Microsoft Cortana may be the most suitable intelligent assistant for Chinese people

When it comes to smart assistants, I believe most people will first think of Siri.

Apart from Siri, Google and Microsoft each have their own mobile assistants, such as Google Now (WeChat app solution backend reply “Google Now” for detailed introduction).

Today, AppSo and everyone will take a look at what benefits Cortana can bring to our digital lives.

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1、 What is Cortana?
2、 How can I use Cortana?
3、 What information can Cortana provide?
4、 How to “shout” Cortana to help me with things?
5、 Cortana collaborates with Win 10
6、 Why do we need Cortana?
What is Cortana?
Cortana’s name comes from an artificial intelligence assistant in the Xbox game Halo, who is a close companion of the game’s protagonist, Sergeant.

In reality, in addition to providing basic functions such as weather information, instant news, traffic route suggestions, memos, and even tracking deliveries, Cortana can also enable your phone to collaborate with Windows computers, intelligently recognize your instructions and provide corresponding feedback.
Since its launch in 2014, Cortana has been able to support Windows, Windows Phone, iOS, and Android platforms.

In China, Cortana, a deeply localized company, is obviously better than its competitors: it can enjoy all the convenient functions without scientific Internet access, play catch-up with you, tell jokes, and even make funny imitations. Moreover, Cortana’s sisters, Xiao Bing, is responsible for chatting with you.


How can I use Cortana?
Before installation, please explain that Cortana’s features may vary depending on the platform. Undoubtedly, the Win version has the most powerful features. The Android version has basically the same functions as the Win version and can collaborate with Win 10. Even when the phone receives a call or message, the computer will pop up notification reminders.

However, due to system limitations, the iOS version does not have information synchronization notification function and cannot be awakened by foreign language sounds in the app. This article mainly evaluates Windows and Android systems.

On Win 10, set “Region” – “Location” to “China” in the control panel to activate Cortana in the search box on the taskbar.

For those who use Android, iOS, or Windows Phone, AppSo (WeChat app solution) suggests going directly to the Cortana China official website and scanning the QR code on the homepage to obtain Cortana.


No matter which platform you are on, the operation when you first start Cortana is almost the same.

Taking Android as an example, first grant Cortana the permission to use the location and access media content, and then follow the prompts to log in to a Microsoft account. If you use the same Microsoft account when logging in on multiple devices, you can synchronize user information, memos, and reminders.

At this point, all the preparation work is completed and you can start enjoying the colorful features provided by Cortana.


Provide you with the information you need

  1. Route suggestions
    Before starting to use AppSo (WeChat app solution), it is recommended to go to “Notebook” – “About Me” in the settings, add important addresses and change user names in the favorites section, which can enable Cortana to provide more accurate route advice services. After setting a user name in Win 10, Cortana can also learn how to address you using voice.


If the “home” and “workplace” locations have already been set, Cortana will display weather cards for both the local and the city where the “home” is located when we are out of town.

When going out, Cortana will also place a top reminder card for you to suggest public routes. Click on the arrow at the bottom of the route card to view more detailed suggestions, and you can also search for other routes or switch to self driving routes.


  1. Food and entertainment
    The down-to-earth Cortana can also tell you about nearby group buying cuisine and popular movies, with Dianping and Douban ratings attached. Click on the content you are interested in to get detailed information.


If you install the Dianping and Douban clients, you can immediately jump to the app. Next time planning a gathering itinerary, I believe Cortana can be your right-hand man.

  1. Thoughtful weather information
    In terms of weather information, in addition to a one week weather overview, Cortana will also default to pushing notifications when special weather conditions occur. To be honest, I really avoided awkward situations several times because Cortana reminded me to bring an umbrella in the morning.


  1. Track express delivery and transportation flights
    After opening the “Express” and “Travel” cards, Cortana can obtain information such as the express tracking number, flight, vehicle, and vessel from her mobile SMS, and track and display the actual situation on the homepage.
  2. Personalized recommendation of online information
    In addition to lifestyle information, Cortana can also provide personalized recommendations for online information.

In the “Film and Television” column, you can add the interested film and television programs at the end. No matter how many interests you have, as long as you add them, you won’t miss any latest information.


Click on the “…” button in the upper right corner of the card to edit or cancel the display of this type of card. In addition, by selecting “Notebook” from the menu, you can also customize the displayed cards one by one.

Compared to Google Now, what’s more user-friendly is that you can get more accurate push notifications for almost every type of information by adding keywords in the lower menu, rather than just being able to choose from a few given hotspots.

In addition to the above information, you can also add reminder items in “Reminder” and then add Cortana’s widget to your phone to make notes at any time.


As we mentioned before, the functions of the Android version are basically the same as those of the Win 10 version, so these information contents can also be implemented on a computer.


How to “shout” Cortana to help you with things?

  1. Start a conversation with Cortana
    As a mobile assistant, the basic functions include: you can use voice to make calls, send text messages, and search on Bing, as well as setting reminders and voice memos.

Unlike Siri and Google Now, you can also ask questions about it. Cortana can provide answers to encyclopedia knowledge and small mathematical problems through Bing.


Want to open a certain app? You can directly tell Cortana, or click on the keyboard icon to enter, and Cortana will redirect you to the application, avoiding the trouble of searching in the application list.

On Win 10, the “Search” feature of Cortana and older versions of Windows has been integrated. You can directly search for local applications and files in the text box, and change the search category in the “More” button in the upper right corner.


If you feel that these functions are still too simple, you can try asking Cortana for a few English words with uncertain meanings or saying a few simple sentences to have Cortana translate them into other languages.

In practical use, AppSo (WeChat app solution) has found that Cortana has a high and very fast recognition rate for Mandarin, and can easily complete various tasks. During the process, it occasionally gives you friendly voice feedback.


If Siri had to follow through with the above functions, it might be a bit overwhelming, but Cortana can do more than that.

As an intelligent assistant developed with the goal of chatting with you, Cortana can not only answer your questions, but also play games with you when you are bored. Idiom relay and movie guessing are not a problem, but surprisingly, Cortana is also able to play funny imitations well.

Cortana usually gives you some fun suggestions about voice search, and it will continue to bring you new surprises through continuous iteration and upgrading.


You can use voice commands by clicking on the microphone icon on the Cortana homepage. Android, Windows Phone, and Win 10 users can also find “Settings” – “Hello Xiaona” in the pop-up menu, turn on “Respond to” Hello Xiaona “in the application”, and use the “Hello, Xiaona” password to start voice commands.

  1. Chat with Xiaobing
    Besides “Xiaona”, you can also use text chat with “Xiaobing”.

If you don’t want to talk but still want to talk to someone, “Xiao Bing”, the sisters of “Xiao Na”, may be able to help you.

Microsoft Xiaobing is an intelligent text chat robot launched by Microsoft. Xiaobing has a concept of hierarchy and will gradually upgrade during the chat process. The more advanced Xiaobing is, the stronger her communication ability. Currently, Xiaobing supports multiple network and software platforms.

For the first time using it, go to the official website of Microsoft Xiaobing and adopt your own Xiaobing. After setting up basic information, bind it to Cortana and you can use “Summoning Xiaobing” to chat with this interesting robot at any time in Cortana.


  1. Voice wake-up
    Wake up Cortana with “Hello, Xiaona”.

If you are using Android, Windows Phone, or Win 10, you can also wake up Cortana with voice.


On an Android phone, swipe the menu facing right on the card wall page, find “Settings” – “Hello Xiaona”, and turn on “Respond to” Hello Xiaona “outside the application”. And Win 10 and Windows Phone can also be set to wake up with voice commands on any screen.

IOS users can only quickly access Cortana voice search by adding Cortana widgets.

Cortana collaborates with Win 10
Cortana enables easy collaboration between your phone and Win 10: Missed calls, new messages, and battery reminders on your phone can be synchronized and displayed in the Win 10 notification center pop-up. Some instant messaging apps such as call rejection, SMS, or Line can also directly reply to messages on the computer.


In Cortana’s “Settings” – “Cross platform synchronization push”, you can choose which information to synchronize with the Win 10 PC. Afterwards, open “Cortana” – “Settings” – “Send notifications between devices” on the PC end.

Why do we need Cortana?
Nowadays, there are various choices for mobile smart assistants, but in reality, their functions are almost the same, making the path of the later born Cortana seem destined to be difficult from the beginning.

But Microsoft has been committed to combining machine learning and cloud computing since the launch of the Cortana project, cultivating her as a true assistant who can communicate with users.

Cortana has more comprehensive and user-friendly features, and in China, its adaptability is higher than that of Siri and Google Now. As a bridge connecting Win 10 with mobile platforms, it spans almost all smartphone platforms and is beyond the reach of other competitors.

What users need more than diverse choices is a truly comprehensive mobile assistant. At present, there is still a long way to go for mobile assistants on the market, and it is hoped that in the near future, everyone’s phone will be able to “live” in a Microsoft vision of Cortana.


This article is originally produced by AppSo, which makes mobile phones more useful. It follows the WeChat official account appsolution and replies to “Office” to get 12 mobile Office skills that will make you work faster forever.

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