If you are familiar with Halo, you will be familiar with Cortana, everybody’s favourite AI. Cortana assists Master Chief,
in the Halo games. From witty remarks to decoding the toughest transmissions she is just a gem. A lot of people have become a big fan of the main fictional AI character. Now Cortana is making her way to Android to assist you in everyday life. It may not be stopping a horde of The Flood or defeating the Covenant but Cortana will bring up nearby places to eat, drink, the weather and plenty more.
The app itself feels like a downgrade of Window 10’s version. One thing that is missing is the option To say “Hey Cortana” to activate the PA. Certain features don’t work so well. I tried asking Cortana to send a message to my Mam but with my Irish accent the PA couldn’t pick up on some of the words I pronounced. I had to pronounce them a little different in order for Cortana to understand what I was saying. The app feels a little slow at times in comparison to the native Windows Phone versions. I asked Cortana “What is the weather like in Dublin Ireland?”. It took roughly 15-20 seconds to get a response.
There is huge room for improvement with Cortana for Android and with the app being leaked before its release we would recommend waiting for the full finished version before downloading. Comparing Cortana to other PAs such as Hound it fell short. Hound I found to be so fast it was incredible, I asked Cortana “What is 543 divided by 2” It took maybe 15-20 seconds to recognise what I had just asked but got the answer within milliseconds. When asking Hound the exact same question Hound followed every word as I said it and gave me the answer the second I finished asking the question.
Cortana’s voice is great, I was looking forward to the AI making its way to Android but with after going through the App now my opinion is swayed. When I asked Cortana “Do you like Halo?”, she replied with “A Microsoft game featuring an AI named Cortana who helps save humanity from extinction? What’s not to love” a nice answer by the Microsoft made PA. Overall it is slow, if you are into using Personal Assistants on your smart phone Cortana wont deliver. When using Cortana on Andorid it requires a Microsoft account and brings users directly to Microsoft’s Bing engine over Google which some user’s might not be okay with. Microsoft are also planning to bring Cortana to iOS.
With room for improvement Cortana is okay at best, with so many different type’s of PAs out there it is hard to compete. No doubt Microsoft will improve over time and we will be interested to see how Cortana will evolve.
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