A much-touted feature of Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system, released to the public 29 July, is the personal digital assistant Cortana. Users, now numbering 100 million worldwide, get to use it for tasks such as making travel reservations, setting up reminders/alerts, connecting to the internet and more.
However, Cortana can also let users compose a full email without users having to sit and hit the keyboard. With a new interface and refreshed appearance, Cortana lets users compose new email messages, edit and send these across to desired recipients. This can be achieved via the "Hey Cortana" voice command.
How to use Cortana to compose, edit and send emails
Step 1: Launch Cortana
Step 2: Click on the Notebook key to launch Cortana's specialised notebook. This is used to record user interests.
Step 3: When in notebook, select Settings. Choose Let Cortana respond to "Hey Cortana". Enable this setting. Additionally, users can teach Cortana how to recognise voice commands and respond to these.
Step 4: Click on the microphone symbol in the search box within Cortana. Once the mic is activated, say, "Compose an email". If "Hey Cortana" is enabled, simply issue the voice command, "Hey Cortana, compose an email".
Step 5: Say aloud the name of the recipient(s) to whom the email needs to be sent. Here users can simply state the recipient's name, the nickname (configured in Step 2 in Cortana's notebook), or select the "+" symbol to allow Cortana to open up users' contacts list. To add multiple recipients, simply speak out the names of the recipients.
Step 6: Users, then, should speak out the title to be added into the subject field of the email, followed by the body text.
Step 7: To make changes to the email, users can say, "Make Changes," after the body of the email is composed. Cortana also lets users type in the changes in the Preview section. After all email fields have been entered, the PDA displays a Continue In list that lets users open the email via the default mail app. Users also get to choose between multiple email accounts (if created) from which the messages needs to be sent.
Step 8: After selecting Continue in, users can attach files and add signatures.
Send emails via "Hey Cortana"
For users who have enabled "Hey Cortana", the PDA can be directed to send emails in a single step by just saying out aloud, "Hey Cortana, write an email to [recipient's name], saying [email content]." Cortana, then, should automatically insert "Quick Note" in the subject line of the email. Afterwards, users will get an opportunity to make changes or to say "Send" if everything in the message seems fine.