.  That's the important thing.  Nothing hardware wise gets fixed without the carriers. Are you saying that if I update to W10 that my wifi and BT issues go away AND my camera gets better? Please post how you are updating the FIRMWARE with W10 on an ATT L830! Unless you are saying that I can run some Beta OS on top of gimped hardware?  Well, I can do that but why?  How would I be able to provide any feedback at all on the OS?  If something was wrong and I was to provide feedback I would guess that MS would just say that it is an issue with not having the latest firmware.  Now what fun is that?
  • Mine stays connected since doing a hard reset on the phone and band....but no notifications come through. Previously they did come through, but sometimes twice, or not at all until I went I to the respective app, at which point it would ping them all across
  • lmao @ "beyond discovering cold fusion" aptly worded!
  • This is why I wont use the windows 10 tp on my 1520. I need this to work.
  • Rolled back to 8.1 on my 1520 when I couldn't setup basic reminders in Cortana..
  • You should be actively find a flaw or problem or loophole or anything but not running away...This is Tech Preview
  • Why isn't her background dark for W10 using dark theme? This kind of pisses me off...
  • Is that not a choice of the user?  Why would you be upset if a user prefers the light theme.
  • As twint7787 stated, if the user selects the Dark Theme for the phone, Cortana should use the Dark Theme as well. However, again as twint7787 noted, that is not the case, currently. Even though I have the Dark Theme enabled, Cortana lists results on a white background. It actually looks quite ugly (personal opinion) against the top banner of Cortana, which actually uses the Dark Theme.
  • I prefer it the way it is...and I think they said Cortana was for the most part in her final UI stages (if i recall correctly)...its the same on the desktop
  • There was one image of Cortana in a Win 10 image, and you could see Cortana having a picture background (Bing Images), it looked quite nice, I hope they add this to final UI changes.
  • Even when black theme is selected it's still mostly white.  That's about what it looks like on dark theme.  But they seem to have ignored the theme setting on most of the newer apps.
  • Beacuse dark theme looks nicer :D
  • This is actually one if the biggest reasons I rolled back to 8.1. Just couldn't deal with it. I use Cortana a lot.
  • Hope they add settings so I can choose if a unit shall receive phone+ notifications, media sound or both, so damn basic but still I can't choose it...
  • I get neurotic every time I enable the BT on my WP8.1.2 phone, as my car headunit immediately starts playing music over BT via the xbox music player without me asking it to do so. This whole thing could be solved super easily if the developers at MSFT werent such idiots that they completely skipped the god damn BT profile fine-tuning ability. So I could remove music playing from my car headunits pairing. But no, MSFT developer retards cannot implement a damn simple BT profile editor. Good job MSFT, well done BT implementation. <Spits next to himself>
  • I actually like that it starts to play, but yeah I can't understand why it isn't there. When I work I use a bt headset for calls and a bt-aux unit for music. As it is now I need to switch every time someone calls and then switch back...
  • Yeah and where's "Hey Cortana"? That feature needs to be in the next build.
  • Well it does require specific chipsets after all my guess is its not ready yet for public testing yet
  • You are right, and I do not believe there are currently any phones out there that have the proper chipset.
  • Eh?
  • "hey Cortana" was working on my 1520 windows 8.1 long before there was a windows 10 preview and it's almost 2 years old.................
  • It worked on my Icon until I added the preview of Windows 10 Mobile. I look forward to it's return soon.
  • 930 had it before W10 preview...
  • Brilliant news. great work MS.
  • That's incredibly important to me. I really hope they fixt it by the time WM10 drops.
  • You will be disappointed, granted.
  • Really, do you have details that confirm this?
  • What they sould be doing is actively working on bringing Cortana to the rest of the World, to more marketplaces and actually being a mayor feature in Windows 10, not just a mayor feature in Windows 10 just for the US.
  • Hey Federico I feel your pain. I try and use Cortana but each time I press the search button she tells me "I'm sorry, I can't speak your language" I'm firkin English, what do you mean you stupid cow! Don't tell me she thinks American English is actual English!
  • One of the reasons why I long disabled Cortana. In my part of the world Cortana is just a gimmick
  • You in the Uk?
  • MS is actively working to do just that with Cortana actually. They talked about that a while back.  So while they are working to make that happen, they will continue to grow and improve on the service where it is already released.
  • Does this even work on 8.1? I have a hard time with it
  • works flawless on all my phones on 8.1 and 8.1 update 2 not so good on WP10
  • Hmm... Maybe its my Bluetooth device. I have LG Tone Pros that sometimes work. The main issue is I have to speak really loudly for Cortana to hear me. People I'm talking to seem to hear me just fine.
  • That's because it's not using the mic on your LG headset but instead using the mic on your phone. Talking to your phone should yield better results. Alternatively, you can try using the advance setting in bluetooth and tick "Use an alternate bluetooth...for speech". It MIGHT resolve your issue.
  • Thanks The Extreme G, I will try that.
  • She, occasionally, gets her knickers in a twist when I use BT on 8.1.  
  • I get all kinds of strange behavior on 8.1.   Cortana: You have a message from X.  Do you want to read it or ignore it?
    Me: Read it
    Cortana: Ok, who's the message going to? OR Cortana: The Message says: "blah blah"
    Cortana: Do you want to reply, call back or are you done?
    Me: Reply.
    Cortana: Ok, who's the message going to?   Frustrates me to no end.  Using Sync no MFT in Ford Focus.  
  • This happens all the time, regardless of BT.
  • Did not know. Thanks.  I only use Cortana texting on BT.
  • It's about time, whenever I receive a group text message in my car it reads "No Subject" stupid Cortana!
  • They told that Cortana was going to be available in Latin America "earlier" this year...... I'm still waiting for it
  • Dont believe any BS that MSFT lies to you!
  • yes! Microsoft are out to get you! Put on your tinfoil hat and crawl under a rock!
  • And the point of your comment was.....?
  • I think battery life is more important..
  • On build 10166, and yeah, the BT hands free is pretty bad. She will announce when I have a text message, ask me if I want to read it, reads the messages and then just stops halfway through the message. Or just doesn't even respond after her first inquiry and goes silent. She's like a pissed off wife giving you the silent treatment. Lol.
  • And remind me is hit and miss. Was reminded 50 miles from actual location in remind me listing.
  • Very timely article...I am glad it isn't just me (Lumia ICON and Build 10166)...I miss her already in my car...the UConnect girl just isn't the same... :(
  • Voice needs tweaking she kinda jerks a bit when asking for the weather on the 830
  • Talking about Bluetooth, I hope in WP10 there should be an option to "accept all" files at once rather than having to click accept for each file. Sending is good but receiving isn't my best part of WP8.1
  • I had heard rumor years ago that there would be a way to have a speed dial setup to "call" Cortana.  So when I am in my car I can use the steering wheel to dial a special phone # to invoke her to listen without touching the phone.  What happened to that?
  • "coming soon"  :)
  • This works in 8.1 Update 1. Add Cortana as a contact and put in 555-555-9876 as the number. It does not work good with 10 10166 though.
  • Anyone know if 8.1 Update 1 is out for the AT&T Lumia 920?  Adding the contact didn't seem to work for me. thanks.
  • I do this on my 2012 Chevy Equinox.
  • I've had this option for quite a while now. Not sure which build it was introduced with but I can ask my car to call Cortana and then it will invoke Bluetooth passthrough. Rogers Lumia 920.
  • That already exists and there was a whole article over half a year ago about it. It worked with my Sony head unit.
  • i'd like to jest be able to adjust BT volume even higher. for windows phone devices only, in my car I'd have max the phone volume and jack the car stereo volume to 30 to make it useful. in comparison, 15 is my loud listening volume (average is 13) and 19 is too loud. 30 is ear drum popping loud for music.
  • There was some kind of BT Absolute volume control feature implemented in WP 8.1.2. But -apart from the usual marketing BS- I could not find any useful technical explanation what this abolute volume profile does in fact? Isnt explained at all in the official bluetooth technical guides either. Guess nobody on the planet knows how absolute volume control supposewd to work...
  • They should improve the expansion in more regions! Like Latin America!!!
  • Well I guess I'll take my time buying my Bluetooth stereo for the car.
  • Interested to see if windows phone will work with the android or iPhone systems that will be included in upcoming GM vehicles. Going to be buying one soon. Hope they play nice with WP.
  • That's good. This is one of the main issues I'm having with 10166. It worked perfectly with my car in 8.1.
  • I need Cortana to read me what's on screen ala NBC News app but OS wide. Also be more like Google Now on Tap.
  • Why not instead give all countries Cortana... Microsoft is slowly killing their own brand.
  • It would be nice just to see Cortana work...period! Until speech language packs can be reliably downloaded, Cortana is pretty much redundant! I know many don't have a problem (US only?) but there's many that do.
  • Vertego, you said it! I was reading all these comments thinking to myself how Cortana has taken a major step back in W10. MS aked my opinion of Cortana in build 10166(W10mobile) in the Feedback app. I thought long and hard about it. I then realized that I use Cortana about 10-20 times a day and she hasn't spoken one response to me in the last two builds. If I hadn't interacted with Cortana for months already, I would have argued that she doesn't speak. The fact that Cortana isn't worldwide after a year is disgraceful!!
  • A personal assistant that doesn't work, understand correct and has limited functions.
    Apple/google should bring siri/google now over, so we have a real assistant.
  • I just wish that Cortana's features in windows 10 is for everyone. 8.1 is almost finish but not all users are capable to use cortanas all features.
  • I use Cortana in my car and have a Sony. Works great ...
  • For me that's all abstract since speaking, writing and understanding English is not enough to launch even limited Cortana functionality like quite hours in my country. Cortana when you'll be available in Poland? Rink tink tink: The f*ck I know..
  • I can't get the latest build to install on my L1520 (sigh). Spinning gears each time I tried.
  • Yeah it definitely needs work, keeps cutting off the Bluetooth signal when switching from Cortana to contact call
  • I have noticed it actually worked better on my UConnect set up than 8.1 did on denim. With 8.1, I lost the texting ability, but it seems to be back. Let's hope that "fixing it" won't break the improvements.
  • Tend to agree. BT is abyssmal in Windows OSX.  In my prior life, under Android, I was able to select one BD device for music (my car stereo) and a second device for phone/speech (a bluetooth headset).  Can't do this in either WP 8.1 or Windows OSX.    
  • It would be great if they also worked for making Cortana Available one of the most spoken languages ESPAÑOL. she's been around for almost two years and she's still not traveling to LATAM.
  • A new mobile OS without BT voice integration would be a disaster. They HAVE to get this ready.
  • When I read the headline, I thought it meant controlling my PC by speaking into my phone. Aw darn.
  • The whole OS is littered with serious bugs currently, at least for me anyway on a Lumia 930. After upgrading, most of my live tiles completely disappeared, but bizarrely when I try to re-pin them the phone tells me they are already pinned. Additionally, voice recognition no longer works at all for me, and when I try and configure the speech language it says the download is "Queued" - doing a soft/hard reset of the phone doesn't fix this. This means that Cortana does not work at all. Also, the ellipse at the bottom-right of Internet Explorer has broken for me, and it can no longer be pressed. Additionally, the start screen now takes as long as a full minute to render, leaving me waiting at the 'Resuming' screen constantly. App startup times have also increased. There is so much broken in this build, the phone is unusable. I will have to revert back to 8.1 again because I simply cannot perform basic functions any longer.  I wouldn't recommend downloading the preview on a primary device. Neither do Microsoft, but I was under the impression that there were only a small amount of bugs in this build. 
  • The pc version isn't much better. And with only 2 weeks till launch.
  • Release the english version of cortana to worwide??????????
  • Cortana works for me on my headset and car, but there is a long delay.
  • They should improve mike icon. It doesn't look nice
  • "Hey Cortana" and "Call Cortana" work great with MyFord Touch in my wife's crappy 2013 Explorer. What I really want to see is a kick-ass MirrorLink implementation on Windows 10 phone. Android Auto and Carplay are going to lock out Windows phone if MS isn't careful. I see that Volvo's new infotainment head unit will support all three. Technological integration of disparate devices is going to play a larger and larger role in people's buying decisions... And MS could be left standing out in the cold in a big way if it doesn't grasp the need to be in the car as much as on your desk or plastered to your ear. MS has shown great strides lately but I'm hoping that they can not only maintain momentum but build upon it. I'm all for choice and a world with just android or ios just doesn't offer enough for me.
  • Me too!   ABSOLUTELY KICK ASS!!   SOON!!!
  • Still no Cortana for Central Europe so...F U C K MS!!!!!
  • Grow up will ya?!
  • This is the only thing keeping me from using Win10 as a daily driver.  Cause I need it as a daily driver in my car and use BT constantly.
  • Bluetooth and Cortana on denim work great in my car. I had to go into Bluetooth settings, Advanced, and select Use an alternate.. It even adds a Cortana phone book entry which the phone invokes for speech. I can call Cortana from a speed dial on my car radio and then tell her to play music or send a text. It's great and hope it works the same or better in 10.
  • This is one that bugs me! I'm so used to using Cortana while in the car hearing and replying to my texts! I need this fixed ASAP or I'll have to revert to8.1 until it's been fixed!
  • Ok