Anyone who's played Halo, the iconic first-person shooter based 500 years in the future, knows where Microsoft came up with the name of Cortana, its new voice recognition program on Windows Phone 8.1. Master Chief might be the star of the video game series, but Cortana is the heroic digital sidekick that saves his behind in almost every level. Granted, the Windows Phone version may not help you explore an alien planet or teach you how to defeat the bad guys, but it's still capable of some great stuff.
Just press the search button on the bottom of every Windows Phone device (as long as it uses 8.1, of course) and Cortana pops up, ready to listen and obey your commands. What kinds of things can she do? You can tell her to call someone, send a text, set reminders, take notes and hook you up with all sorts of information that you might need throughout the course of any given day. And since it's powered by Bing, the engine working behind the scenes has a solid amount of oomph.