Cortana is one of the best new features brought by Windows 10. She's your personal virtual assistant and she can help you be more productive in lots of ways: she can make searches for you, she can set reminders, launch apps, take notes and even tell you jokes or sing songs. Last time we talked about her, we showed you the first steps in configuring her. Today, we're going to take a closer look at what she can do for you and how you can work with her.
How To Interact With Cortana
First things first. In order to take advantage of all the things Cortana can do for you, you must first know how to interact with her. There are two ways in which you can tell Cortana what you want:
1. Type your question or command inside Cortana's search box from the taskbar.
2. Speak to Cortana, and by that we actually mean it: speak to her naturally about any subject you want. To do that, click or tap on the microphone icon from its search box on the taskbar.
What Can You Ask Cortana Do
Cortana can do lots of stuff for you. To list just a few important things, she can launch apps, make searches on your device and on the Internet, and even change Windows 10 settings.
Cortana can also handle your personal stuff, like keeping track of your calendar and agenda, setting alarms and reminders and so on.
Furthermore, Cortana is always there when you want to know what the weather will be, what the latest news headlines are or when you just want to talk to someone. By the way, she's quite a listener.
Up until now, we've seen just a few of Cortana's features, but we promise that in our next article about her we will talk a lot more about all the things she can do for you.
How To Use Cortana's Interface
When you open Cortana, you'll notice a few buttons to its left, which can be used to access Cortana's features and settings.
The first button starting from the top looks like three lines stacked one above the other. Clicking or tapping it will expand Cortana's menu and display the names of the other buttons from the list.
Starting from top to bottom, the available Cortana menu options are Home, Notebook, Reminders and Feedback.
Let's see where each of these buttons lead us to:
1. Home: brings you to Cortana's home screen, where you can see pieces of information that she thinks could interest you.
2. Notebook: is the place where Cortana keeps all its settings and the place where you can customize each aspect of how she works and each bit of information you want her to know about you. This section is a complex matter and we believe it deserves its own dedicated tutorial, which we promise to publish soon.
3. Reminders: lets you see and manage the reminders you asked Cortana to set. You can also use this section to manually add reminders, using a mouse and a keyboard, or just a virtual keyboard if you're using a touchscreen.
4. Feedback: gives you the opportunity to send feedback about Cortana to Microsoft.
In our opinion, Cortana proves to be a really good virtual assistant. She can do lots of things in order to help you be more productive, but she can also be fun. Even more, talking to her seems like a natural thing to do. However, there are still many things and features Microsoft can (and we hope they will) add to Cortana. How do you like her so far?