XiaoIce, which means “Little ice” in Mandarin, is a social assistant that can be added on several major Chinese social networking services including Weibo, a microblogging service used by 700 million people. And recently, customers using the Windows Phone 8.1 Preview for Developers have been able to strike up a chat with XiaoIce by asking Cortana China, aka Xiao Na.
Cortana, your virtual personal assistant available with Windows Phone 8.1, can also work with favorite apps including Twitter, Skype and Foursquare. Apps like these integrate with Cortana’s listening capability so you can ask her to perform tasks within those apps using just your voice.
If you’re in the U.S. and running Windows Phone 8.1, you’ll now be able to get Foursquare recommendations through Cortana. Starting Tuesday, Cortana will show local recommendations based on your location on its home screen.
This fall, Cortana, the personal assistant for Windows Phone 8.1, will be smarter than ever with academic data powered by Bing. This addition to Bing will make that service even more robust — and will help make Cortana the best personal assistant for researchers.