Windows Phone 8.1 screenshots have leaked online showcasing some of the Cortana voice assistant features.
Microsoft’s new mobile OS will bring with it a brand new voice assistant to rival Siri on iOS and we’re now getting a first look at how it will appear on Windows Phone devices.
“Sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans” have leaked some screenshots of the upcoming Cortana voice assistant and reveal that it will take the form of an animated circle rather than the female hologram in the Halo game series.
According to The Verge’s sources, the circle will animated when Cortana is thinking of an answer or speaking to you.
Similar to Apple’s Siri, Cortana will be able to develop its own personality and you’ll be able to customise some of the features.
You can decide how you’d like to be addressed by Cortana, whether that be your given name or some sort of hilarious nickname, but you’ll need to toggle this function in the settings first.
You’ll also be able to teach Cortana how to pronounce your name, if you have one that’s particularly interesting.
What makes it slightly different to alternatives like Google Now is that Cortana will be able to store useful data within its Notebook system. This will include personal info, location data, reminders and contact info to bring up as it requires.
It will also be able to track any event data included in emails, in order to generate notifications like Google Now.
To help grow the Cortana service and make its answers more contextually-based, Microsoft has equipped the Windows Phone 8.1 voice assistant with services like Bing and Foursquare.
Microsoft is expected to show off Windows Phone 8.1 and Cortana at the Build Developers’ Conference in April.
The company may well not opt to use Cortana as the final name for its voice assistant, but we sincerely hope it does.
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