How to Make Cortana Work in Windows Phone 8.1 Developer Preview on Nokia Lumia Smartphones Outside the United States

"Sir Mark, I've already installed Windows Phone 8.1 Developer Preview on my Nokia Lumia 1020 using your step-by-step guide but I can't seem to find Cortana. What should I do to make Cortana [voice-powered virtual assistant] work on my phone?" That's the email that I got from one of our TP Friends this morning.

A lot of Lumia users actually have the same concern. As of the moment, Cortana on WP 8.1 Preview only works automatically for users in the United States as the service only supports US English language. The good thing though is that there's a workaround which you can do in three easy steps to get Cortana working on your smartphone regardless of your location.

1. Go to your handset's Settings, click on Language and change it to English (United States).
2. Go back to Settings, click on Region and change it to United States, English

Cortana, Cortana Windows Phone 8.1

3. Go back to Settings, click on Speech, and change Speech Language to English (United States). Then, restart your smartphone. Done!

Cortana, Cortana Windows Phone 8.1

Now, go your Apps List and look for Cortana. You may also launch the service by clicking on the Search button below the display.

Cortana, Cortana Windows Phone 8.1

The first time you launch it, Cortana will ask for your permission to collect and use your location, contacts, voice input, and other information from your smartphone to work best. If you agree with it, click Allow.

Cortana, Cortana Windows Phone 8.1

After that, Cortana will ask for a few additional information including your birthdate. Key in that detail and click next if you agree with Microsoft's Services Agreement.

Cortana, Cortana Windows Phone 8.1

You can now start talking to Cortana. You may talk to her using your voice or you may also type your questions. Cortana will respond to you in the same manner that you started a conversation with her; That is, Voice to Voice, Text to Text.

Cortana, Cortana Windows Phone 8.1

Who or What is Cortana? Based on a fictional artificially intelligent character in the Halo video game series, Cortana is a personal voice-powered digital or virtual assistant, a kind of silicon secretary who can help make your life easier. If you've already talked to Siri on iOS devices or Google Now on Android smartphones and tablets, Cortana is a lot like them as she is designed to rival those services.

Cortana, Cortana Windows Phone 8.1

You may tap Cortana's services to Make a Call, Send a Text, Add an Appointment, Create a Reminder, Create a Note, Set an Alarm, Play Music, Get Direction, and Search the Web or your Smartphone.

Cortana, Cortana Windows Phone 8.1

That's it! So simple, right? Have fun talking to Cortana, TP Friends!

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