What Developers Need To Know About the Cortana API

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The Cortana announcement at //Build/ has gotten developer imaginations running wild with ideas for incorporating the Bing-powered personality into new or existing apps. To make sure you have everything you need to start building a great experience with as little friction as possible, we asked the community to submit questions via the #CortanaQA hashtag on Twitter and had Jeremy Foster (@codefoster) serve them up to Rob Chambers (@spacetimeglitch), the GPM for the Cortana API.

In this video, Jeremy Foster (@codefoster) picks Rob's brain to find out what developers need to know for getting started with Cortana, what differentiates her from her peers, and how to approach your next Cortana project to get the best result possible.

What you can do next:

  • Download the Windows/Windows Phone 8.1 SDK
  • Are you already tinkering with Cortana, or working on a project that uses Microsoft technology? Share your screenshots, videos, and photos of your progress on Twitter using the #iDevThis hashtag for a chance to get featured on our next Ch9 episode!
  • Have more questions about Cortana? Share them using the #CortanaQA hashtag on Twitter for more answers from Rob and Jeremy
  • Want to get your story out there? Check out the "Every dev has a story" offer.

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The Discussion

  • User profile image

    Great Show guys!

    Only down side for me:

    Thanks for your interest in building Windows 8 apps.

    The App Builder program is currently designed for US users only. Learn more about building apps for Windows and Windows Phone.

  • User profile image

    @Ian2. Sorry, I know that's a bummer.

  • User profile image

    I mentioned the codeShow project in this interview. I am excited about integrating Cortana into this project. If you'd like to be involved, please visit codeshow.codeplex.com and download the source code.

  • User profile image
    Kevin Ashley

    Great stuff, Jeremy!

  • User profile image

    Excellent possibilities for Apps Developers integrating with Cortana. I can see competition for her services, where App name not explicitly identified. A little more on text to speech would be useful, as Cortana needs to respond, need to know if Cortana can hold a ' conversation ' without user having to repeat our App name in every 'command'.

    Can't wait to experiment when Cortana API comes to the UK later in the year. Hopefully she understands British Afternoon Tea :)

  • User profile image

    Will the new release of the SDK be available for other form factors as well, like regular Windows 8 machines?

    Will Windows 7 also support the ability to not "specify every single word the user would ever say"?

  • User profile image

    @DSaylor: Rob responded to this in the content where he said that the API was designed to be ready for other platforms such as Windows 8, but he did not make any announcements about future plans for platform support.

    Currently Cortana is only on Windows Phone and not on Windows 7.

  • User profile image

    @Jules: once Cortana has responded to you addressing your app name, your app would be launched and you would receive subsequent voice command from within your app with no need to address your app by name.

  • User profile image

    As a developer i'm very excited to know if "some day" we gonna see Cortana being woken up by voice command without touch the device - like [google now] (in moto X, of course) and [siri] does - and how to interact in this way!...

  • User profile image
    Rahul Bhosale

    Is it possible to use Cortana's speech recognition engine in my app directly instead of Asking Cortana ex. "MyApp do this" I would like to open my App and say to it directly. And I want to use it's Dictation mode and not command mode.

  • User profile image

    Is the US Cortana API different to the UK one? I've got a couple of apps (Wikipedia and Memo) which should work with Cortana, but mine is having great difficulty with opening them up and using them properly.

    If I say "Wikipedia banana" and she tried a location search, I then tried again and she tried searching with Wikipedia, but came up with the wrong information.

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