The usefulness of Cortana is still debatable today in as much as Windows 10 has been out for the past two years now. People still compare it to Apple Siri which, as far as the desktop is concerned it is still not very impressive as its counterpart iOS. Windows Cortana, without doubt, is still limited in functionality it’s getting some improvements. For example, it is now possible to open apps with it. Majority of its bad reputation comes from the fact that it always forces its users to use either Edge or Bing. Although, you can force Cortana to use your default browser you desire with an app. The most interesting thing now is that you can natively add Google Contacts, Gmail, and Google Calendar to Cortana.
By default, Cortana is able to read email for the default Mail app or even from Outlook. It can read contacts from the people app and also, it can view appointments and meetings in Outlook. If you want to add Gmail, Google Contacts, and Google Calendar to Cortana, then you will need to add them as a service. You must first enable Cortana on your desktop and you must also be running the latest version of Windows 10 which is the Fall Creators Update.
Add Service In Cortana
Open Cortana and click Notebook. Now, on the notebook panel, click on ‘Connected Services’.
On the ‘Connected Services’ screen, all you have to do is click Add Service.
Cortana will only list Gmail and not Google Calendar or Google Contacts but that’s the only way to actually connect these two services. You do not have the option to connect only one service. Additionally, Google Drive will also be connected as well.
Now, sign in to your Google account and permit Cortana to access all the data it needs to. It normally takes a little time to connect but as soon as it does, Gmail will automatically appear in the Connected Services panel.
Privacy & Data Access
You must pay close attention to anything Cortana tells you it will have access to once it connects your Gmail account. It provides a very comprehensive detail on how it will make use of your data and how to revoke Cortana’s access to your data if you decide to disconnect your Google account. Cortana intends to use the data to provide tailored content which is not something really cool with most people. Considering it has access to your email, you may not find it interesting if the AI should mine your messages for your personal preferences. The interesting thing is, Cortana will always show the details of how it makes use of your data before your Google account is connected and it will direct you to where you need to go if you decide to turn it off.
It looks as if Microsoft has learned to be more upfront with its users in terms of how it makes use of the data it collects. The commands which you can execute with Cortana now that it is connected to those Google services are very much unclear. It may likely take a little time for them to starting working.