Will Cortana bridge the app gap?

dronkula

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So, let's be honest, Microsoft and UWP apps are never going to catch up with iOS and Android apps.

But, does it still need to? If Apps are split into 3 general categories, you've got 'reference' apps (News, Sport, Wikipedia etc), Utilities (Shopping, Banking, Travel tickets etc.) and 'Entertainment' (Games, Netflix).

Now I think the 'Entertainment' category is a bit of a lost cause - you will probably never be able to play Candy Crush with Cortana, but for the other 2 categories that should be something that could be covered by Cortana.

Whilst it's disappointing if I can't play a game on my phone, it's actually very annoying when I can't do stuff like check my bank account or do my grocery shopping because the bank/shop haven't bothered with a Windows Phone app.

I'd imagine it something like this:

Me : Hey Cortana, tell me my current bank balance?
Cortana : You have $54 in your account at the moment

Me : Cortana - Show me my latest bank statement
Cortana : Displays the last months statement on the screen

Me : Hey Cortana, when is my credit card bill due and how much is it?
Cortana : That's due tomorrow and it's currently $235
Me : Hey Cortana, transfer $300 from my savings into my current account and pay my credit card bill
Cortana : Ok I'll do that now.

Me : Cortana - start a shopping list
Cortana : Ok - what do you want to put on it?
Me : A dozen eggs
Cortana : Ok I've added those now - do you want to order this yet?
Me : Not yet.

Me : Cortana - add to shopping list
Cortana : Ok - what do you want to add?
Me : a loaf of bread
Cortana : Ok - I've added that now, do you want to order these items yet?
Me : Yes
Cortana : Ok <Cortana then contacts my usual delivery service and finds out when they can deliver it and how much the whole order will cost>. I can get that delivered tonight at 9pm and it'll cost $5.43. Is that Ok?
Me : Yes

You'd need to 'preset' Cortana with most of your favourite items so it'll know which brands and types to order for shopping.

Obviously, security would need to be rock-solid. I suspect a mix of voice recognition + other 'Windows Hello' options (fingerprints, facial/iris recognition depending on device or even just a 'can you confirm characters 2, 4 and 7 of your password' challenge).

I suspect all this is already in someones plans at Microsoft HQ (and also over in Google-world and in the Applesphere).

So, 2 questions:

1) Do you think Cortana (and Siri, Google, Alexa) will ever be able to achieve this? And how long do you think it'll be before it gets this 'good'?
2) Should Microsoft just completely drop the chase for apps for the Windows Store now and concentrate purely on getting partners on board with Cortana and improve the services through there (as Cortana has the potential for a much larger install base anyway?)
 

Shamshi-Adad

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..............
So, 2 questions:

1) Do you think Cortana (and Siri, Google, Alexa) will ever be able to achieve this? And how long do you think it'll be before it gets this 'good'?
2) Should Microsoft just completely drop the chase for apps for the Windows Store now and concentrate purely on getting partners on board with Cortana and improve the services through there (as Cortana has the potential for a much larger install base anyway?)

#1 7-10 years?

#2 I'd rather see MS start with their Phone OS

Very, very interesting.

Peace. Alan
Galaxy S7Edge [MM6.0.1] Full Dresser
Lumia ICON [Win10M 14977.1000] Sportster
Even when I lose, I win.
 

madcursor

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This may very well be the future, but it's not going to happen any time soon. Although it will be cool to have such capabilities in Cortana, It would result in a single point of failure, which should always be avoided. Even if security is robust, there may be other issues like integration with services, maintenance down times, offline availablity of Cortana, etc which may cripple the experience. These issues have to be handled well before anything like that happens. But it still can't be an excuse to give up on phones, after all people will usually use the device and services they already have.
 

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