Microsoft highlights speech and Cortana in Universal Windows Platform Apps

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A cool feature of Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform (UWP) app format is the support it gives for developers to incorporate Window’s Cortana and voice controls into their apps. Microsoft, in an attempt to educate developers on the feature’s potential, have begun a blog series that explores the benefits of using voice and how to implement it into a variety of apps.

This first entry in the series goes in-depth with what specific code to use to incorporate voice-controls in a UWP app, how to choose language and grammar settings, and also how to use specific hardware such as different microphone inputs.

Microsoft admits that not all apps and situations call for voice-controls however and gives the example of how it could be used when driving yet would be impractical when a user is walking through a busy street and may not be able to be heard properly. “Context is king, and it’s not easy to always get it right even with a modern device that’s packed with sensors,” Microsoft’s developer evangelist, Mike Taulty says. “Consider your scenarios carefully and look at our guidance around these types of interactions before getting started.”

Microsoft has been pushing Cortana heavily since the launch of Windows 10 and has been promoting it as one of the operating system’s main features. The company has even launched Cortana apps on iOS and Android and continues to evolve the feature across the board.

Cortana recently updated on Android and gave users on that ecosystem a more convenient way to access the app’s services. A more controversial change to Cortana recently has been Microsoft’s decision to only let it function with the company’s Edge internet browser instead of the various other options such as Firefox and Chrome. The reason given was that Microsoft wanted to essentially improve the user experience but one can’t help but wonder if it was just done to encourage more people to use Edge.

How do you use Cortana? Let us know in the comments below.