Microsoft has been regularly updating Cortana to make her a more intelligent virtual personal assistant. In the last round of updates, the software giant gave her the ability to present pictures along with search results to better help with search association, predict NFL scores, quickly define terms, and even flip coins and roll dice, when you decide to leave matters to chance. That doesn’t even include all the improvements and optimizations made on the backend.
Today, in a blog post from Bing, Microsoft detailed the latest updates, improvements, and added capabilities to our favorite digital assistant. The first is the addition of the evening Daily Glance. Currently, checking on Cortana in the morning will give you a quick glance of the current weather, your first scheduled appointments, the estimated time it will take you to get to work, and the latest news headlines — everything you need to start your morning, at least until Cortana can get the coffee ready. Following user feedback, the new evening Daily Glance will now present you the estimated time to get back home from work and upcoming appointments. This feature will be rolling out starting today.
Secondly, Cortana will now take note of flights that you have searched for more than twice and ask you if you would like to keep track on them. Whereas previously, you would have to manually ask her to keep track of your important flights. She still can’t tell you what are the flights flying overhead yet, but it shouldn’t be too long before that happens.
Cortana’s concert fetching abilities have also been improved upon. The pre-existing feature that presents you with concerts happening in your area has been improved with a more personal touch. According to the blog post;
“Based on searches you make on Windows phone, Windows 8 devices and Bing.com, Cortana can infer who you like listening to and lets you know if they are performing within 100 miles of your home. With these timely recommendations, you can make sure you don’t miss your favorite acts.”
Last but not least, Cortana will now start recommending apps that are specific to the location that you are in. So, if you’re in Anaheim, California, home of the very first Disneyland, Cortana will suggest you download the official Disney Expedition app from the Windows Phone Store. This feature is currently only available in the US and the UK but should be expanding to more regions soon.
Microsoft has made a commitment to update Cortana on a bi-weekly basis and it’s good to see the personal assistant become ever so intelligent and useful before she comes out of beta. Cortana is also expected to make her debut on the PC with the arrival of Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system that should be available in 2015. Thanks to the number of the sheer updates to Cortana, you can keep track of all of new abilities as we report on them here, and you can rest assured that we will bring you the latest on the world’s most personal virtual assistant/sidekick/heroin yet.Further reading: Cortana, Microsoft, update, Windows Phone