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Windows Phone 8.1 Voice


 
I’m reviewing Windows Phone 8.1 and it has this new built-in voice enabled assistant named Cortana. So I decided to have a little voice assistant shoot-out. I’m comparing Cortana, Siri, and Google Now to see which one can help me to make my daily life easier. Actually, before I even get started Google Now loses points for not even having a name. Let’s begin with the daily commute.
Cortana, show me the traffic on the way to work.
Traffic is slow. It will take 27 minutes to drive to work.
For traffic and navigation, it was basically a tie.
Okay, traffic seems unusually bad and I think I know why. Is there a Giants game today?
The Giants are trailing the Dodgers 2-0 in the top of the fourth inning.
On the Giants game question, Cortana loses. She just did a web search and then I had to click through to the answer. The other two told me the answer and even gave me the score.
That’s pretty much bad news for everybody. Definitely means I am not driving into San Francisco today. I’m going to do some errands instead.
Safety first
So before I go in, I should let my boss know that I’m working from home today. Send a message to Xena.
Okay, what do you want to say to ZenaBarakat. Hey, I’m going to work from home today because there’s so much Giants traffic, period. I will be on my phone…wouldn’t…if you need me. Let’s see what she does with that. “I would be on my phone …wouldn’t… if you need me.” Yes.
Okay, I’ll send it.
She sent it.
Hey, I am going to work from my home today because there is so much Giants traffic, period.
Alright, text XenaBarakat. Hey I am going to work from home today because there is so much.
I guess she…
Send it, add more, or try again?
Send…
I’ll be on email or my phone.
Here your text.
Albion, maybe that’s like a name or something.
Okay, I think it’s time for a cup of coffee.
Find me a good coffee shop nearby.
Here are ten coffee shops that are four stars.
Here are ten coffee shops. Kind of a little bossy. Let’s see what Google says. It just took off the nearby and said findmecoffee.com. Alright, get that. Let’s see what Siri says.
I found six coffee shops. Five of them are really close to you. I’ve sorted them by rating.
Well, alright. Ooh, Thorn Hill coffee shop: half a mile.
Siri is kicking Cortana’s butt and I’m not just saying that because we have a preexisting relationship.
Well it actually is a delicious cup of coffee. That’s a point for Siri.
Now there is one other thing I want to try before I go home because apparently Cortana and Google and maybe Siri can do location based reminders. So let’s try Cortana first. Remind me when I get home to ask my neighbor about her earthquake kit.
I can remind you to “ask my neighbor about her earthquake kit” when you get home.
It worked! It made a little noise as soon as I pulled into the driveway. It’s pretty slick. Let’s see what the other guys did. Anything? Oh, yeah. Google did it too. Anything from Siri? Uh oh, I don't think so. Maybe you have to wait a minute.
That’s one area where Cortana beats Siri but is it enough?
So at the end of my day I have to say that Cortana just wasn’t quite as helpful as I wanted her to be. Google Now gives me the best information but most of the time I have to be looking at my phone to get it. In the battle of personal digital assistants I kind of have to give this one to Siri. She just knows me.

Source: nytimes

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