Today marks Microsoft’s 2014 BUILD conference, where Windows Phone 8.1 was unveiled. The star addition? Cortana, a personal digital assistant — indeed, the same namesake as the AI in Master Chief’s suit during the Halo franchise. Yup, she’s your new Windows Phone lead feature.
Other included features include the Action Center, which is basically a notification center for Windows Phone with battery percentage indicator (yes, the platform has never had one all this time), WiFi Sense (a Windows Phone will automatically log-in to safe and trusted networks) as well as support for customizeable lockscreens and backgrounds.
Going back to Cortana, the AI features Bing as the search engine of choice, with Yelp taking care of the restaurant portion. Attractions, basic information, reminders, weather, keeping track of appointments, and even interfacing with third-party apps (something that Siri and Google Now don’t do) are all in her feature set. Cortana will roll out to customers in the coming months, and will come pre-installed on new phones later this month.