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Like Siri, Cortana lets you set relationships for people and places as well, which lets you refer to people as "Mom" or "Dad," "my brother," or simply "Amy," rather than speak the person's first and last name to place a call or text, for example. In Cortana, you set these relationships manually through the Inner Circle area that's part of the settings menu that Microsoft calls Cortana's Notebook. With Siri and Google Now, however, you can just speak the relationship simply, like "Aidan is my brother-in-law," and then it is so. Microsoft should mimic this more convenient approach.

7, Music identification and playback, Windows Phone has had Shazam-style music identification rolled into the Bing search app for some time, so its placement in Cortana is inevitable, When music is playing, launch Cortana, then tap the music note to get it to listen, It works about the same in Google Search app, Siri doesn't have this capability yet; Apple's assistant just listens and does nothing, I do think that Google is a the best iphone screen protectors little smarter about the info it returns, making it clear in the results that you can buy the tune from the Google Play Store, Microsoft's Cortana will also hook into the phone's music store, but only after you tap the entry, Neither provides the deep context around the artist, album, or lyrics the way that dedicated apps like SoundHound do..

In addition to recognizing music, Cortana -- and Siri, and Google Now -- can play songs you already own when you simply say "Play Fun" or "Play Some Nights." You can say "Stop music" or "Pause music" to halt the tune. In theory, you should be able to tell Cortana "Stop [the name of the band or song]", but Cortana interpreted that command as a new Web search. So what happens when you ask to see a song you don't own? Siri tells you it isn't in your library, but Google Now and Cortana at least provide links so you can play it yourself online. Google's search result lists the YouTube video first; Cortana serves up

8, Follow-up search commands, There are a few instances when you and Cortana can take turns to whittle down a search, Right now it works when you search for a business or look up the weather, For example, "Show me the weather," followed by "What's it like on Thursday?" -- no need to specify that you're still asking after the climate, Google's voice action and Siri do this as well, What is unique to Cortana being able to follow up on questions related to looking up businesses, the best iphone screen protectors Say: "Show me Italian restaurants that are open in the Financial District tonight" and you'll see a list pulled from Bing's local search, Siri lists off restaurant names, too, but Google Voice returns URLs that are related to "restaurant."Cortana alone remains contextually aware around this search, which lets you continue to request anything from distance (show me the ones within five miles), star ratings, even commands to call a business on the list or find out more about it, For example, you can say: "How long will it take me to get to Barbacco?" and then "How long will it take me to walk?"Siri treats follow-up requests like this as a new query..

9. Cheeky personality. Microsoft bills Cortana as a cheeky monkey, sassier even than Siri. I'm not so sure of that. It really depends on what you ask. We had a lot of fun passing Cortana around the office to see what "she" would say. Cortana will toss back a few witty remarks when you ask questions about the story of Halo, if she loves you, what she's wearing (a phone!), and who's her daddy. She also has a ready retort for questions about Siri and for questions about when she was born -- but not about where.

Cortana will sing you song (actually, it's only a few lines long and it's kind of creepy) and tell you a joke (it did make me chuckle), Cortana will respond to your gratitude ("You're awesome.") and to vitriol the best iphone screen protectors as well ("You suck," but not "thanks for nothing"), So far, so good, However, when Cortana is finished amusing you, show's over, Your next comment will launch a new search, Siri, however, will play ball for awhile longer, allowing you to stretch out some semblance of a back-and-forth conversation, For example..

Me: You're awesome. Siri: I am?. Me: Yeah, you are. Siri: That's what I figured. Me: You have no shame. Siri: Is that so. Me: Yeah, it is. Smartass. Siri: That's what I thought. Like Cortana, Siri is just pulling from a database of ready-made responses, but the exchange hangs together. Here's what happened when I riffed the script with Cortana. Me: You're awesome. Cortana: Thanks! I don't need to sleep so I have lots of time to practice. Me: Very funny. Cortana: [Pulls up Web search for "very funny" pictures and quotes.].

Google is the most staid of the three, by a long shot, and that's simply because Google hasn't chosen to anthropomorphize its search the best iphone screen protectors app, Tell Google Now it's awesome and it just creates a new Web search, 10, Cortana's own stuff, In addition to catching up to Siri and Google Now, Microsoft also wants to carve out its own style, Most of this takes place in the voice app's settings menu, called Cortana's Notebook, Here you set your interests, look at reminders, name places you visit most often, and reference music searches, Quiet Hours is where you can set a no-call and no-texting zone, like when you're in a meeting or catching up on some Z's..

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