A taste of US Cortana


Cortana is a geographically challenged AI. She may help the Master Chief off-world but here on Earth she does weird stuff.

I am in the UK. This means Cortana is officially available on Windowsphone and PC. She is not officially available on Android. To use Cortana you need to grab the apk and sideload it.

If you do sideload the Cortana apk she is American. She recognises only the US regional settings, tells you about US sports and provides US headlines. 

The reality of Cortana’s geographical issues was brought home to me this week.I had ordered some items from the US and the US postal service was sending them to the UK. I was invited by the website to check them and I put the parcel number into Cortana. In the US Cortana apparently tracks parcels. Not in the UK. It sent me to the US Postal Service website. Disappointing I wouldn’t be getting alerts on the Lumia 950.

I also was changing bank accounts. The bank wanted me to activate the account via a mobile app. To be fair there were alternatives but this would be the quickest. However no mobile app for Windowsphone. So I swapped my sim into the Android device and was good. Curiously Cortana alerted me to my parcel and said it was tracking it. 

I quickly checked and realised that although Cortana didn’t track parcels on my UK Windowsphone or my UK PC the sideloaded Cortana for Android, using the US region, was tracking it. The data had obviously been absorbed in my earlier search but was not working in the UK.

Really Microsoft! Cortana for Android is not global yet and just switch parcel tracking on because sometimes we do order stuff from the US!

Cortana, artificially more intelligent in some markets, needs to go global.


Comments (1)

One response to “A taste of US Cortana”

  1. 1080

    YES, same goes for Canadians.