Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system was years behind the iPhone’s iOS operating system until the Windows Phone 8.1 update. It was Windows Phone 8.1 that added support for managing what’s stored in folders. It was this update that added significant customization options for the Start Screen and the new Action Center notification area. Windows 8.1 also added Cortana, Microsoft’s digital personal assistant.
Cortana takes over the calling experience in Windows Phone 8.1 after it’s turned on for the first time. He is always there, ready to seek information for you. You can get directions to the nearest bank branch. It can track your flights. It can start your music and find your new favorite show on Netflix.
The Lumia 930 and some other high-end Windows Phones allow you to skip pressing the call button and have Cortana always ready. Microsoft calls this feature Hey Cortana, and it’s very similar to the Hey Siri toggle on the iPhone and Google Assistant on the Motorola Moto X. Here’s how to use Hey Cortana on your Lumia 930 or any other device that has it.
Don’t Install Hey Cortana
There is this setup process you need to complete before you can start issuing the Hey Cortana command. A few of the features Microsoft adds with Windows Phone 8.1 are hardware dependent. Hey Cortana is one of those hardware-dependent feature additions. If you don’t have a solid processor and enough RAM, you won’t see the Hey Cortana feature listed in your device’s settings. If you are using the Lumia Icon and Lumia 1520, you will need the Lumia Denim software update.
Lumia 930 has Hey Cortana feature. So are the HTC One M8, Lumia Icon and Lumia 1520 for Windows. The list of compatible devices for Hey Cortana will grow as the number of flagship smartphones that can compete directly with Android and iPhone 6 grows.
Turn on your Windows Phone by pressing the power button. If you’re using a Lumia 930 or a new Lumia Windows Phone, double-tapping the screen also works.
Your Windows Phone.
Welcome to the Start Screen. Look for the Settings Live Tile. In our example it’s in the lower right corner, but it could very well be where you place yours. Tap in the lower right corner to bring up a list of every app you have installed on your device.
Then tap on it.
Welcome to the Settings app. Scroll to the bottom of System Settings to find it. Again, this only applies if your device supports the feature; it doesn’t have to depend on the hardware capabilities of your Windows Phone.
Tap Hey Cortana.
Tap to start the installation process. This setup process involves saying Hey Cortana several times in your normal speaking voice. If you’re not in the right environment, the process can be frustrating. For setup, make sure you find a quiet area where you can talk at normal volume. How well Hey Cortana works depends on you getting this tutorial right.
When you’re in a quiet place, hold your Windows Phone away from your face and tap on it.
Say “Hey, Cortana” in your speaking voice. Once your Lumia 930 or other Windows Phone device receives it, you will be prompted to go to the next step in the setup process. If the voice suddenly gets louder or you don’t say the sentence in the same way, you’ll have to try again.
You must say “Hey, Cortana” correctly at least five times in total.
When you complete the installation process, you will see a success message and an option to close the installation process. After the process is complete, you will be returned to the Hey Cortana setup screen. Notice that they switch. You can turn Hey Cortana on or off at any time. Doing so will not clear all the settings you just made.
Don’t use Hey Cortana
Using Hey Cortana is easy. You can still press the Search button on your device’s navigation bar if you prefer. Hey Cortana is important when doing anything with your hands.
Just say Hey Cortana and your Lumia 930 or other Windows Phone will boot up ready for any command you can throw at it. You need to be reasonably close to your device for the command to work – so at least in the same room. Hey Cortana should work if your device is installed on your desk, nightstand, or crib in your car. If it stops working properly, retrain.
Wait until you hear your phone accept your Hey Cortana emoticon before you start placing an order. Everything you can do with Cortana at the push of a button is available to you. This includes app commands, setting reminders, turning on alarms, sending messages and even pranking.