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August 21, 2015

Better together: Cortana integrates with these top Windows Phone apps

These popular Windows Phone apps work seamlessly with Cortana to help get stuff done.

*Cortana, your personal digital assistant, works great on her own. She can schedule meetings, remind you of important tasks, and give you recommendations on movies and restaurants, among many other things.

But she also operates in tandem with a host of other Windows Phone apps. They include these well-known and trusted apps—all of which are free to download.


Expedia: Enable Cortana to help you better navigate this travel-related app. Say “Expedia, I need a hotel room” and Cortana will show you hotels in your area with details such as pricing, availability, and ratings. Tap a hotel for a closer look at amenities and to book a reservation.

Fitbit: Easily log your food and exercise in this health-related app. For instance, I logged my morning meal by activating Cortana on my Lumia and saying, “Fitbit, I ate scrambled eggs for breakfast.”

Cortana opened Fitbit’s “Log Food” page and showed me options for scrambled eggs. I tapped “Egg, chicken, Scrambled” and Fitbit gave me the option to adjust my service size if I needed to. Then I tapped the “checkmark” icon to save my meal.

To note my morning run, I said, “Fitbit, I ran five miles.” Cortana opened Fitbit’s “Log Exercise” page. I then typed in the duration of my run and Fitbit recorded that information as well as my average per-mile pace.

INSTEON for Hub: The Insteon app makes your home more connected. Instead of going to each room to turn on the lights, you can perform this task faster from your Lumia or other Windows Phone.


Cortana takes this concept one step further. Say, for example, “Insteon, turn on the lights.” You can also ask her to lock your front door and adjust the thermostat, among other home-related tasks. For more information on the Insteon app, check out this story.

Sendtiment: This Windows Phone-exclusive app makes it easy to send beautifully designed digital cards to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, and other big events. Let’s say you want to send a thank-you card to a friend. Activate Cortana and say, “Sendtiment, I want to say thank you.”

Cortana will reply, “Okay, let me show you thank-you cards” and reveal Sendtiment’s 31 thank-you cards. Pick a greeting, add a note, then send it via email, text, Facebook, and Twitter. To learn more about Sendtiment, go here.

Skype: Cortana makes it easy to go hands-free with Skype. This is especially helpful if you’re driving, cooking, or otherwise have your hands engaged. Just say “Skype, call John Doe.” If you want to start a video call, say “Skype, get John Doe on the screen.”

What other Windows Phone apps have you found that play nicely with Cortana?

*Cortana is currently available in certain markets and on Lumia and other Windows Phone smartphones and Windows 10-enabled devices.