1. Jcmg62's Avatar
    As of this morning this is what my start screen looks like:

    cortana.jpg

    (I'm kinda hoping you can see the pic above. If not its a snapshot of my start screen with only one app on it....Cortana...no phone, no calendar, no email...nuttin. Just Cortana)

    Why, I hear you ask...?

    Two reasons:

    1...I was bored

    And...(rather more importantly), yesterday for the first time I commented on the thread that covers the UK version of Cortana. My take on it/her wasn't terribly complimentary and covered a range of gripes from not understanding my accent and being nothing more than a bing results generator. And that voice?? Which genius at Microsoft labs do we have to thank for that??

    In a nutshell, the US version was way, way better even back in April/May.

    And then it got me thinking: "what are Cortana UK's ACTUAL limitations?"

    Have I been too hasty to write her off just because she occasionally thinks I'm ordering some exotic pet food when I ask her where the nearest post office is...

    Can I blame her for relying almost entirely on Foursquare for places of interest (I mean, for God's sake, who still bothers with Foursquare).

    Is it her fault for thinking that my nearest petrol station is 9 miles away in the middle of London when there's a perfectly decent BP garage half a mile down the road...

    So, in the spirit of technological advancement and with the desire to now be forever known as a Windows Phone Hero (or dumbass guinea pig with far too much time on his hands) I've decided to hand every aspect of my phone's controls over to Cortana.

    From this moment on every app I want to use, every map or webpage I want to view, every phone call I want to make, every message I want to send will be done entirely with voice command through Cortana *Waits for applause to die down.....*

    I predict one of three outcomes:

    1. My lumia 1520 shall be smashed to bits as I rage at Gates, Nadella, Belfiore & Co

    2. I shall start putting apps back on my home screen as I come to realise Cortana's limitations

    3. I shall emerge victorious in the knowledge that Cortana is a stroke of genius that knows no earthly bounds

    For those that give a crap, I might update this thread with my results.

    I now fully expect Microsoft will want to wire me some dough for my troubles. Or at least a free xbox game. Or maybe a ride on one of Bill's yachts.
    09-23-2014 04:08 AM
  2. N_LaRUE's Avatar
    Good luck with that. The Cortana we have here in the UK, still in beta, is way behind the one in the US and since we're not privlidged citizens of the US we get an even less half baked version of it than what came out originally.

    As for voice commands, I'd love to see you use that on the Tube... :P Or an transport for that matter.

    I'm predicting #2 will most likely happen. The big fuss with Cortana is simply that at this stage.
    09-23-2014 04:16 AM
  3. Richard Culverhouse's Avatar
    I'll put a quid on Option 1 lol
    N_LaRUE and aximtreo like this.
    09-23-2014 04:17 AM
  4. RumoredNow's Avatar
    Jcmg62 and Captains like this.
    09-23-2014 09:59 AM
  5. Vitaliy Radovanski's Avatar
    Oh my God.
    09-24-2014 07:58 AM
  6. Richard Culverhouse's Avatar
    So...? How are you getting on with it?!?!
    09-25-2014 06:22 AM
  7. Jcmg62's Avatar
    Here are some of the positives I've found so far:

    1. There isn't a single app I cannot open with voice command. I haven't once had to revert to side swiping to the app list to find and open something. So 10/10 there.

    2. Either I'm slightly adjusting the way I talk to the phone OR Cortana is slowly learning how to untangle my dialect and speech patterns, but the overall accuracy in dictating reminders, opening apps, calling up people in the phone book, etc has improved. I suspect this has more to do with how I speak to the phone, but who knows, maybe there's a little bit of machine learning happening in the background. It would be interesting to see if someone on the Cortana development team could confirm or deny that she's learning as your talking to her.

    OK, now the shortfalls:

    1. First off the bat, we all know that Cortana won't work without an internet connection. But what irked me was just how unreliable it becomes outside of a WiFi zone. Even in a clear, strong 4G area it's hit and miss whether it'll work properly. I was also surprised to find that Cortana needs an internet connection for simple commands such as opening apps. "open phone" or "open messaging" simply won't work without a connection. I would have thought those basic commands would be built in to work offline.

    2. Ok, this is a strange tech glitch but asking Cortana to call a number that's not in my phone book failed about 75% of the time because she insists on adding a zero to the start of each number. Example: "call 07715 859625" is often repeated as "ok, calling 007715 859625" This one really bugs me because she's getting the number right as I'm dictating it, then adding the zero when reading it back to me for confirmation.

    3. There are some simple things missing that would make a real difference; why does she pull up a web search when I ask what today's date is? Why can't she read me the time? Why does she only know one song (and why the hell is it Danny Boy....is Microsoft targeting the 65+ market??). I would best describe Cortana UK as embryonic in the sense that she has an extremely limited dialogue and will default to a web search almost every time you ask her something that's not to do with opening an app.

    Personal Improvements:

    1. Deeper integration into core functions, starting with email. I'd love to see this; "open email......send email to bob smith.....dear bob, are you still able to make our meeting tomorrow at 11:00am and will you be bringing the file on the Matthews account? Kind Regards, Brad." Now that would be true integration, but as it stands right now "open email" is about as far as you can take it.

    2. Waking her up with voice activation can't come soon enough.

    3. OK, this one isn't going to be for everyone, but I'd LOVE to have the Cortana landing page as my home screen. To be able to unlock your phone and have all your news, weather, stocks, reminders, etc just sitting there would be awesome. I doubt Microsoft would go this route as it would essentially mean abandoning the metro tile interface, but it would be awesome if we could have the choice.

    So, I still don't have any other apps on my home screen and I'm still 100% reliant on Cortana to open my apps, find my contacts, make calls, dictate text messages and all that other stuff. And for now, I think she's doing a decent enough job for me to keep it that way :-)







    3.
    [/LIST]
    RumoredNow, Captains and horseybob like this.
    09-26-2014 04:23 AM
  8. Ebuka Allison's Avatar
    Here are some of the positives I've found so far:

    1. There isn't a single app I cannot open with voice command. I haven't once had to revert to side swiping to the app list to find and open something. So 10/10 there.

    2. Either I'm slightly adjusting the way I talk to the phone OR Cortana is slowly learning how to untangle my dialect and speech patterns, but the overall accuracy in dictating reminders, opening apps, calling up people in the phone book, etc has improved. I suspect this has more to do with how I speak to the phone, but who knows, maybe there's a little bit of machine learning happening in the background. It would be interesting to see if someone on the Cortana development team could confirm or deny that she's learning as your talking to her.

    OK, now the shortfalls:

    1. First off the bat, we all know that Cortana won't work without an internet connection. But what irked me was just how unreliable it becomes outside of a WiFi zone. Even in a clear, strong 4G area it's hit and miss whether it'll work properly. I was also surprised to find that Cortana needs an internet connection for simple commands such as opening apps. "open phone" or "open messaging" simply won't work without a connection. I would have thought those basic commands would be built in to work offline.

    2. Ok, this is a strange tech glitch but asking Cortana to call a number that's not in my phone book failed about 75% of the time because she insists on adding a zero to the start of each number. Example: "call 07715 859625" is often repeated as "ok, calling 007715 859625" This one really bugs me because she's getting the number right as I'm dictating it, then adding the zero when reading it back to me for confirmation.

    3. There are some simple things missing that would make a real difference; why does she pull up a web search when I ask what today's date is? Why can't she read me the time? Why does she only know one song (and why the hell is it Danny Boy....is Microsoft targeting the 65+ market??). I would best describe Cortana UK as embryonic in the sense that she has an extremely limited dialogue and will default to a web search almost every time you ask her something that's not to do with opening an app.

    Personal Improvements:

    1. Deeper integration into core functions, starting with email. I'd love to see this; "open email......send email to bob smith.....dear bob, are you still able to make our meeting tomorrow at 11:00am and will you be bringing the file on the Matthews account? Kind Regards, Brad." Now that would be true integration, but as it stands right now "open email" is about as far as you can take it.

    2. Waking her up with voice activation can't come soon enough.

    3. OK, this one isn't going to be for everyone, but I'd LOVE to have the Cortana landing page as my home screen. To be able to unlock your phone and have all your news, weather, stocks, reminders, etc just sitting there would be awesome. I doubt Microsoft would go this route as it would essentially mean abandoning the metro tile interface, but it would be awesome if we could have the choice.

    So, I still don't have any other apps on my home screen and I'm still 100% reliant on Cortana to open my apps, find my contacts, make calls, dictate text messages and all that other stuff. And for now, I think she's doing a decent enough job for me to keep it that way :-)







    3.
    [/LIST]
    09-26-2014 04:29 AM
  9. Richard Culverhouse's Avatar
    Thanks for the report!
    Jcmg62 likes this.
    09-26-2014 06:45 PM

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