A few months ago, we talked about how we’re making search more personal. We discussed how Bing’s massive investments towards indexing the real world combined with speech recognition, entity understanding, and stream processing are making things like Cortana more helpful and intelligent.
This week we are rolling out some new improvements that take advantage of these advancements and are making Cortana more useful.
Let’s take a look.
Daily Glance: Evenings Added
Every morning, Cortana shows you a daily glance of all the information you need to start your day. She displays current weather, the first appointment on your schedule, projected travel time to work and the top headlines of the day. Many of you have asked us to create something similar to end your day. We heard you loud and clear. Starting today, Cortana will show you travel time to home and upcoming items on your calendar so you’re sure to be on time for that dinner date or know to go to bed early for that 7 a.m. meeting. To ensure you’re getting the most from this feature be sure and update Cortana with your home and office addresses.
Like a good assistant, Cortana gets to know things that you like and suggests similar things you might enjoy. Cortana now infers artists that you might like and notifies you when they are playing in your area. Based on searches you make on Windows phone, Windows 8 devices and Bing.com, Cortana can infer who you like listening to and lets you know if they are performing within 100 miles of your home. With these timely recommendations, you can make sure you don’t miss your favorite acts. To activate, go to the notebook, select Music and then select Concert Watch.
Of course you can simply ask Cortana about concerts. “When is Justin Timberlake performing in Chicago” or “What are Justin Timberlake’s tour dates”?
Chat Cards: Flights
If you’ve ever had to drop off or pick up someone from the airport, chances are you’ve looked up the flight times a few times. If you look up a flight twice within a week on Bing.com or Cortana, she will infer that this may be an important flight and ask you if should keep tabs on it. Once you confirm, the flight will be added as an interest inside Cortana’s notebook and updates will be visible on the Bing.com homepage carousel as well as in Cortana. This feature is available in the US.
Recommendations: Best Apps for Your Location
Based on your location, Cortana can now recommend apps that are relevant and helpful based on where you are. Let’s say you’re in Anaheim. Cortana would suggest downloading the Disney Expedition App. In case you already have the app, Cortana lets you know it’srelevant to where you happen to be. If you don’t respond to an app recommendation after it is shown a few times Cortana will pick up on the hint and stop showing it to you. The hyperlocal card is active for both US and UK.
We are updating Cortana all the time. Stay tuned for more in the coming weeks.
– The Bing and Cortana Teams