In the recently released Windows 10 Anniversary Update, Microsoft's personal digital assistant Cortana received a bit of a makeover with the addition of some new capabilities both above and below the Lock Screen.
On top of that she also has a new location in the Windows 10 ecosystem to hang out - the Xbox One - because that team released their Summer Update this past weekend for consoles.
Since Cortana is based in the cloud, the information that you have granted her access to such as email, calendar and reminders can be pulled up on any Windows 10 based device that you use Cortana on and associate with your Microsoft Account. That means desktops, laptops, tablets, mobile, consoles, HoloLens and Surface Hub can all be platforms for you to get your information to and from Cortana.
Oh by the way, with her apps on Android and iOS you can also get alerts and create reminders and ask questions on those devices as well.
Cortana is truly a universal consciousness to guide you along your way - OK, that does sound a bit Halo-ish doesn't it?
Anyway, using a digital Notebook to understand who you are, what your likes are when it comes to news, sports, health, fitness and other lifestyle areas Cortana can do so many tasks for you and now in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update she can do it in more places.
For instance if you have the Hey, Cortana feature enabled, you can now access Cortana while your device is on the Lock Screen and ask for information, create reminders adn even ask her to play music.
Once your system is unlocked you can ask Cortana to remember information such as frequent flyer, rewards and other membership numbers. These tidbits of data are stored as reminders with do associated date and time with them. Then later on down the road when you need to recall your frequent flyer number you just say Hey Cortana, what is my frequent flyer number? and then she will retrieve that information from your reminders. I have tried this and it works very well.
While all of these features are handy the control rests entirely in your hands. You grant 100% permission for Cortana to access your information and keep track of things like email, calendar appointments and your favorite sports team.
Since Cortana is a Universal Windows Platform (UWP) app it means the appearance and functionality across Windows 10 based devices is nearly identical which is the plan all along according to Satya Nadella because it is about the mobility of the experience.
Cortana implements that with flying colors.
Be sure to check out all of our Windows 10 Anniversary Update Coverage.